Looking for the perfect way to complement those gorgeous views from the safari vehicle? Look no further than the ultimate airborne game-viewing experience: seated in a hot air balloon! Usually beginning in the early hours of dawn, guests have the option to float atop some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world. This is a truly unique opportunity to view top game and predators, up-close and personal, during their most active hours in the wild.
Where Can I Hot Air Balloon On Safari?
There are a number of prestigious camps in national parks and conservancies that offer hot air ballooning as a safari activity. Special mention goes to the following locations and camps as our favourite picks for this breathtaking experience!
Our Top Picks for Hot Air Ballooning in Africa
Kafue National Park, Zambia
– Shumba –
Shumba Camp offers a truly luxurious hot air balloon experience, a luxurious camp located in the remote wild of the Busanga Plains. The abundant wildlife and predators of the area make for an amazing game-viewing experience, featuring unique species such as the famous tree-climbing lions of the Kafue. Cheetah and wild dog are also frequently spotted from this high vantage point, not to mention the rare prize of a roan antelope herd sighting. This experience is complimentary for all guests who stay three nights or more at Shumba, and ends with an elegant champagne breakfast. Please note that this activity is normally available from August to October each year.
– Little Kulala –
Little Kulala offers the perfect retreat from the bustle of modern life. A hot air ballooning experience here offers the amazing opportunity to fly over the adjacent Sossusvlei dunes and view the plethora of game wandering below. Nestled into the dramatic landscape of the Namib desert, guests are treated to a truly wild and luxurious safari experience. Offering incredible views over the ancient dry riverbed of the ‘Auab’, sky-high views of this “timeless desert landscape” will leave you yearning for more! Please note that hot air ballooning is normally available from mid-February through to late-December of each year, as well as some additional days in January.
Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
– Alex Walker’s Serian –
Located in the Mara North Conservancy, Alex Walker’s Serian ‘The Original’ is one of a select group of camps allowed access to this location. Here, guests are offered a ballooning experience where they can overlooking the vast numbers of wildebeest and zebra that cross in the Great Migration each year. Designated to protect and conserve the unique flora, fauna and indigenous Masaai people of the area, activities in the conservancy has a distinctly private and romantic feel to them. The thrill of floating above over a million animals making this epic journey cannot be understated. Hot air ballooning is available year-round in this location.
Okavango Delta, Botswana
– Vumbura Plains | Little Vumbura –
Set in the annually flooded grasslands of the Okavango Delta, Vumbura Plains (and little Vumbura) offer excellent seasoning viewings of grazing wildlife, as well as the abundant predators that tend to follow. Hot air ballooning at this location offers a chance to float over the several resident prides of lion and herds of elephant, not to mention the splendour of the wetlands below. A trip in a hot air balloon is followed by champagne and light snacks to round off this truly wild experience: the touch of luxury in the wild for which Vumbura Plains is famous. Please note that hot air ballooning is generally available at this location from April to September each year.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
– Sabora Tented Camp-
Sabora Tented Camp offers true luxury in the wild, seated in the heart of the Singita Grumeti Reserves of the world-famous Serengeti National Park. Surrounded on all sides by untouched wilderness, a hot air balloon trip is the perfect way to survey the plethora of wildlife that pass through the reserve. Guests make an early morning transfer to a designated launch site (prior to 6am!), where they meet the pilot, receive a briefing, and can view the balloon being inflated. Taking off as the sun rises, the wind floats guests over the panoramic savannah and treetops of the Serengeti for the next hour. Simply magical! Available year-round in this location.
Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
– Kwihala Camp –
Kwihala Camp can be found in the gorgeous setting of a stunning baobab forest, an intimate and luxurious six-bedroom camp in the wild. A frontier-style camp, it provides unparalleled access to the park’s first-class wildlife populations. From big cats, to buffalo, to elephants, Ruaha has it all! 10% of the world’s lion population is estimated to live in this gorgeous national park. In a similar fashion to the Serengeti balloon flight, guests are picked up in the early hours of the morning and driven to the launch site. Flights in the hot air balloon float over the remote wilderness that make up the surrounding wetlands and local wildlife of the Great Ruaha River.