Hot Air Balloon Safari Serengeti National Park

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Hot Air Balloon Safari Serengeti National Park

Hot Air Balloon Safari Serengeti National Park: Witnessing the Serengeti savannah and wildlife from a hot-air balloon is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Not ideal for game-viewing or photography, a balloon safari will give you a sense of scale not afforded by regular terrestrial excursions.  Beginning in the cool hours of dawn, hot-air balloons are launched to float effortlessly across the vast plains. While inflating the balloons is a noisy affair the experience of gliding above herds of wildebeest and elephants can be serene. Flights last around an hour and usually come with a pre-flight coffee and a post-flight bush breakfast.

The Serengeti National Park is a leading Big 5 safari destination. The park has over 3,000 lions and is known for some of the best predator action in Africa. Most balloon safaris begin around 4 am, with pick-up from your accommodation and transport to your launch site. By around 6:45 am you will be floating above the Serengeti, breathing the crisp morning air, and spotting wildlife from a bird’s eye view. By 8:30 am, you will be seated at a truly out-of-Africa breakfast table, surrounded by the vastness of the Serengeti, and eating a sumptuous breakfast feast with your flying party. 

Hot Air Balloon Safari Serengeti National Park

Hot Air Balloon Safari Serengeti National ParkOne of the most tranquil game viewing experiences has to be going on a hot air balloon safari where you float over the flat landscape which teems with wildlife, notably Wildebeest and Zebra.

Hot air balloon rides are accessible as an activity if you are on a safari in the Serengeti National Park. Add an exciting hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti to your safari!

Our early morning balloon ride is launched at one of the three launch sites in the Serengeti. The central launch site is near the Seronera River, which provides the only permanent water source in the area. Therefore, the wildlife congregates in the valley with many resident species.

The open plains, acacia woodlands, the meandering river, and its many hippo pools all produce a scenic vista seen from above. The Western Corridor launch site encompasses the Grumeti Plains, close to the shores of Lake Victoria.

Your trip starts at sunrise for a 1-hour flight (weather permitting) to view the animals and migration from up high and down low as you float across the savannah.  Guests meet 20 minutes prior to sunrise at the launch site and enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee as the hot air balloon is prepared for it its early morning flight.

A safety briefing on the do’s and don’ts of hot air balloon flying is given to all passengers and then it’s up into the sky. Upon landing, you are met with champagne and gourmet breakfast in the bush. You will return to your hotel with a game drive en-route.

This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

The balloons operate in the Ndutu area from December 20 – to March 31, and in Northern Serengeti July 1 – to October 31.

The launch is typically at 6:30 am, and you return to camp by 9:30 am to continue your safari activities. The minimum age is 7 years old. Passengers must be reasonably mobile, fit to fly, and prepared for an adventure. Weight restrictions also apply.

Hot Air Balloon Safari Serengeti National Park Flight Description

0500 Hours: Wake up before dawn with a quick cup of tea or coffee and a snack before setting off on your balloon adventure. Wrap up warm and enjoy the drive to the launch site in the dark, as you may be lucky enough to encounter some nocturnal animals.

0630 Hours: On arrival at the launch site, meet your pilot and watch as your balloon is inflated ready for lift-off. Launch as dawn is breaking, rise up in the sky as the sun rises. Witness the magnificent spectacle as darkness lifts, the sky is painted orange and the ground’s silhouette begins to take form.

Float along the vast plains, following the whims of the wind, watching the mighty herds below. The launch site is in a fixed location, however, the landing site is always an added adventure, for everyone, as it is determined solely by the wind direction and speed.

Your pilot uses various altitudes and air layers to navigate the balloon across the rolling plains. Each flight is novel. Go from skimming the tall grass to just missing the flat tabletops of the acacias trees, to soaring high above the plains at 1000 feet in the land of eagles and vultures.

Fly over areas inaccessible to vehicles. Appreciate the awesome vistas as you float silently above the undisturbed game. No two flights are ever the same, making for a really magical experience. The flight usually lasts for about an hour, depending on the conditions.

0730 Hours – 0745 Hours: Celebrate your landing in the traditional way, with some chilled champagne before heading off to a celebratory bush breakfast. Indulge in fresh fruit and a freshly cooked breakfast complete with crisp tablecloth, bone china, and shiny silverware, in the company of your fellow passengers.

1000 Hours: A fitting finale to the morning. After a leisurely breakfast, you’ll be escorted to the rendezvous point to meet your guide to continue on a game drive back to camp.

Hot Air Balloon Safari Serengeti National Park Prices

 Dates From  Dates To  Price Per Adult  Price Per Child
(7 to 12 Years)
 1st January 2024   31st January 2024 Us Dollars   Us Dollars 


* Passengers must be reasonably mobile to be able to partake in the balloon flight
* Please note that children must be 7 years or older can take part in this safari activity
* If weather conditions don’t allow you to fly on the day you have booked, you get a full refund or try the following day
* Balloon flights are not suitable for pregnant ladies, people with mobility problems, or health conditions. You must be able to bend your knees, hold onto rope handles with both hands, and be able to climb in and out of the basket

Departure Schedule

* Western Corridor: Operates June 1 – September 30 with 2 balloons of 12 people
* Central Serengeti (Seronera): Operates year-round with 4 balloons of 16 people each
* Serengeti South (Ndutu): Operates December 20 – March 31 with 1 balloon of 16 people
* Serengeti – North/ Kogatende: You can fly in the northern Serengeti area in a 12 or 16 passenger balloon

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need to book in advance?
We strongly recommend that you book in advance with African Spice Safaris to secure your spot. We have limited capacity and this exclusive adventure is frequently fully booked.

2. How much does it cost?
Request for rates at the time of booking to enjoy a discount. Prices are inclusive of all fees & taxes. The balloon safari price may vary due to exchange rates, local taxes etc.

3. When is the best time of year for ballooning in Serengeti?
We are fortunate that the weather in the Serengeti is suitable for ballooning almost every day of the year.

4. What about the ‘rainy seasons’?
The ‘long rains’ (late March to early June) & the ‘short rains’ (November to mid-December). The great migration passes through Central Serengeti during the green seasons.

At these times it USUALLY rains late afternoon and during the night. Mornings are USUALLY bright and clear with gentle winds (ideal ballooning weather!). The landscape is lush, green, and dust-free (yes, your vehicle may get stuck in the mud – but our balloon won’t!)

5. Do you operate year-round?
Yes, we operate daily throughout the year in central Serengeti. We operate seasonally in Serengeti South, from Christmas day to 15th March. We operate seasonally in the Western Corridor from the beginning of June to the end of August.

6. Are there any restrictions?
Yes, we do not carry children under the age of 7 years. There is no upper age limit, however, passengers must be reasonably mobile, fit to fly, and prepared for an adventure.

Ballooning is not suitable for pregnant ladies, people with mobility, or health conditions (heart conditions, brittle bones, neck or back conditions). Passengers must be able to bend their knees, hold on to rope handles with both hands for take-off and landing, and be able to climb into and out of the basket.

Balloon passenger weights are calculated at an average of 80 kg. Passengers weighing 50% + more than this (i.e. 120 kg / 265 lbs / 19 stone) may be charged for two places.

7. I am on an organized safari with a set itinerary. Can I do this?
Yes, as long as you are staying at any of the central Serengeti lodges or camps or (seasonally) in any of the western corridor lodges/ camps or (again seasonally) at any Serengeti South lodges or camps or those in the Ndutu area.

We collect you before the flight from your lodge/ camp early morning and return you to the rendezvous point at 0945 hours to join the rest of your party & continue your day’s activities
8. What should I wear? What should I bring?
It can be cool in the early morning, but often warm later, therefore a jacket or sweater that can be removed later is a good idea. A hat is recommended (bald guests) as radiant heat from the burners can be uncomfortable.

We suggest long trousers, long sleeves, preferably in natural fibers, and stout shoes. Don’t forget your camera and binoculars. You can bring a camera bag or a small backpack with you in the balloon.
9. Why is ballooning expensive?
Balloon baskets cost the same as a big Mercedes but only last a few hundred hours. They use a significant amount of fuel per flight and involve a minimum crew of 6 men plus a professional pilot to get it in the air plus a further 10 employees behind the scenes for each balloon.

In addition, there are the retrieving vehicles, logistics, backup, etc.  We operate in a remote area.  There is a very substantial sum in the form of concession fees for every passenger to Tanzania National Parks towards conservation funds.

Hot Air Balloon Safari Serengeti National Park

Booking & Reservations Hot Air Balloon Safari Serengeti National Park Contact

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