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“Horribly expensive but a wonderful experience”
Review of Hot Air Safaris

Hot Air Safaris
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 29 June 2018

As others have said, this balloon ride has to be the most expensive in the world - but for us it proved to be one of our most memorable experiences and one we'll look back on with great affection for a very long time to come.

Booked and paid for before we arrived in Africa, we were impressed with the professionalism shown by the whole team from the moment we were met at our hotel for a briefing the night before our trip. Sammy was friendly and personable, ensuring that we knew exactly what to expect, how to dress, when to be ready and arranging for light refreshments before we left the hotel at an ungodly hour.

We drove an hour through the dark on very bumpy tracks to reach the launch site, spotting various animals (including a leopard) along the way. Once at the launch site, hot drinks and biscuits were available before we had a briefing by our pilot, Sebastian. Into the basket we went and up, up and away just as dawn was breaking.

We floated over giraffes, kudu, antelope, elephants and some wonderful countryside; our animal sightings were restricted to the first ten minutes of our flight but that really didn't matter - we'd been on several game drives already and were more interested in seeing the vast beauty of the Masai Mara from above once the animals disappeared. It was fascinating; we could clearly see the tracks through the high grass that the animals had left when criss crossing the plains, and could also spot the places where they chose to bed down for the night. We had the sun coming up behind us, and the Masai bathed in glorious light before us - it really was lovely and Sebastian made sure to turn the balloon constantly to be sure all passengers had a clear view of everywhere.

We floated along at a much lower altitude than previous balloon trips and enjoyed being able to appreciate the beauty of the countryside from this height. After an hour, it was time for a very smooth landing, into the trucks and off for breakfast.

We'd passed over the truck setting up our breakfast stop so knew it would be a good affair but were pleasantly surprised at just how grand and well organised it all was when we arrived - there was even A Loo with a View!

Plenty of food for all tastes, including freshly cooked eggs and pancakes, lots of sparkling wine or Bloody Marys, and an excellent atmosphere engendered by the happy catering team. I've no idea how they manage to be so cheerful and smiley day after day when they can be faced with such rudeness and ignorance from visiting tourists (why do some people insist on leaving their manners at home?) but they were an absolute delight to be around and certainly weren't shy about providing anything they thought you might need.

Breakfast was at two long tables and was great fun; a mix of nationalities and languages, we thoroughly enjoyed our leisurely and very ample breakfast before finally returning to the trucks for a game drive on the way back to the hotel.

A perfect morning and well worth the early start and eye watering expense. We chose to look at it as a whole experience and our entertainment for the day; something to make memories with, and to enjoy as an event that millions of others will never do. It didn't matter that we didn't see as many animals as we would have done on a game drive, we experienced the Masai Mara from a hundred feet up and loved every moment of our adventure. The wonderful staff who then provided breakfast in the middle of the bush with all mod cons topped off an altogether wonderful time. Thank you.

Thank Strider453
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (117)
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in 24 reviews
"balloon ride"
in 20 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 9 reviews
"champagne breakfast"
in 16 reviews
"bloody mary"
in 3 reviews
"clear instructions"
in 2 reviews
"great captain"
in 2 reviews
"maasai mara"
in 9 reviews
"launch site"
in 5 reviews
"bush breakfast"
in 6 reviews
"safari lodge"
in 2 reviews
in 4 reviews
"highlight of our trip"
in 4 reviews
"great breakfast"
in 3 reviews
"great pictures"
in 3 reviews
"hot balloon"
in 2 reviews
"whole team"
in 2 reviews

18 - 22 of 118 reviews

Reviewed 7 February 2018

was the first time to be on one, and the right one, Hot air balloon safaris is among the best in Masai mara the overall experience starting with waking up at 3am and be picked at 4am in the morning the drive at night in the Park, its just crazy fun, the orientation the morning snack as you watch the balloon being prepared is thrilling, for first timer its kind of scary especially when the gas keep turning on and off, the view is always great from the top if you are lucky you can spot the rhino ,you get to see the sunrise and the wild animals, upon landing you go for a bush breakfast buffet and a game drive back to the hotel, Richard the manager is always there to ensure all goes well , the drivers coordinate and very friendly.

Thank PaulineK718
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 January 2018

I’ve had the good fortune to have gone on a Hot Air Balloon Safari over the Maasai Mara 4 times, and each time has been more thrilling than the last; so humbling to feast the eyes & soul with the vastness of the incredibly magnificent Mara plains and see the wild game roaming free. If you can just still the mind, soak in the panorama unfolding as you soar above & don’t focus too much on your digital equipment, I promise you’ll be a different person when you ultimately land ! The adventure doesn’t end here as guests are then treated to a scrumptious champagne breakfast in the middle of nowhere in the company of the Balloon Captain, super friendly staff & fellow guests.

2  Thank terryaruna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 December 2017

Everyone should try to experience balloon safari looking from the top view. It's amazing experience.

1  Thank tatiyas2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 15 December 2017

Our family of 4 had an experience of our lifetime. We had to wake up super early about 4am, rode about 30 mins to the site. There we were split into groups of 8 as the balloon basket takes 8 persons. It was interesting to get into the basket horizontally as the basket lies on the ground. Then up we went slowly, watching the magnificent sunrise and allowing the wind to blow us gently. We were guided by Caption Rif, a charming man and he helped us look out for animals along the ride. We saw a few animals but not many but it was a great time. Then after about 45 mins, we landed near to a beautifully laid out breakfast spread with champagne. There was also a loo with a view of the vastlands which we had to experience. While having an English breakfast, we were joined by some baboons looking at us. Later we viewed the pictures taken and had the opportunity to purchase them at USD40.00. Overall, a really amazing time.

Thank Mei T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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