Hot Air balloon safaris in Tanzania are an exciting adventure that will take you to Tanzania National Parks and safari destinations not accessible by road. They also afford magnificent aerial views of the veld and its vegetation, wildlife, rivers and streams.
If you want to break away from your busy life, Hot Air ballooning is the perfect holiday/adventure sport at any time of year offering spectacular views, peace and serenity that will leave you with memories for a lifetime. The most prominent destination where Balloon safaris are held in Tanzania is in Serengeti Seronera and Ndutu area.
Great Migration Serengeti Balloon Safari
Between July and September, the wildebeests migrate from Masai Mara, serengeti national park . The Wildebeest Migration has been termed as “the greatest show on earth” what better way than to experience it like a bird! You will see wildebeests, the gazelles , the impalas and the zebras in the Serengeti as they travel to look for fresh pasture. You will occasionally witness predators like the leopard or lion attacking the migrants.
Serengeti National Park Balloon Safari
On your balloon safari in Serengeti National park, you can hover over the big five animals, the lion, rhino, elephant, leopard and Cape buffalo. This type of safari is good at conserving the environment as there is no need for driving in the park. A balloon tour also takes to to see the inside of the Serengeti where cars cannot reach.
Ngorongoro Crater Balloon Safari
Visiting the Ngorongoro conservation area is a very rewarding experience as you will hover over the area known to have had the first hominid species. During your flight, you will see the cultural structures of the Masai people before you move through the park to see the big cats, zebras, birds, lions, black rhino, buffaloes , warthogs, cheetah, elephants and giraffe.
In Northern ngorongoro, pick up is at Lemuta Hill, Nasera Rock and Lake Natron Tented Camp. In Western Ngorongoro, stay at Ndutu safari lodge, Heritage Ndutu, The Royal Migration Camp and the Lake Masek Tented Lodge.
In Southern Ngorongoro, pick up is available at Serena lodge, Crater lodge, Ngorongoro Wild Camp and Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge. In The Eastern part, you will be picked from Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge, Lemala Camp and Acacia Extra Special Campsite.
Ruaha Hot Air Balloon Safaris
Fly over Ruaha National Park up to Mwaguise River confluence. In the Ruaha river, enjoy spectacular views of hippos or buffaloes moving to have their breakfast at the river. You will see the baobab trees, some over 100 years old. Ruaha has 10% of all the lions on earth, over 300 of them. Find the leopards, cheetah, wild dogs, elephants, Grant’s gazelle and more. The best time for a balloon in Ruaha is through the year. Even during the rain season, its always in the afternoon and evening that it rains. After the trip, enjoy your breakfast and get you Ruaha Balloon Safari Certificate.
Tarangire Balloon Safari
The most stunning aerial view of a National Park in Africa is Tarangire. The landscape of Tarangire National Park has various terrain. Imagine granite ridges, acacia woodland vegetation, Baobab giant trees, swamps and river valleys, all filled with various wildlife animals including the Elephants, Warthogs, Zebras, Buffalo, Wildebeest and the lions that climb trees!
In order to enjoy a balloon safari, choose to stay at the following hotels and lodges. In Western Tarangire, opt for Male Ninga and Lake Burunge Tented Camp. In Southern Tarangire National park, choose Oliver’s Camp and Swala Camp. Eastern Tarangire, Kikoti, Boundary Hill Lodge, Tarangire Balloon Camp and Tarangire Sopa Lodge, The reccommended accommodation in Northern Tarangire is Naitolia camp, Tarangire River Camp, Tarangire Safari Lodge and Treetops Lodge.
Tanzania Balloon Safari Flight Cost
A Serengeti hot air balloon ride costs $550.
The cost includes transport to and from your Tanzania safari accommodation to the designated balloon exit point. With the $550, you will have paid for TANAPA license of $40 charged per person for a balloon flight and a champagne breakfast at landing.
Where Can I go For A Hot Air Balloon Safari in Tanzania
1. Serengeti National Park
2. Ngorongoro Conservation Area
3. Ruaha National Park
4. Tarangire National Park
Most of the lodges and hotels close to the endless Serengeti plains are accessible for a hot air balloon safari. The Balloon company provides pick and drop services that are included in the overall cost of the experience.
Choose to stay in one of the famous safari destinations hotels. Melia Serengeti lodge, One Nature Nyaruswiga Serengeti, Ole Serai Luxury Camp, Four Seasons Safari Lodge, Serengeti River Camp, Zawadi Camp, Mbalageti Serengeti, Wildebeest Camp and Serengeti Safari Lodge.
Balloon Safari Itinerary & Experience
Hot air balloon rides are done early in the morning. A representative from the Balloon flight team will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the launch site. Once you arrive, we’ll have a safety briefing as they fire up the balloon for take-off.
Then, it’s time to head into the basket and board! Your group will begin a gentle ascent.
You’ll be flying in a hot air balloon before you know it, with a bird’s eye view of the morning sunrise. You’ll catch last glimpses of winged creatures and marvel at the plains below from your vantage point in the sky for about an hour. You will see the elephants, lions, wildebeest and so much more.
Balloon Flight Tour Packages
1 Day Balloon Trip Serengeti ( From $ 600 per person)
-Duration: 5 hours
– Pick up time 5am.
-Includes pick and drop, champaigne breakfast, TANAPA fees and guiding cost.
6 Day Balloon Trip Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire ( From $ 3600 per person)
-Duration: 6 Days
– Pick up time 5am.
-Includes pick and drop, champagne toast breakfast, TANAPA fees and guiding cost and Accommodation, afternoon game drives
-3 Different balloon experiences in Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Tarangire.
1 Day Serengeti Central & Ndutu / Kogatende ( $ 630 per person)
Duration For Experience: 5 hours
Time on Flight: 1 hour.
Season: December to March and July to October
3 Day Hot Air Ballooning Flight Serengeti
Day 1 Transfer from Arusha to Serengeti National Park
Day 2 Balloon flight early morning. A game drive in the afternoon in Serengeti western corridor.
Day 3 Return to Arusha, end of Tanzania safari.
1 Day Tarangire Balloon Experience ( $ 550 per person)
Duration For Experience: 5 hours
Time on Flight: 1 hour.
Planning For A Balloon Safari
-Book your safari early, especially during the peak season. These safaris are very popular
-The flight takes place early in the morning, so be prepared to wake up early in the morning.
-Book hotels or lodges close to the balloon launch point.
-Bring some warm clothing, long sleeves shirts, long trousers
-Come with a bag that will carry you phone, camera and other personal belongings.
FAQs For Hot Air Balloon Safaris
What If the Weather is Poor?
Sometimes the weather is not ideal for a balloon safari. This calls for a cancellation of your flight and subsequently a refund is processed immediately, but an option to reschedule your safari in the air is advised.
Why are Balloon Safaris Expensive?
Balloon safaris are expensive because of many factors. A hot air balloon costs more than $100,000 and its operation lasts for a total of less than 1,000 hours where it must be replaced. Other costs include the crew to operate, it requires a licensed pilot. There are logistical concerns including pick and drop and then the Tanzania National Parks Authority license fees. This is a lifetime experience and top luxury safari in Tanzania.
What Is the best time to go for Serengeti Balloon Safaris?
You can take on a balloon tour all year around however the best time to go for a hot air balloon trip in Tanzania’s open plains of Serengeti area is between March and April or November to mid -December when the vegetation is green.
What To Expect on a Balloon Safari
How Long Does the Flight last?
Hot air balloon flights last about 1 hour, to be precise, between 50 and 70 minutes till you reach the landing site. The entire balloon flight experience involving the flights, briefing, breakfast etc requires about 4 hours of your time.
How Much Weight?
As an individual, you must not weigh more than 120kgs. Passengers weighing more may pay for 2 seats during the flight.
Is a Hot Air balloon Safe?
Yes, balloon safaris are safe. The balloons are replaced every after 850 hours of flight. If the weather is bad, safety measures are taken, the trip is postponed. Free cancellation also applies.
What To wear?
Carry warm clothing, long sleeves, a hat and long pants.
Is it Cold up there?
Early mornings in Africa are always chilly but that is not the case when you are in the hot air balloon. It’s warm inside.
How Many People Fit the basket?
The larger balloons do accommodate 16 people. The Smaller ones take 8, 6 or 4 passengers. It’s also possible to have a private experience with your travel partner(s)
7 years and above is the age restriction for a balloon flight in Africa.
Other Balloon Sightseeing Tours in East Africa
Masai Mara Balloon Safaris Kenya
Visiting East Africa for a balloon safari experience in various destinations? Masai Mara is a great option as well. The hot air balloon ride in Kenya costs $ 410 and $ 300 for adults and children below the age of 12 respectively. Experience the golden view of the most visited park in Africa, Masai Mara. See the lions, elephants, Topi, Hyenas and Cheetah among other animals. In the Mara river, see schools of hippo, crocodiles and more. If you book during the months of July to October, you will witness 2 millions wildebeests, elands, gazelle and zebra at they migrate to the Serengeti.
Uganda Hot Air Balloon Safaris
Visit Murchison Falls National Park and enjoy the aerial view of river Nile. Lots of animals crowd along the banks of this longest river in Africa. See schools of hippos, crocodiles, buffaloes and more. The cost of hot air balloon safari in Uganda is $ 380 per person making it the cheapest balloon experience in East African safari destinations. Visit Queen Elizabeth National Park for buffaloes, antelopes, lions. Spectacular views of the mountains of the moon( Rwenzori), Kazinga Channel and the great rift Valley escarpments.
What is a Hot Air Balloon?
What is a balloon? It’s a large, lightweight “envelope” made of fabric and rubber. The basket underneath has seats for the passengers. Normally it takes about 4-5 people or even 16 to fill it up depending on the size of the balloon, although heavier individuals, 120kgs might have to purchase an extra seat.
How does a hot air balloon work?
Hot air balloons use the same principle as a conventional balloon, only on a larger scale. The lighter-than-air gas in the envelope of the balloon, heated by an external flame (usually propane), makes it rise. Once you’re above the ground and can no longer see it, that’s when the fun begins. The pilot takes you on a journey to places where few people have dared to go.
We all know that “up” means away from the air we breathe and toward places with less atmosphere. But how do hot air balloons get “up”? The flames in the burners heat up the gas inside the balloon and the hot air rises. Remember that rising air cools down, which is why other kinds of balloons (such as blimps) have to constantly pump in more heated gas to stay up. A hot air balloon has a flame below that heats the incoming cold air, so it can rise further than other types of balloons thus providing a wonderful experience.
The three stages of flight:
During the first stage, the pilot will bring you up slowly, since hot air balloons are extremely delicate. Once he’s at a comfortable altitude (typically 1-2 km above ground), he’ll begin to look for a good landing spot. The second stage is where you get to enjoy the scenery as you float over lakes and river like Mara and Grumeti river amidst the early morning sun. During the third stage, the pilot will lower you down slowly and bring you back to earth before landing on a spot of his choice.
At what altitudes does a hot air balloon fly? They are flown at two separate altitudes: your cruising altitude, which is where you’ll travel most of the time, and your landing altitude, which is where you’ll descend at the end of your trip.
Now that you know all about hot air balloon safaris in Tanzania, it’s time to plan your trip. Contact your tour provider or African safari company. Balloon tours will give you the chance to go beyond what you’ve seen before and dive deep into the heart of Africa’s attractions. Get ready for an unforgettable journey which can be done all year round.