Pembury’s Top 10 Destinations for Hot Air Balloon Experiences
Hot Air Balloon Experiences are magnificent in Africa. The indescribable feeling of leaving the African soil to find yourself hovering in the African Sky, soaking up the ever-changing landscape beneath you. One could say it’s magical.
There is something magical about the early morning wake-up call, steaming coffee and pastries. There is something magical about being whisked away on a balloon as the newly formed sun rays extend over the African soil. And it is truly something magical when you find yourself in a gondola, overlooking landscapes that seem to be picture-perfect.
Uncover the best locations in Africa for your magical moment.
Here are our Top 10 destinations for a Hot Air Balloon Experience during your journey through Africa.
Let’s start in South Africa
1. Stellenbosch, Cape Winelands, Western Cape
Our first destination is Stellenbosch, Cape Winelands. Probably one of the least-known destinations for a Hot Air Balloon Experience. Hot Air Balloon Rides are only available during the summer months – November to April. While the range of months for the activity is short, the experience of soaring through the sky while overlooking quaint towns and vineyards will last a lifetime.
2. Cradle of Humankind or Magaliesberg, Gauteng
Johannesburg may not be on everyone’s list of destinations to visit when in Africa. However, many international flights arrive and depart from the bustling city and on the occasion when a night or two is required – we have the perfect experience for you to enjoy. Unknown to many, Hot Air Balloon Rides are magnificent in this region, and it is the ideal pre or post-journey activity!
Located less than an hour from the big city of Johannesburg, the Cradle of Humankind and Magaliesberg offer serene balloon experiences, with breathtaking views over rolling hills and pristine lakes.
3. Hoedspruit, Kruger Lowveld, Limpopo
Located within reach of the renowned Kruger National Park, Hoedspruit is home to quaint shops, endless wildlife estates and one of the most scenic Hot Air Balloon Experiences in Africa. Floating over the Blyde River Canyon and Drakensberg Escarpment, this experience is the perfect way to start or end a Big 5 Safari in the Kruger National Park.
Heading North to Namibia
4. Sossusvlei, Namibia
Floating in the sky over the golden dunes should be a compulsory activity when travelling to Namibia. The views from above the dunes are magnificent as you witness the oldest Desert in the world, the Namib Desert. You may forget you’re on Earth as the arid region resembles Mars. Rugged hilltops and rusty dunes paint the endless landscape below. The unforgettable experience draws to a close with a picnic breakfast between the dunes.
Heading East to Botswana
5. The Okavango Delta, Botswana
The largest inland Delta offers a range of unique activities, from walking safaris to mokoro excursions. Due to the nature of the Okavango Delta, hot air balloon safaris are only available in the Northern section, along the Vumbura plains. The grasslands allow for an easy launch. The activity can only be done during the winter months (May to September) and provides a spectacular view over the World Heritage Site.
6. Chobe National Park, Botswana
The Chobe National Park is known for its unique location and film-worthy game viewing. The perfect way to understand the magnitude of the great park is by a Hot air balloon safari. Located within the vast concession of the Seloko Plains, the Launch site is a 45-minute drive south of the main town, Kasane. Seloko Plains is an important wildlife corridor; extending from Zimbabwe to the Chobe National Park and Kasane Forest Reserve. Not only will this activity provide opportunities for game viewing but the views over a diverse landscape of dense forests and open savannahs.
Heading North to Zambia
7. Kafue National Park, Zambia
Zambia’s largest wildlife area, Kafue National Park is a unique wilderness area in the heart of Zambia. Offering spectacular game viewing from North to South, the park is a destination on its own. Busanga Plains, located in the North, is where the hot air balloon safaris take place. This area is known as the Busanga Plain, which can be mistaken for the Okavango Delta as floodplains and waterways line the terrain. Balloon season in Kafue National Park is from August to October. Experience the most exclusive hot air balloon safari in Africa!
Heading even further afield to East Africa
8. Ruaha National Park, Tanzania
We covered Zambia’s largest park, and now we are making our way to Tanzania’s. Ruaha National Park is not often featured on everyone’s list when planning a visit to East Africa. The vast region offers exclusivity and a remote safari. When planning a visit to Ruaha, be prepared and pack in your wide camera lens as this National Park is home to some of the largest lion prides in Africa, some reaching over 40 strong. Hot Air Balloon Safaris should form part of any Ruaha itinerary. Views from the gondola are like no other in this region.
9. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania & Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Although these two regions are in separate countries, the two magnificent parks are similar and not just because of the phenomenal game viewing. The Great Migration happens each year; no matter your location, you are bound to witness some of the action. There is no better way to view this wonder than from above. Witness the expansive landscape as you float beneath the clouds. Photographic opportunities from a hot air balloon over the Serengeti or Masai Mara plains are endless, just like the landscape.
10. Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda
Ending our Top 10 Hot Air Balloon Destinations in the Pearl of Africa seems fitting. Murchison Falls National Park is located in Northern Uganda and can be the perfect add-on to your Gorilla Trekking Safari. Also known as the Kabalega National Park, the Murchison Falls National Park is known for having the world’s most powerful waterfall and three-quarters of the unique Rothschild giraffe’s population. Hot air balloon safaris have recently been introduced to the region and should be included in your itinerary when visiting the Pearl of Africa. One of the iconic (and perhaps most unique) of a hot air balloon safari in Murchison Falls National Park is the experience of not only seeing vast plains but viewing the River Nile from above.
If you’re feeling ignited by our blog, go ahead and share our Top 10 Hot Air Balloon Destinations with your travel partners.