The experience begins when you arrive at the launch site in the heart of the Masai Mara National Game Reserve. It is dark and you can hear animals grazing close by, with the occasional lion roaring in the distance at his early morning ‘kill’, but the immediate sense is of activity as our crew team are bustling around the balloon basket and the balloon envelope laid out on the ground ready for inflation.
1. Pickup and Transfers
One of our drivers will normally visit your lodge the evening before the flight to agree the time for collection in the morning, answer any questions on what to wear and to bring with you. Departure is from your lodge where you are collected by one of our drivers in our 4×4 safari vehicles before dawn (normally between 4.30am and 5.00am).
2. Briefing and Inflation
In line with all Aircraft Operators, there is a pre-flight security check before attending the Launch site. Smoking or vaping is not permitted near on or the balloon flight, so lighters are collected and returned after the flight. This is for your safety and security.
The pilot will give a pre-flight Safety briefing either outside of the basket or once you have climbed safely into the basket. He/She will take you through safety aspects and Landing procedures for your safety and comfort. These all meet with international standards.
We have many international customers flying with us, so we also carry visual diagrams of the Landing position to ensure good understanding of the requirements. Many of our drivers and pilots speak more than one language.
3. Take off and Flight
You will often be seated in the basket prior to Take-off. The pilot will inflate the balloon and when it is safe to do so and the balloon is standing upright, he will tell you to stand-up, your adventure has really begun. The sharp-eyed will spot animals quickly; what never fails to amaze is the natural camouflage African wildlife has. Gently gliding with the wind over the plains of the Masai Mara, the silence, beauty and magnitude is breathtaking!
4. Celebration and breakfast
Once the balloon has landed, the pilot will ask you to stay in the basket until he has deflated the balloon and the ground crew and drivers have arrived to pack the balloon away. This is the Masai Mara and wild animals may be close by: so passengers are asked to stay close to the basket until the drivers arrive. In most cases they are there as you land.
Your Balloon Safari Masai Mara finishes with a flourish. In the time celebrated tradition of balloon flights the world over, you toast your return to earth with breakfast in the Masai Mara (complete with sparkling wine), served in the bush close to wherever you land. Your lodge drivers will collect you from the bush breakfast and return you safely to your lodge with a game drive.