Experience the wilderness of Uganda in a new, unique way. Wake up early to catch the sunrise, as you silently fly over the plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park. Admire the herds of buffaloes, elephants and enjoy the serene tranquility of the African bush…
You now have the opportunity to add an exciting hot air balloon ride to your safari. You will take off early at dawn for a flight that lasts for approximately 1 hour. Rise as the sun rises and float in whatever direction the winds of the morning takes you. Fly high above the trees and hills to enjoy the best of Uganda, with many great photo opportunities of the scenery and wildlife below.
Check out the Hot Air Balloon Safari Flyer!
Balloon Tours Ltd. is a newly cooperated and established Ugandan company since February 2014. The company is licensed to operate hot air balloons over Uganda from Ugandan Civil Aviation as the designated authority for this activity. All other licences (such as trading license, investment license, etc.) have been obtained. The first balloon flight in Queen Elizabeth was launched on 16th November 2014.
The hot air balloons are manufactured at Kubicek Balloons in the Czech Republic. Currently the company has one balloon under registration mark X5-BTA that can accommodate 16 persons. Soon it will launch a second balloon (X5-BTB) which can carry up to 24 persons.
Balloon Tours Ltd. has over 10 years experience and only works with professional, well trained pilots that have a minimum of 1,000 hours of flying hot air balloons from different types and sizes. They have flying experience in Egypt, Turkey and now in Uganda. The company holds an insurance through UAP with a British Insurance Company with a cover up to US $500,000. Balloon Tours is the first and only company that got approval from Uganda’s Civil Aviation Authority to manage hot air balloon rides around the safari zone.
05.30 am Pick up at Kasenyi gate
Transfer of the passengers, balloon, pilot and ground crew to pick the right spot for takeoff. The locations are limited to designated sites where the disturbance to animals is kept to a minimum. After the necessary weather tests for wind direction and allocating the final take off place, guests are served tea, coffee and refreshments while the balloon is unloaded and assembled. Then cold inflation takes place followed by hot inflation. Guests will receive safety briefing before the flight.
06.15 am Takeoff
The flight will take place for approximately 1 hour. Flights can vary from 45 minutes up to 1.5 hours depending on the amount of fuel on bard, the passengers’ combined weight, the temperature of the air and when the pilot finds a suitable landing area. The balloon will fly at an altitude range anywhere from tree tops up to 2500 feet (760 metres) which allows guests unique panoramic views and great photographic opportunities of the scenery and wildlife below.
07.15 am Landing & Bush Breakfast
After landing as smooth as possible there will be a celebration with sparkling (non alcoholic) wine and a full English bush breakfast will be served. Every passenger will be honoured with a hot air balloon safari certificate as a souvenir of this adventure.
08.30 am Return to the lodge (with game drive en route).
The price of the hot air balloon experience is USD $380 per person.
Children up to 12 years will receive 50% off the adults price.
Rates include the balloon flight, refreshments before and after the flight and a balloon certificate.
- No minimum passengers are required. The maximum capacity of the current balloon is 16 pax. Any smaller number will be sharing with other passengers.
- The minimum age is 6 years unless under parents responsibility.
- Flights are offered daily all year round, unless the weather does not permit.
- Hot air balloon passenger flights take place in winds less than 10 knots, with no rain or approaching storms in the immediate area. Flights also require a visibility of at least 4 km.
- Should weather conditions dictate that the balloon safari may not depart, a full refund will be issued. Alternatively, if passengers have another morning to experience the balloon safari they may opt to try it again the next day (subject to availability).
- The entire experience takes 3-4 hours. Passengers are expected to be back at their lodge around 09.00-10.00 am (depending on the length of the game drive).
- What to bring: guests can only take a small day backpack, camera etc. Main luggage must be left at the lodge. No special clothing is required for hot air ballooning.
- The flight is not high enough for a change in temperature so plan to dress for the temperature of the day. Remember to bring your camera, binoculars, batteries and a protective bag.
For more details, enquiries and reservations please contact the Great Lakes Safaris office.