There's no more thrilling way to see Africa's incredible landscapes and animals than from a hot air balloon. Silently float over herds of game and see picturesque vistas from the ultimate vantage point -- the air! Here's a roundup of the best places for a hot air balloon safari in Africa.
(Photo courtesy of Air To Air Africa)
1. Cradle of Humankind, South Africa
Situated just outside the busy city of Johannesburg, this World Heritage Site is primarily famous for its ancient fossil discoveries. But the surrounding Magaliesburg mountains with their undulating forms and palette of soft colors are worth checking out, from above. Head up with Air To Air Africa from Heia Safari Private Game Reserve for an early morning ride over the stunning countryside.
(Photo courtesy of Serengeti Balloon Safaris)
2. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
After your early morning pick-up by Serengeti Balloon Safaris, you'll be taken to the launch site, where you'll see your balloon being inflated. Soon you'll be up in the air watching the sun rise over the mighty Serengeti. You'll witness immense herds of animals as they wake and move through this incredible landscape.
(Photo courtesy of Public Domain Images)
3. Cape Winelands, South Africa
Andulela can take you over some of the world-famous vineyards just outside of Cape Town. The one-hour flight also includes a delicious champagne breakfast at Grand Roche in Paarl.
(Photo courtesy of Namibsky)
4. Sossusvlei, Namibia
Head to Namib Naukluft Park in Sossusvlei -- one of the most beautiful regions in Namibia- and enjoy a hot air balloon safari with Namibsky. The Namib Desert, with its enormous sandy dunes, rocky mountains and stunning wildlife, is a photographer's dream.
5. Luxor, Egypt
Enjoy a hot air balloon "safari" with Sinbad Balloons. Drift along the west bank of the Nile and get a birds-eye view of the pyramids and monuments of Thebes.
6. Kruger National Park, South Africa
Head out to the famous Kruger National Park in South Africa and catch the first rays of African sunlight on a hot air balloon safari with African Travel. With the Klein Drakensberg Mountains in the west and stunning bushveld as far the eye can see below, you'll enjoy the park as it changes from darkness to a bustling haven of animal activity.
7. Kafue National Park, Zambia
The Busanga Plains of Zambia's Kafue National Park are best admired on a Wilderness Safaris' balloon safari. Because of the remoteness of the 28,000 hectare Busanga Concession, this destination is the most exclusive hot air ballooning destination in Africa. It has spectacular wildlife, including thousands of red lechwe, puku, hippo and buffalo. You'll also be treated to a delicious champagne breakfast.
8. Oudtshoorn, South Africa
One of the best activities in Oudtshoorn is a hot air balloon excursion with Dirty Boots. The one-hour flight takes you 1000 feet into the air over the Klein Karoo and majestic Swartland Mountains. The trip departs just before sunrise, when the light is at its most beautiful.
(Photo courtesy of Pilanesberg Game Reserve
9. Pilanesberg Game Reserve, South Africa
Head to one of South Africa's most beautiful and accessible game reserves and enjoy a hot air balloon safari with Gametrackers Outdoor Adventures. Spot the Big Five from the sky on the one-hour flight before enjoying some sparkling wine.
(Photo courtesy of Godwana Tours & Safari)
10. Okavango Delta, Botswana
For a different perspective on the amazing Okavango Delta, go on a hot air balloon safari with Godwana Tours & Safari. Watch as elephants bathe, crocodiles feed, and boats meander down this one-of-a-kind inland waterway.
(Photo courtesy of Gamewatchers Safaris)
11. Great Rift Valley, Kenya
Head out just before sunrise with Gamewatchers Safaris to experience Kenya's Great Rift Valley. Early morning is the best time to see wild animals in the Masai Mara Game Reserve, and this one-hour flight showcases exactly that. You'll also enjoy a champagne breakfast in the bush after landing.
(Photo courtesy of Complete Morocco)
12. Marrakech, Morocco
Explore the beauty of Marrakech and the surrounding area by air with Complete Morocco. It's quite a treat to see this bustling, noisy city in complete silence. You'll also be treated to views of small towns below, and the Atlas mountains in the distance.
13. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe/Zambia
To see the magnitude of Zimbabwe's main attraction, head out on a hot air balloon safari. Unlike a crowded ground-based tours, in the air you'll get a unique view of the falls surrounded by a maximum of just five people.
(Luca Galuzzi/Wikimedia Commons)
14. Sahara Desert, Tunisia
Watch the sun rise over the golden dunes of the Sahara while floating almost 1,000 feet from the ground. Head out with Aeroasis which offers trips from both Douz and Tozeur.
(Photo courtesy of Sun Catchers Hot Air Ballooning)
15. Hoedspruit, South Africa
With Sun Catchers Hot Air Ballooning, you can go on an hour-long hot air balloon safari over Hoedspruit at the foot of the Drakensberg Escarpment. The company offers flights over the Lowveld section of the Blyde River where you'll see a mixture of farmland, private nature reserves and wildlife estates.
By Lara Moses
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