If you ever want to enjoy a balloon safari ride in Kenya, Amboseli National is the place you need to be. Located in the south-eastern part of Kenya in the Kajiado district, Amboseli offers hot air balloon rides among other activities with the best views of the National Park. The hot air balloon rides in Amboseli are carried out on s daily but can easily be cancelled if there is any change in the weather.
The cost of the balloon ride normally ranges from $500 to $600 per person. The money paid helps in maintaining the balloons and baskets and also caters to all the post activities like the bush breakfast and the champagne. There is a limit to the weight that is supposed to be carried by the balloon for example those that are 125 kilograms and more have to book two places. Each balloon ride will have an experienced pilot with a team helping him out. Children who are below 7 years will not be allowed to participate in the balloon safari activity.
How high do the hot air balloons fly?
The hot air balloon rides in Amboseli National park can go as high as 3000 meters from the ground. It allows you to see the snow-capped peak of Mountain Kilimanjaro and enjoy the wildlife from a different perspective.
What can I bring for the balloon ride?
Since you are going to be floating about 3000 meters above the ground, you will need a few things, and, the most important things that you can carry include a camera, extra camera batteries, and binoculars to help you see everything that is in the distance.
What should I wear for the balloon ride?
You need to wear something comfortable. Unlike the common thought, the temperatures as the balloons go up change but the truth is the temperatures up are similar to those while on the ground and therefore you need to dress comfortably and appropriately according to the weather.
Is hot air ballooning dangerous?
No, ballooning in Amboseli National Park is not dangerous at all. The balloons and baskets that are used are made using strong and modern materials making them safe for riding. The flight is always smooth and the baskets are always checked before and after the rides. Note that the person who is flying the balloons is experienced and will make sure that you are comfortable. The ride might feel a bit bumpy as it starts to rise but later on you get used to the air pressure and start enjoying the ride. Do not be afraid to go for hot air balloon rides because they are fun and a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
How long does the ride take and what happens after landing?
The balloon ride starts as early as 5:30 am to 6:00 am and will take about an hour after ascent. The pilot will land in an area that is free of wild animals. Upon descent, you will find a tour vehicle waiting for you from where you will find a bush breakfast waiting for you and a champagne toast for everyone who has participated in the balloon ride.
Which direction does the balloon take?
The balloon floats in the direction in which the wind is blowing. The pilot of the balloon and the chase crew is always in touch with each other so that they get to know the direction the balloon has taken. The fact that each balloon ride takes a different direction makes each ride unique and fun.
The balloon safari step by step
To enjoy your balloon ride in Amboseli all, you have to do is try and keep time because the pilots are time cautious and in case you are late, you might miss out on the ride. Below is a tentative step-by-step process that is supposed to be followed.
- You will have to wake up an hour early at about 5:00 am
- Guests are picked from their lodges after taking coffee or tea.
- The briefing will be done at 6:00 am for the pilots
- After the briefing, it is take off time
- After an hour, you will land and toast champagne and enjoy a bush breakfast before enjoying other activities around the National Park.
Do we get a briefing on what to expect on a balloon ride?
Yes, a day before the balloon ride, you are briefed about what to expect, and the time and the pilots are also briefed about how to treat the tourists, the exact time of starting the ride, and at what time to pick you up from the lodge. You need to remember that the balloons are controlled by weather and any slight change in the weather can lead to the cancellation of the hot air balloon ride.
What should I expect from the balloon ride?
Hot air balloon rides are some of the best ways in which you can explore the Amboseli National Park. There are several exciting things that you get to see while on a hot air balloon safari in Amboseli and these include Mountain Kilimanjaro, the observation hill, animals, birds, Lake Amboseli, swamps, wetlands, and the surrounding areas. The balloon rides offer a great aerial view of Amboseli National Park and the surrounding areas including the Masai villages.
When to go for the balloon ride
The best time to go for hot air balloon rides in Amboseli is during the dry season which is from June to October and January to February this is because the winds during the dry season are favorable and it is also the best time to watch and observe the animals in the park. The safari is also offered during the wet season but if the winds are heavy, it is cancelled and your money refunded or rescheduled to another day in case you still have more days on your safari.
Hot air balloon rides in Amboseli are on high demand with a maximum of 16 people which means that you need to book early enough to be able to participate. So if you are asking yourself whether balloon rides are worth it, the answer is yes. They might be a bit expensive but they are worth every penny.