Optional Activity at Extra Charge: a pre-dawn hot air balloon ride over the Maasai Mara plains is a popular and very worthwhile optional activity while on safari in East Africa. Pioneered in Kenya’s Maasai Mara, it is now also available in Amboseli as well as in Serengeti and Tarangire National Parks (Tanzania) and Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Parks in Uganda in East Africa.
Arise at dawn with tea/coffee and cookies then transfer to be at the balloon launch site before sunrise. You will observe the massive balloon being inflated with heated air from massive gas burners until it stands and then it is time to get on board- standing room only. You will barely notice the lift off and smooth ascent but for the disappearing ground. From anywhere between treetops and 10,000ft, enjoy a magical and uncharacteristically serene glide over the Maasai Mara’s dotted plains with a bird’s eye view of the wildlife below and panoramic vistas extending to the ends of the plains. Your Pilot/guide is always at hand to guide your viewing as he/she points out and explains interesting features and creatures on the ground and above the trees and bushes; wild animals, plants, physical features as well as rare and interesting happenings. The view from above is totally different from on the ground but soon the hour is over and you have to come down to earth. You will be welcome back in the time honored way with a hot and freshly cooked champagne bush-breakfast in the middle of nowhere; it will be one of the highlights of your experience. Afterwards, you rejoin your Driver/guide and enjoy a game viewing drive on the way back to your lodge. Balance of the morning spent at leisure to rest before lunch.