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BALLONING IN MASAI MARA
I have to admit, pleasures are always far away and so is the perfect destination, its like a search fpr whats not yet lost and coming across all you could never own, Nature! Now imagine taking these journey to a whole new level, stepping on the same ground with the wild animals, it is a long way to travel for hour’s ride over Masai Mara National Reserve on a lighter-than-air safari. But it is a unique way to view the wild game animals for which the Mara County is famous for- herds of buffalo, prides of lion, migrating wildebeest from Serengeti to Masai Mara (one of the seventh wonders of the world). These is also the perfect way to catch cats who tend to hide on top of the trees making game drive viewing difficult to spot them. These includes also the shy bushbuck and reedbucks, these animals are often missed from the normal ground view since they always cluster between the trees. The big 5 animals including Rhinos, Buffaloes and Elephants have several times charged the balloons while on air, being frustrated when their effortless charges come to naught while the flying balloons are still there near them, but unfortunately out of reach.
The balloon normal season runs through from July to March, while April, May and June being the rainy seasons in Kenya, and the low season also for most Kenyans in the Tourism Industry. Rainy season doesn’t stop the balloon from flying, they do fly because those inside the balloon basket are sheltered with the biggest umbrella that covers all, and these is also referred as the biggest umbrella in the entire world. But the long rain makes it so difficult for the retrieving crews who follow up each ride. Most of the areas in Mara are impassable even with the toughest four-wheel land cruiser drives.
All of these balloons carry the same name Lengai, which is named after the Ol Doinyo Lengai Mountain, which is an active Volcano in the nearby area called Rift valley. It is a Masai name for “Mountain of God”. After the balloon flight, which is always low level, a perfect picnic breakfast in the bushes complete with Champagne is served to clients at the landing point with the retrieving crew packs up the ballon. Each passenger is then given a Flight Certificate, as a testimony to the Lengai flight, with them listing the game seen that morning, and also ticking off symptoms shown during flight i.e. terror, courage, euphoria, hysteria, and boredom. Mostly for fun, there is a tick on boredom.
Accommodations can always be booked at Keekorok Lodge where the ballons are kept, but there are also other places to secure accommodations also include the Governor's camp, which is also considered the number one luxurious tented camps in the world. Also in the list, we have places like Fig tree camp Mara Sopa Lodge, Sarova Mara camp and many others depending on your pocket and expenditure level.
The cost of the balloon for one hour long is approximately $450-$480 per person.
Africa Venture Safaris Kenya operates Hot Air Balloon Safaris in the Masai Mara National Reserve, Southern West of Kenya.
For more information visit Africa Venture Safaris