A Serengeti balloon safari is the finest way to experience the national park’s magnificence. Imagine hovering above the Serengeti plains in utter silence, skimming the treetops and viewing wildlife on the ground below.
This is a must-do safari experience for Serengeti National Park visitors with incredible views of the Big 5, flora and breathtaking landscapes.
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The best Serengeti hot air balloon safari tours
Price of a Serengeti balloon safari
Hot-air balloon trips are fairly expensive, with conservation fees accounting for a significant portion of the price. The cost of a hot air balloon ride begins at $550 per person.
One reason for this is that balloons have a limited lifespan and must be changed after a specific number of hours. Balloons are retired after around 850 flight hours, and a new balloon must be purchased to assure the safety of those on board.
The cost of fuel and personnel to operate the hot air balloon also contributes to the price of hot air balloon trips. Six crew members and a qualified balloon pilot are on board, as are ten others who operate behind the scenes with rescue trucks, transfers, and backup operations.
Breakdown of a Serengeti balloon safari
Hot air balloon safari highlights
- See the Big 5 including lions, elephants and African buffaloes from above, a unique perspective on these incredible animals and their migration patterns
- Experience the silence as you float above the plains, forest and the rivers
- Private tour guide in English and other languages
- Champagne style bush breakfast
- Optional guided walks afterwards with professional guides
Balloon safari inclusions
The following details typical tour inclusions and exclusions on a balloon safari in the Serengeti:
|Tour inclusions||Tour exclusions|
|Transfer from your safari camp or lodge||International/domestic flight transfers|
|Experienced english-speaking guide||Tips to the pilot|
|Park entrance fees||Optional guided walking activities and cultural experiences|
|Conservancy or national reserve landing fees|
Hot air balloon safari essentials and information
What animals will I see on a Serengeti balloon safari?
The Serengeti is home to the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and African buffalo) and is also one of the world’s oldest and most scientifically significant ecosystems. Its weather patterns, fauna, and flora are said to have changed little in a million years, giving the area a prehistoric atmosphere.
The Serengeti Plains topography is also incredibly diverse, ranging from savannah to steep woods to open meadows.Aside from rhinos and hunting dogs, visitors to the Serengeti can easily view every type of African savanna mammal. Due to the broad grass plains where grazing animals congregate, predators are plentiful and easy to see, especially from above.
The Serengeti also contains a high concentration of lions with over 3,000 of them found in the park and about 1.5 million wildebeests. A view of these huge beasts crossing the crocodile infested river Mara has been included in the 7 wonders of natural Africa.
What should I bring on a Serengeti hot air balloon safari?
Visitors should remember to bring some warm clothing, and a bag in which you can secure a camera, binoculars, and other personal items. Tour companies can arrange departures for the Serengeti balloon safari from most lodges and camps in the Greater Mara area.
Booking in advance is strongly recommended as hot air balloon safaris are a very popular activity and can get booked out early (especially during peak season).
What time do the Serengeti hot air balloon safaris typically depart at?
Hot air balloon safaris in the Serengeti typically depart at sunrise, meaning visitors will need to wake up early between 4am and 5am. It is however well and truly worth it as nothing beats the sensation of freedom and thrill that comes with soaring high above the African plains.
As your guide leads you to the balloon launch site, your excitement will rise. While you sip your hot beverage, the balloon crew will fill your balloon and arrange everything for take-off.
Your pilot will give you a briefing before releasing the balloon once you have filled it and climbed into the basket underneath it. As the sun begins to rise, the balloon will gently climb into the sky, displaying a beautiful color display of blazing reds and golds.
What happens if the weather is poor?
Because the hot air ballooning team prioritizes safety, your flight may be canceled if weather conditions are poor. If this occurs, you will be scheduled for a later flight as soon as possible. If this is not feasible, you will be refunded.
Visitors may also take a guided safari vehicle tour of the savannah and travel over the vast plains. A pre-dawn trip offers intriguing insights into animal behavior, with hyenas congregating around carcasses, newborn elephants interacting with birds, and gazelles bounding over the grasslands.
Is a balloon ride in the Serengeti worth it?
A hot air balloon safari experience in the Serengeti is well and truly worth it with guests taking in a very unique perspective of the incredible wildlife, landscape and fauna from above on a tranquil journey that will never be forgotten.
How long is a balloon safari in the Serengeti?
A hot air balloon safari in the Serengeti can last from one hour to four hours or even spread out over a multi-day trip, observing the park’s diverse fauna, wildlife and incredible surroundings from above combined with a champagne breakfast and game viewing drive across the plains.
How much is a balloon safari in the Serengeti?
Hot air balloon safaris in the Serengeti can start from US $550 per person for a half day trip, inclusive of a champagne breakfast and game viewing drive over the savannah.