Masai Mara Balloon Safaris Kenya, Hot Air Balloon Safaris in Kenya, Balloon Safaris Masai Mara, Masai Mara Balloon Safaris, Serengeti Balloon Safaris, Balloon Safaris in Serengeti, Taita Hills Balloon Safaris, Hot air balloon, balloon Kenya
HOT AIR BALLOON SAFARIS
BALLOON SAFARIS IN MASAI MARA & SERENGETI
Probably the most beautiful balloon flight in the world and the ultimate African safari experience. This can be arrange in Kenya (both Masai Mara and Taita Hills) and Tanzania in Serengeti.
5:00 am: Collection from your Serengeti (Central) and Masai Mara lodge or camp, and transfer you by Land rover to the launch site. Here you will meet your pilot, receive a briefing and watch the inflation of your balloon.
At dawn we take off, rising as the sun rises and float in whichever direction the winds of the morning take us. Your pilot can precisely control the altitude of your balloon: sometimes flying at treetop height, sometimes lower, offering a unique perspective and great photographic opportunities of the wildlife below.
At other times he will ascend to 1000' or more to see the enormity and wonderful panorama of the Serengeti. From time to time the pilot must put more heat into the balloon with the powerful whisper burners. In between these burns, there is silence apart from the natural sounds below.
The flight is for about one hour depending on conditions, on landing you celebrate in the traditional manner with champagne (well, an excellent sparkling wine), before sitting down to a full English breakfast prepared and served in the bush in 'Out of Africa' style with bone china, linen table cloths, King's silver etc.
After breakfast you receive your Balloon certificate and we drive you back to the Lodge or camp with game viewing enroute. 9:30 am Arrive at the lodge/camp ready to continue your day's activities.
Hot air balloon safari price:
-Masai Mara: US$ 450 per person
-Serengeti: US$ 575 per person
Included in the hot air balloon Safari:
- 1 hour of balloon flight
- Services of an experienced Guide
- Return transport from the Lodge/Camp
- En-route game drives
- Champagne Breakfast
- Balloon Safari Certificate
SPECIAL NOTE: There are no special requirements for participation in a Balloon Safari. You should be in good health condition and reasonably fit and active. It is not recommended for children under 10 years. People with health and/or back problems should not participate as the landing can be bumpy and may cause injury. ballooning is subject to weather conditions. Height restrictions may apply.
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Masai Mara Balloon Safaris Kenya, Hot Air Balloon Safaris in Kenya, Balloon Safaris Masai Mara, Masai Mara Balloon Safaris, Serengeti Balloon Safaris, Balloon Safaris in Serengeti, Taita Hills Balloon Safaris, Hot air balloon, balloon Kenya.
African hot air balloon safari experience:
Hot air balloon flights take place in scenic beauty of Maasai Mara. A gentle ascent takes you well above tree-top level and the whispering light breeze soothes the hearts as you enjoy a panoramic view of wildlife drama unequalled anywhere in the whole wide world. Thrilling drama of natureâ€™s battle of predators verses the preys, that is constantly displayed in the savanna grassland from time immemorial. Itâ€™s worthy your dollar!
Remember to put on practical clothes, preferably cotton, a sweater will shield you against sometimes windy flights. Sturdy shoes are necessary. Sunglasses and camera to catch the real drama will come in handy.
SERENGETI BALLOON SAFARI
An exclusive excursion over the Serengeti plains, offering unparalleled panoramic views of the awe-inspiring landscape. A very popular excursion for those of our clients willing to spend that little bit extra, and can be added on to any safari that includes a night in the Serengeti, at any of the lodges. Only two balloons fly each
Masai Mara Balloon Safari
Close your eyes, and for a moment feel your body lift up, with you having no control over it, and there is a certain part of you, inside you, saying to yourself, I am crazy for taking this balloon safari. This is what most people feel, when the excitement of a Masai Mara hot air balloon safari crosses one's emotion of self-control and independence.
You trip begins when you get your wake up call at your safari lodge or tented camp in the early hours of the morning, as you yawn away, and thoughts about your wildlife viewing from an elevated position begins to stir your mind. The fresh Kenyan traditional hot tea and coffee quickly awaken you, in fact preparing you for a "mission".
THE MASAI MARA MIGRATION OF WILDEBEESTS:
The Wildebeest arrive at the Mara River around July and cross over onto the Masai Mara plains. The wildebeest remain here until October, when they return to Tanzania. Gazetted in 1961, the Reserve is located west of the Rift Valley and is a natural extension of the Serengeti plains. The Mara River, the reserve's backbone, traverses north to south. This river course is the natural barrier crossed every year by the large herds of wildebeest and zebra during their migration.
May & June
In late May, the herds leave the Western Corridor for the northern Serengeti plains and woodlands. The fresh, tender and mineral-rich pastures on the other side of the humans' border, in Masai Mara, are the irresistible bait for the animals to finally invade the Kenyan reserve, an event which usually starts in late June to early July. The troops coming from the south meet here another migratory contingent: the resident wildebeest herds of the Mara region. These animals reside in the Loita Plains and Hills, northeast of the Mara, until the dry season brings the tougher days and it is time to seek the evergreen Mara basin.
July to October
Throughout the month of July, the herds cross the Sand River, a mostly dry tributary of the Mara which roughly follows the boundary line between Kenya and Tanzania. The parade takes the eastern sector of Masai Mara, surrounding the Keekorok Lodge area. The trek follows westward, leading the herds to face the major challenge along their quest: crossing the Mara river and frequently also its tributary, the Talek. By then, the rains at the Mau Escarpment, where the Mara rises, have fed the stream to its highest levels.
The steep banks are populated with trunk-looking basking crocodiles that seem almost to be expecting their annual banquet. The operation of fording the river is the most delicate along the migration, and as such seems to plunge the gnus in a state of anxiety that only relieves when the whole herd has crossed. The trekkers walk along the left (eastern) bank of the Mara looking for a suitable point to cross. There are plenty of preferred crossings along the course, which are easily identifiable by the lack of vegetation, the depressed slopes and the deep grooves carved by the animals' hooves. These are the most secure places to ford the river, those that ensure a minimal mortality. Nonetheless, the apparent programming of the whole process sometimes seems to collapse, and the nervous herds occasionally choose places where the banks are too steep and many of the animals break their legs down the cliff or fall flat into the waters. The herds gather at the suitable points and wander around nervously, their grunts sounding loud in the air. Eventually, one animal takes the lead and approaches the rim, scanning the opposite edge to analyze if any danger awaits after the crossing. When it finally dives into the stream, this seems to haul the rest of the herd. More animals follow in a single line across the river, while the lagged ones throw themselves towards the stream until the rearguard pushes the troops to a frantic race that ends up with some animals trampled to death, lying aside the course. Along the boreal summer, the crossings repeat over and over, and the survivors graze peacefully on the Mara Triangle grasslands unless disturbed by the early-morning and late-evening hunts of lion and cheetah, the latter preying on the calves.
By October, the rains are heading south back to the Serengeti. This is when the pace of the march reverses, bringing the herds to face once more the quest for the southern grasslands. The rite of fording the river is again part of nature's call. In the last days of October, the migration heads towards the vast plains of the southern Serengeti, where a new generation of calves will be born to start the cycle of life all over again. Normally the route is down the eastern side and the pace is fast. Quite often a million animals can be seen stretched out.
Serengeti National Park:
Serengeti is easily Tanzania's most famous national park, and it's also the largest, at 14,763 square kilometres of protected area that borders Kenya's Masai Mara Game Park. Its far-reaching plains of endless grass, tinged with the twisted shadows of acacia trees, have made it the quintessential image of a wild and untarnished Africa. Its large stone kopjes are home to rich ecosystems, and the sheer magnitude and scale of life that the plains support is staggering. Large prides of lions laze easily in the long grasses, plentiful families of elephants feed on acacia bark and trump to each other across the plains, and giraffes, gazelles, monkeys, eland, and the whole range of African wildlife is in awe-inspiring numbers.
The annual wildebeest migration through the Serengeti and the Masai Mara attract visitors from around the world, who flock to the open plains to witness the largest mass movement of land mammals on the planet. More than a million animals make the seasonal journey to fresh pasture to the north, then the south, after the biannual rains. The sound of their thundering hooves, raising massive clouds of thick red dust, has become one of the legends of the Serengeti plains. The entire ecosystem thrives from the annual migration, from the lions and birds of prey that gorge themselves on the weak and the faltering to the gamut of hungry crocodiles that lie in patient wait at each river crossing for their annual feed.
But it's not just the wildebeest who use the Serengeti as a migratory pathway. The adjacent reserves of Maswa and Ikorongo, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya all allow the animals and birds of the area a free range of movement to follow their seasonal migrations. Indeed, in the wake of the wildebeest migration, many of the less attention-grabbing features of the Serengeti are often overlooked. The park has varied zones in which each ecosystem is subtly different . Seronera in the centre of the park is the most popular and most easily visited area. The Grumeti River in the Western Corridor is the location for the dramatic river crossing during the wildebeest migration. Maswa Game Reserve to the south offers a remote part of the park rewarding in its game-viewing and privacy, and Lobo near the Kenyan border offers a change to see plentiful game during the dry season.
Aside from traditional vehicle bound safaris, hot-air ballooning over the Serengeti plains has become a safari rite-of-passage for travel enthusiasts. The flights depart at dawn over the plains and take passengers close over the awakening herds of wildebeest and zebra, gazelle and giraffe. The extra altitude allows guests to witness the striking stretches of plains punctuated only by kopjes. Up in the sky, you have Africa all to yourself.