Hot air balloon rides are exhilarating in any setting. A hot air balloon safari over Masai Mara National Reserve, though, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. We highly recommend that adventurous guests plan to stay at the reserve for at least three days to allow time for this activity along with your other safari activities such game drives, bush walks, village visits and more. Additionally, hot air balloon flights need to be pre-arranged by your AfricanMecca trip representative to ensure guaranteed availability due to the limited space of only 16 passengers in a balloon.
The balloons can accommodate adults and children, with some limitations. Children must be at least four years old and must be accommodation by a parent or guardian. We recommend that adults be in good physical condition. Adults who are over 265 lbs (120 kg) may be required to purchase an additional spot on the balloon (twice the cost) for safety precautions, though this can be waived depending on flight occupancy at the discretion and prior approval from the pilot. For our guests who have not been on a hot air ballooning excursion in Africa or elsewhere, we offer some general information about how a hot air balloon works and what to expect.
Typically, staff of 20-25 people are required for the launch and recovery. When you arrive at the launch site, you may have a chance to see the balloon, also known as an “envelope,” being inflated. The ground crew opens the envelope by laying it across the ground. A large fan is used to inflate the envelope partially. When the envelope is about half-full, the crew attaches the basket and burner. The basket remains fully secured to the ground during inflation. The burner is used to inflate the envelope fully.