Hot air ballooning is a fantastic mixture of personal challenge, adventure, discovering the unknown, and most importantly, fun! A hot air balloon can lift you to marvellous heights, from which you are provided with exquisite, uninterrupted views of the gorgeous landscapes below you. It is an incredibly romantic experience with a partner, and one of the best ways in which to do some terrific game viewing.
A hot air balloon is made up of a bag called the ‘envelope’ that can contains highly heated air. Suspended below is a gondola or wicker basket in which passengers and a source of heat (typically an open flame) are carried. The envelope’s heated air makes the aircraft buoyant due to its lower density than that of the exterior colder air. The balloons can fly to relatively high altitudes, with a record height of 15,000 metres, but as with all aircrafts cannot elevate beyond the atmosphere.
A trip in a hot air balloon will normally start just before the sun rises. You will slowly lift off the land to a height of between 10-20 metres, where you will lazily drift along with the wind. At this height, you are provided an awe-inspiring view of the sunrise, and have a wonderful vantage point from which to spot animals on the landscapes below. The panoramic vistas that you gain from this height are simple breathtaking, allowing you to observe as the light from the sun spreads to the opposite horizon.
Though hot air ballooning in South Africa can be rather expensive, the experience is unforgettable and cannot be achieved any other way. Ballooning is extremely peaceful and is perfect for people of any age.
Your flight in a hot air balloon will typically last up to about an hour, with most operators ending off the tour with a champagne breakfast once you’re back on solid ground. The activity is very popular in South Africa, so be sure to book your trip at least two weeks in advance. Hot air ballooning is a magnificent experience that leaves you with a lingering warm glow long after it’s over. It is highly recommended to anyone paying a visit to the beautiful land of South Africa.