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Hot Air Balloon Safaris

Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya

(Hot Air Balloon Safaris offers balloon flights in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve from the Talek region. The Mara is the northernmost part of the spectacular Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, home to the “Great Migration” and scores of other wildlife, including lions, cheetahs, elephants, rhinos, hippos, and crocodiles.)




Hot Air Balloon Safaris

Hot Air Balloon Safaris View Rates, Discounted Prices - Book & Save Now!

Hot Air Balloon Safaris offers balloon flights in Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve from the Talek region. The Mara is the northernmost part of the spectacular Serengeti-Mara ecosystem, home to the “Great Migration” and scores of other wildlife, including lions, cheetahs, elephants, rhinos, hippos, and crocodiles.


Hot Air Balloon Safaris balloons are made in Bristol, England, by Cameron balloons. Cameron is the most experienced builder of “safari ride” balloons in the world, having placed balloons in Africa for over 30 years. They operate two “A415” balloons: each balloon envelope holds 415,000 cubic feet of air.


To heat the air inside the envelope, we use state-of-the-art “shadow and stealth” burners, which are designed to make as little noise as possible, thus decreasing our impact on the environment. Hot Air Balloon Safaris baskets are specially designed and have been modified over the years to accommodate the particular demands of safari-flying.


The baskets are divided into 4 compartments, each able to accommodate up to 4 people. For safety and comfort, the sides of the baskets are relatively high and well padded. There are also well-cushioned seats and secure handles made of rope for use during take-off and landing.




Non-Residents Balloon Flight Rates

Dates From
Dates To
Adult Per Person

Per Child Sharing

(Below 11 Years)

1st Jan 2013
2nd Jan 2014
455 US Dollars
250 US Dollars



* All children flying have to be accompanied by an adult

* Hot Air Balloon Safaris does not carry children under 3 years of age
Child Policy: 3 - 11 years is consider a child above 12 years is considered and adult




Hot Air Balloon Safari Program
0500 Hours: On the day of your balloon flight, one of our custom safari vehicles will collect you from your camp or lodge at around 5AM to drive you to the launch site. You will arrive at the launch site by 6AM, and can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea while you watch the balloons being prepared for take-off.


You will then meet your pilot, who will give you a safety briefing as well as explain what you can expect during your flight. There are basic toilet facilities available at the launch site.

0630 Hours: You will then be loaded into your balloon basket for take-off just before sunrise, at about 6:30AM. The flight will last approximately one hour, depending on wind conditions, and the balloon will land between 7:30 and 7:45AM. You can learn more about what you will see here.

Upon landing, you can observe the complete deflation of the balloon envelope. Our vehicles will then transport you a short distance to breakfast.

Breakfast: Our breakfast is set up on the picturesque savannah plains of the Mara, typically under the shade of a single acacia tree. You will sit down to a full bush breakfast in the Kenyan style, complete with eggs-to-order, fresh juices, waiters in traditional Swahili attire, and, of course, champagne.

During breakfast, you can also peruse the photos your pilot has taken during the flight, and decide whether you would like to purchase the photos, or any of the other Hot Air Safaris merchandise on display.

0900 Hours: After breakfast, at about 9AM, you will have a game drive back to your camp or lodge. Depending on what you find along the way, the game drive usually takes about one and a half hours. Our drivers are all experienced safari guides who have attained their “bronze” level guiding certificate from the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association. Our drivers have also undertaken strict in-house training to ensure the safety and enjoyment of your game drive.

By 10:30AM you should be back at your camp or lodge, already reliving the memories of the morning’s flight.


Hot Air Balloon Safaris Hot Air Balloon Safaris


Hot Air Balloon Safaris Pilots
Hot Air Balloon Safaris
pilots hold commercial pilot licenses and undergo stringent annual checks by experienced examiners, as required by Kenyan law. In addition, they hold “bronze” level certificates from the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association and possess excellent knowledge of the local wildlife, environment, and Masai culture.

Chief Pilot: Captain Andrew R. Peart
Andrew grew up on a ranch in Zimbabwe, and has had a life-long love for wildlife. He began his ballooning career in 1988, and has worked as a commercial balloon pilot in Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Italy, the United Kingdom, Tanzania, and Kenya. He has worked in East Africa since 1994, mainly in the Mara and Serengeti National Park.


Last year he flew the first balloons over Tarangire National Park (Tanzania), and he has recently enjoyed some flying over Amboseli National Park (Kenya), next to Mount Kilimanjaro. Andrew is one of the most experienced commercial pilots in Kenya, having accumulated over 3500 flying hours. He absolutely loves flying, as well as sharing his knowledge of the wildlife below: there is no other work he could imagine doing.


Andrew has always dreamed of starting his own balloon company in the Mara, and is thrilled to see this dream become a reality as he and his partners launch Hot Air Safaris. In his free time, Andrew enjoys motorcycling, bicycling, golf, listening to live music, and spending time with his family. Andrew, his wife, Meseret, and daughter, Alisha, split their time between their homes in the Mara and Nairobi.


Line Pilot: Captain Rizwan Jiwa
‘Riz’ was born and raised in Kenya, grew up in Nairobi and travelled widely as a child with his outdoor oriented family. His flying career began with a fixed wing pilots’ license, which was hardly used as a camp manager in the Masai Mara. It was during this time that he met Andrew, and with that meeting came the opportunity to experience the magic of ballooning.


It didn’t take long before Riz decided to become an ‘Aeronaut’, and he travelled to the world renowned ballooning destination of Albuquerque, New Mexico, for his training. Since 2009 he has worked in Amboseli, in the South East of Kenya, flying passengers to view the highest mountain in Africa Mt. Kilimanjaro, as well as the abundant wildlife in the area.


Riz’s studies in Sport, Recreation and Tourism have allowed him to work in a fascinating variety of fields, including teaching swimming and physical education, managing a health centre and being the voice of daily sports updates on Nairobi’s ‘Capital FM’ and ‘Nation FM’ radio stations.


However his career in tourism started as a Camp Manager, Guide and host, meaning Riz is no stranger to sharing his passion for the wilderness and how to enjoy it best. In his own words – ‘I’m a safari guide that flies.’

Riz comes from an active background, and played competitive squash until a few years ago, he enjoys motorcycling, Landrovers and 4-wheel-driving, all kinds of sports and photography, and his partner Anja and him share their time between family in Nairobi, Denmark, and their home in the Masai Mara.



Are your balloons safe?
Hot Air Balloon Safaris
balloons are manufactured to the highest safety standards possible. Conventional hot air balloons also have the best safety record by far of all forms of aviation.

Is there a minimum age or maximum weight limit?
Hot Air Balloon Safaris
does not fly children under the age of 3 years. While they do not have a weight limit, they do request that you let them know in advance if you weigh over 250 pounds, so that we can adjust the weight distribution in the basket if necessary.

How does the pilot control the balloon?
The balloon goes with the wind, but at different altitudes the wind often flows in different directions; by expertly navigating this vertical landscape the pilot finds some directional control. In order to gain or lose altitude, the pilot manipulates the temperature of the air inside the balloon envelope using burners fueled by butane gas.


When heat is added, the balloon rises: add more heat and it rises more quickly. In order to descend, the pilot allows the balloon to cool naturally. The cooler the air inside the balloon becomes the more quickly it descends. Sometimes when the balloon is descending for landing the pilot actually adds some heat to slow down the rate of descent.

Are take-off and landing rough?
Take-off is generally quite gentle, although it may be a bit fast in windy conditions. If the wind is above 15 knots at the take-off site, we will not fly due to safety concerns. About 50% of our landings are what we call a “tip over” landing, where the balloon basket drags along the ground for about 20 meters before coming to a stop lying on its side. There can be a few bumps; however most of our guests experience a much rougher ride in their safari vehicles!

How long is the flight?
Hot Air Balloon Safaris
typically fly between 15 to 25 kilometers and the flight lasts about one hour, depending on wind conditions. The entire experience (link to The experience), including transfer to the launch site, flight, breakfast, and game drive back to your lodge or camp, starts at about 5:00AM and finishes at about 10:30AM.

What should I bring with me?
Hot Air Balloon Safaris encourage all guests to carry binoculars and cameras. Hot Air Balloon Safaris suggest closed shoes in case we need to walk through some grass after landing, and dressing in layers is best for the transition from the cool, dark early morning to the relatively hot late morning sun.

Do you ever cancel a flight? What happens if my flight is canceled?
Hot Air Balloon Safaris rarely cancel flights (~5 times per year), and only do so due to high winds, rain, or extremely poor visibility. If your flight is canceled you will receive a 100% refund. Or, if your safari schedule allows and there is available space in the balloons, we can attempt to fly you the following day.

How many people fit in the basket?
Hot Air Balloon Safaris balloons can hold a maximum of 16 people in a basket.

What will I see?
Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve is the ultimate ballooning destination. The landscape is stunning and free, and the abundant wildlife can make for spectacular viewing's from above. As this is a wilderness area contiguous with the Serengeti National Park of Tanzania, with free-ranging wildlife that is not fenced in, we of course cannot guarantee what we will fly over and what we will see during a particular flight.


However, we typically see a good diversity of animals, and it is likely you will spot elephants, giraffes, various antelope species, and ostriches from the balloon. Many of our guests also see hyenas, lions, and cheetahs, and ballooning is one of the best ways to search for the elusive black rhino, of which there are less than 40 in the Mara.


Depending on the day’s flight path, you may also drift along one of the rivers and see hippos and crocodiles. We have had some truly amazing sightings over the years, including leopards in trees, lions on kills, and active hyena dens. If you visit the Mara between July and October, you will probably see the “Great Migration” of over a million wildebeest, along with large numbers of zebras and gazelles.


Observing this phenomenon from the balloon is the best way to grasp just how huge the migrating herds really are, and is an experience not to be missed. Regardless of whether the “Big Five” are seen from the balloon, most people say that the balloon flight was a highlight of their safari.

Where will I fly?
Hot Air Balloon Safaris
flies from the area of Talek. Hot Air Balloon Safaris launch site is centrally located on the northern edge of the Masai Mara National Reserve. Hot Air Balloon Safaris usually flies west-southwest, which first takes us along the Talek River, then out across some wide-open plains towards the Ol Keju Rongai River.


Hot Air Balloon Safaris sometimes land in the vicinity of this river, but if the winds are strong enough, we continue on towards the Mara River and the Tanzanian border.




Hot Air Balloon Safaris Complete Menu:
* Herbal teas

* Champagne

* Bottled water
Hot chocolate

* Kenyan coffee and tea

* Fresh fruit juice (mango, passion fruit and orange)

* Crepes

* Yogurt

* Eggs to order
Fresh tropical fruit

* Sausages and bacon

* English-style baked beans
* Variety of cereals and muesli

* Freshly baked bread and toast
Grilled mushrooms and tomatoes




Hot Air Balloon Safaris Pick-Up Time

* Entim 0445 Hours * Ashnil 0500 Hours * Mara Simba 050 Hours
* Aruba 0530 Hours * Naibor 0445 Hours * Mara Ngenche 0430 Hours
* Leleshwa 0445 Hours * Ilkeliani 0530 Hours * Olare 0500 Hours
* Base Camp 0530 Hours * Ker and Downey 0500 Hours * Rekero 0500 Hours
* Mara BushTops 0445 Hours * Kichakani 0530 Hours * Riverside 0530 Hours
* Mara Explorer 0500 Hours * Olerai 0430 Hours * Sala’s 0430 Hours
* Mara Intrepids 0500 Hours * Olseki 0400 Hours * Sand River Area 0430 Hours
* JK Camp 0530 Hours * Kicheche Naboisho 043 0Hours * Mara Sarova 0500 Hours
* Keekorok 0500 Hours * Mara Leisure 0530 Hours * Sekanani Camp 0430 Hours
* Mara Sopa 0445 Hours * Porini Lion Camp 0500 Hours * Wilderness 0430 Hours
* Tipilikwani 0530 Hours * Mara Bush 0500 Hours * Olumara 0430 Hours
* Siana Springs 0445 Hours * Mara Hippo 0430 Hours * Acacia 0430 Hours
* Sentrim 0445 Hours * Mara Plains 0500 Hours * Manyatta 0430 Hours
* Oloshaiki 0530 Hours * Kicheche Olareorok 0500 Hours  




Booking & Reservations for Hot Air Balloon Safaris which flies from the area of Talek in Masai Mara Game Reserve - Kenya

Booking Office Tel: + 254 (0) 20 2437871

Mobile : 0721242711 (Safaricom) - Kenya

Email: info@africanspicesafaris.com





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