3 Days Budget Safari
Tarangire, Lake Manyara & Ngorongoro
Serengeti Balloon Safari
For your Serengeti hot-air balloon trip in northern Tanzania, you will be collected around 0500 hours. An hour predawn drive through the bush to your launch site is a delight in itself. You may see nocturnal animals in the headlights that you could not have encountered any other way.
Near a river like Seronera or Grumeti, you may meet grazing hippo. On the plains, a lioness may return from her kill, a hyena slinking in her wake. In the cool early morning, a light-weight long-sleeved jacket and long trousers are a wise idea, with sturdy shoes. Remember to take your binoculars and DSLR camera to make the most of this highlight of your Serengeti excursion.
The huge balloon inflates swaying impatiently as it lifts. The intermittent roaring of the burner reminds you to put on your hat as it can get quite warm overhead. Assistants hold the basket steady, ensuring it remains level during take-off. Then comes the heart-stopping moment when you lose touch with the earth and become part of the dawn.
As you ascend, the sky lightens from purple to pink. The sun clears the horizon, flooding the Serengeti plains with golden light. Your stomach clenches as you look out over your unobstructed basket side to the receding earth. Losing contact with the ground or the feeling of being totally at the mercy of the wind can cause an atavistic shudder.
For an hour, you will have no control over where you go or what you see. However skillful your pilot, he can only go where the wind takes him, so you need to accept your helplessness, let yourself experience the enriching sights, sounds and sensations of your flight as well as the emotions it arouses.