Serengeti

Serengeti

Serengeti

Serengeti

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Siringet – “the place of endless plains” in the language of the Maasai.

The Serengeti. 14,763km2 of African savannah stretching as far as the eye can see. We fly here because the climate is almost perfect; the temperature seldom falls below 12° or rises above 26°. The wind blows gently and reliably for 349 days of the year. However the skies above the Serengeti put on a show as diverse as that which plays out on the ground. A dramatic thunderstorm to the west, shafts of light penetrate a shower to the east while the north and south bathe in warm sunshine. The clarity of the air affords us views of the Ngorongoro Highlands and sometimes Lake Victoria. From our lofty vantage point, we can appreciate the Serengeti in all its majestic scale, and we have a perspective untethered by the narrow confines of vehicles and roads. Read more

Where we Fly

Your experience

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From your camp to the balloon

0400 – 0515hrs

Some things are worth getting up early for and this is certainly one of them. Rising before the birds and heading out in the silence of the pre-dawn towards the launch-site is all part of the anticipation. Perhaps one of the Serengeti’s more elusive inhabitants will be caught in the headlights on this nocturnal game drive.

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Keeping safe & preparing to fly

0615 - 0645hrs

Your pilot takes you through the important safety briefing ahead of your flight as the sky begins to lighten and the crew inflates the balloon - an envelope of savannah gold and acacia green billowing into the cool morning, lit by the flames of the burners. You climb into the basket and prepare to lift into the dawn.

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Serengeti from the sky

0645 – 0815hrs

Each flight is a different journey dictated by the direction of the wind, where the sights and sounds rise from the ground to meet you. We know where we’ve started but we don’t know where we will return to earth. This is part of the adventure. Sometimes the basket will be gently brushing the tips of the grass and then climbing, climbing through the layers of air until you’re high enough to see the curve of the horizon, painted gold and pink by the early sun. Our pilots not only have years of experience in harnessing the African wind, but are also interpreters of the wild lives in the ebb and flow of the landscape below. Around an hour or so after you lift into the sky, the basket will return to the plains of the Serengeti. But it’s not over yet.

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Celebrating a tradition

0815 – 0830hrs

“The Winds have welcomed you with softness. The Sun has blessed you with its warm hands….” The balloonist’s tradition is to toast the flight with bubbly. A short walk or drive from your landing spot will find you raising a glass to your time in the skies. We then seek to take care of earthly concerns and whisk you off by safari car to our special Serengeti breakfast spot.

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Meeting hunger with plenty

0830 – 0930hrs

There is truly nothing to compare with breakfast served under the sweeping canopy of an acacia in the middle of the Serengeti plains. Tropical fruit, bread baked this morning and eggs cooked in the bush, all made more delicious by the location, and served on linen, bone china and Sheffield cutlery in an 'Out of Africa' style. Shoulder to shoulder with your fellow passengers, this is a time to soak in the exceptional flight you’ve just been a part of and absorb the moment.

More about the Serengeti

About the Serengeti

Since its early beginnings in 1921 when the first steps were made to protect this area, the Serengeti has become arguably the most famous National Park in the world, a World Heritage Site and one of the most important areas of biodiversity on our planet. Gazetted in 1951, the now 14,750kmsq of the Serengeti National Park forms part of the wider Serengeti eco-system comprising the Masai Mara, Grumeti and Maswa Game Reserves and contiguous with the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Loliondo Game Controlled Area. The diverse landscape, ranging from the quintessential plains in the south to the gallery forest of the west and the hilly woodland to the north define a park that is plentiful in bird and animal life. A typical day on safari can be as varied as the topography, with surprises around every corner.

The Migration

Since 1989 we have flown on the warm coastal winds that feed the richly nutritious grass plains of the south with ash from volcanoes. This is where animals in their millions choose to have their young. Much of the attention is on this, “the largest ungulate migration on earth” and indeed the sight of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, Thomson's gazelle and zebra in synchrony, driven by the common instincts to seek food and reproduce, is something that is hard to crystallise into words. It is about the vast scale of nature and yet it is also the story of each individual as it traces its journey across the grassland towards that far horizon. The wildebeest migration is a year round phenomenon, but you have to be in the right place at the right time to see it.

So much more

So much, and yet so much more if you look a little closer. A vulture sheltering a single marble-white egg in an acacia-top eyrie. The broad, twitching ears and masked-face of a bat-eared fox crouching in the warm early morning sun. Ambling groups of elephant pacing along the riverbank, pausing to feed or to bath in the muddy shallows. Beyond the grand spectacle of the wildebeest migration there are constant small vignettes as wild animals go about their own lives and we have the privilege to observe them and be part of the scene. Amongst the many things to see on safari are the interactions between the wildlife and their environment; ecology played out in front of your very eyes.

Conservation

We are proud to be part of the ongoing efforts to conserve this remarkable part of our heritage, and our future. We support the critical anti-poaching work of the Frankfurt Zoological Society. Bernhard Gzrimek (President of FZS for over 40 years) was instrumental in the formation of the Serengeti back in the 1950s and the organisation maintains his commitment to the Park to this day. We also feel that it is through education that adjacent communities will know the importance, and feel the value of, conservation and to this end we support specific projects at the Robanda Secondary School through Focus on Tanzanian Communities (FoTZC). A Tanzanian safari directly contributes to the sustainability of this great eco-system, and to the engagement of its people in managing it for future generations. For more information on our commitment to conservation, please follow this link.

More about: Ndutu

This area of southern Serengeti is where the gently rolling short-grass plains meet the vast sky at the far horizon. Humbling spaces, ever shifting arrangements of light, cloud and wildlife on an epic scale make this ideal ballooning country. A million wildebeest amass to feed on grass made rich by the volcanic ash that settles here on warm coastal winds, and remain to bear their young. From above, the patterns of the herds as they spread and regroup can be mesmerizing and you can see for miles – from the Ngorongoro Highlands and Gol Mountains right across the endless plains of the greater Serengeti. Predators too are always present here, and a cohort of herbivores and birds, great and small, all playing their own roles in this vital ecosystem.

More about: Central Serengeti

The waters of the Seronera River, along which our flight path most often lies, feeds the Central Serengeti and its resident wildlife. The year-round water and grazing means a dependable game experience, where crocodile and great pods of hippo bask in the shallows and fish eagles glide between the acacia trees on the banks. Lion are regular visitors here as is the odd leopard, draped soporifically over a gnarly bough. The migration of wildebeest and zebra moves through here in search of fresh grazing between March and June, dispersing and re-grouping as they wend their way gently north. They return in November & December on their way to breed in the south. Whether viewing the action from just above the treetops or from 500 feet above, the feeling of being in a balloon is one of unbounded freedom.

More about: Western Serengeti

A unique ecosystem defined by an ancient pocket of Central African forest and the Grumeti River makes for an extraordinary balloon flight. On a clear day, it is possible to spot a ship on the inland sea of Lake Victoria 20miles (30km) away while floating several hundred feet above the Serengeti. On the ground below reside unusual birds, colobus monkeys, some of the largest crocodiles you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting, and a good concentration of giraffe, elephant, topi and lion to mention but a few. It is a quieter area of the Serengeti with very much its own particular flavour. During May to July, the wildebeest migration must cross the river, weaving between the giant crocs and trying to avoid the predators on the banks. It makes for exciting viewing.

More about: Northern Serengeti

Between June/July and November, a million and a half ungulates arrive to feed on the rain-fed grass of the northern plains around the Mara River near the border between Tanzania and Kenya. They cloud-chase back and forth, seeking the most succulent grazing, braving the crocodiles that lie in wait in the river and the lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena that prowl the wooded streambeds. Lone acacias and mesa-topped hills dot the waving grassy plains of this quintessentially African landscape. It’s a beautiful area to soar above with plenty to see and photograph. Untethered by roads, it’s possible to escape some of the more popular areas and enjoy the peace of the endless skies, making ballooning one of the most rewarding activities on safari in the Serengeti.

More about the Serengeti

About the Serengeti

Since its early beginnings in 1921 when the first steps were made to protect this area, the Serengeti has become arguably the most famous National Park in the world, a World Heritage Site and one of the most important areas of biodiversity on our planet. Gazetted in 1951, the now 14,750kmsq of the Serengeti National Park forms part of the wider Serengeti eco-system comprising the Masai Mara, Grumeti and Maswa Game Reserves and contiguous with the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Loliondo Game Controlled Area. The diverse landscape, ranging from the quintessential plains in the south to the gallery forest of the west and the hilly woodland to the north define a park that is plentiful in bird and animal life. A typical day on safari can be as varied as the topography, with surprises around every corner.

The Migration

Since 1989 we have flown on the warm coastal winds that feed the richly nutritious grass plains of the south with ash from volcanoes. This is where animals in their millions choose to have their young. Much of the attention is on this, “the largest ungulate migration on earth” and indeed the sight of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest, Thomson's gazelle and zebra in synchrony, driven by the common instincts to seek food and reproduce, is something that is hard to crystallise into words. It is about the vast scale of nature and yet it is also the story of each individual as it traces its journey across the grassland towards that far horizon. The wildebeest migration is a year round phenomenon, but you have to be in the right place at the right time to see it.

So much more

So much, and yet so much more if you look a little closer. A vulture sheltering a single marble-white egg in an acacia-top eyrie. The broad, twitching ears and masked-face of a bat-eared fox crouching in the warm early morning sun. Ambling groups of elephant pacing along the riverbank, pausing to feed or to bath in the muddy shallows. Beyond the grand spectacle of the wildebeest migration there are constant small vignettes as wild animals go about their own lives and we have the privilege to observe them and be part of the scene. Amongst the many things to see on safari are the interactions between the wildlife and their environment; ecology played out in front of your very eyes.

Conservation

We are proud to be part of the ongoing efforts to conserve this remarkable part of our heritage, and our future. We support the critical anti-poaching work of the Frankfurt Zoological Society. Bernhard Gzrimek (President of FZS for over 40 years) was instrumental in the formation of the Serengeti back in the 1950s and the organisation maintains his commitment to the Park to this day. We also feel that it is through education that adjacent communities will know the importance, and feel the value of, conservation and to this end we support specific projects at the Robanda Secondary School through Focus on Tanzanian Communities (FoTZC). A Tanzanian safari directly contributes to the sustainability of this great eco-system, and to the engagement of its people in managing it for future generations. For more information on our commitment to conservation, please follow this link.

More about: Ndutu

This area of southern Serengeti is where the gently rolling short-grass plains meet the vast sky at the far horizon. Humbling spaces, ever shifting arrangements of light, cloud and wildlife on an epic scale make this ideal ballooning country. A million wildebeest amass to feed on grass made rich by the volcanic ash that settles here on warm coastal winds, and remain to bear their young. From above, the patterns of the herds as they spread and regroup can be mesmerizing and you can see for miles – from the Ngorongoro Highlands and Gol Mountains right across the endless plains of the greater Serengeti. Predators too are always present here, and a cohort of herbivores and birds, great and small, all playing their own roles in this vital ecosystem.

More about: Central Serengeti

The waters of the Seronera River, along which our flight path most often lies, feeds the Central Serengeti and its resident wildlife. The year-round water and grazing means a dependable game experience, where crocodile and great pods of hippo bask in the shallows and fish eagles glide between the acacia trees on the banks. Lion are regular visitors here as is the odd leopard, draped soporifically over a gnarly bough. The migration of wildebeest and zebra moves through here in search of fresh grazing between March and June, dispersing and re-grouping as they wend their way gently north. They return in November & December on their way to breed in the south. Whether viewing the action from just above the treetops or from 500 feet above, the feeling of being in a balloon is one of unbounded freedom.

More about: Western Serengeti

A unique ecosystem defined by an ancient pocket of Central African forest and the Grumeti River makes for an extraordinary balloon flight. On a clear day, it is possible to spot a ship on the inland sea of Lake Victoria 20miles (30km) away while floating several hundred feet above the Serengeti. On the ground below reside unusual birds, colobus monkeys, some of the largest crocodiles you’ll ever have the pleasure of meeting, and a good concentration of giraffe, elephant, topi and lion to mention but a few. It is a quieter area of the Serengeti with very much its own particular flavour. During May to July, the wildebeest migration must cross the river, weaving between the giant crocs and trying to avoid the predators on the banks. It makes for exciting viewing.

More about: Northern Serengeti

Between June/July and November, a million and a half ungulates arrive to feed on the rain-fed grass of the northern plains around the Mara River near the border between Tanzania and Kenya. They cloud-chase back and forth, seeking the most succulent grazing, braving the crocodiles that lie in wait in the river and the lion, cheetah, leopard and hyena that prowl the wooded streambeds. Lone acacias and mesa-topped hills dot the waving grassy plains of this quintessentially African landscape. It’s a beautiful area to soar above with plenty to see and photograph. Untethered by roads, it’s possible to escape some of the more popular areas and enjoy the peace of the endless skies, making ballooning one of the most rewarding activities on safari in the Serengeti.

Booking & FAQs

We partner with many reputable tour operators and you can book your wonderful balloon safari  through one of them. If you have any difficulty booking Serengeti Balloon Safaris at any point, please do get in touch using the form below:

Do I need to book in advance?

We do strongly recommend that you book in advance with your tour operator. We have limited capacity and this exclusive adventure is frequently fully booked. 

When is the best time of year for ballooning in Serengeti?

We are fortunate that the weather in the Serengeti is suitable for ballooning almost every day of the year. We fly in the following areas every morning:

Serengeti - Central – Year Round Serengeti/Ngorongoro - Ndutu - 20 Dec – 31 March

Serengeti - Western - June - October

Serengeti - Northern - July - November

Safari wildlife viewing varies depending on the time of year and location, and the wildebeest migration moves through the ecosystem year-round so although there are no guarantees, if you're in the right place at the right time, you have a good chance of seeing plenty of wildlife.

When is the best time of year for ballooning in Ruaha?

Ruaha has ideal conditions for ballooning. We currently fly every morning during the main season: Ruaha - June – October.

Things to see on safari here vary greatly from the Serengeti and the scenery and wildlife are both very different.

What about the "rainy season"?

We prefer to call them the GREEN SEASONS. The ‘long rains’ (late March to early June) & the ‘short rains’ (November to mid December). In the Serengeti, the great migration passes through Central Serengeti during the green seasons. At these times it USUALLY rains late afternoon and during the night. Mornings are USUALLY bright and clear with gentle winds (ideal ballooning weather!). The landscape is lush, green and dust free (yes, your vehicle may get stuck in the mud – but our balloon won’t!) In Ruaha – rains tend to fall from November to April/May. During the rest of the year, rain is unusual but as ever, we can’t completely predict the weather.

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