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Balloon Safari over Ruaha

Balloon Safari over Ruaha

Overview: Balloon Safari over Ruaha

***We have been informed that Balloon safaris in Ruaha National Park are suspended for the 2020 season (June to October). Please contact us for more details.***

Take to the skies in a hot-air balloon, and experience the magic of the Ruaha from the air. As you float overhead, the silence broken only by the occasional boost of the burners, you’ll have a birds’ eye view of the scene below, right down to the individual animals that traverse the plains.

What to expect when ballooning over the Ruaha National Park

You’ll be woken early to meet your driver, who will take you to the balloon launch side. This usually takes around 45–90 minutes, and due to the early hour is mostly driven in the dark. Keep your eyes open for nocturnal creatures as you wend your way through the bush.

You will arrive just as the balloon is warming up, the burner pumping hot air into the balloon so that it slowly inflates. When everything is ready, you climb into the basket whilst it is still safely tethered, securing yourself in with a safety harness.

After a safety briefing, the pilot will increase the output of the burners and very slowly the balloon will start to rise. Catching the wind, it starts to float, rising into the air and above the trees just in time for sunrise. For the next hour or so your pilot will skilfully manoeuvre the balloon, mostly following the Ruaha River, until you reach the Mwagusi River confluence. He may take it up to incredible heights for seemingly endless views over the national park, then closer to ground level to spot hippos in the Ruaha River or herds of buffalo heading to the water for a morning drink. Traverse the river, keeping your eyes open and trying to spot any predators loitering along the river bank, before coming in to land in a clearing on the other side of the confluence.

Landings do vary. When we did the flight the landing was perfect – the balloon barely dragged and the basket didn’t even tip over. If there is a stronger wind, however, the basket can drag a short way and tip over. With all the passengers inside braced against the basket and hanging on to the handles it can make for an exciting finish!

Once you are safely down, the balloon crew will offer you a glass of bubbles to celebrate. Then it’s time to head off for a cooked breakfast in the bush – and more bubbles if you fancy it. Though there is of course tea, coffee and fruit juice served alongside the cereals, eggs, toast, sausages and bacon. On a practical note, there are toilet facilities at the breakfast site.

Age and health restrictions: The minimum age for ballooning is 7 years. There is no maximum age, though passengers must be relatively fit and able to climb in and out of the basket, hold on to rope handles and bend their knees. Ballooning is not recommended for anyone with height, health or mobility issues, or for pregnant women.

What should you wear: Mornings can be chilly in Ruaha so we would recommend wearing long trousers, a warm jacket and a jumper. You may also want to wear a hat to protect your head from the heat of the burners – especially if you are tall. Lastly don’t forget your camera or binoculars!

Please note: Expert Africa only books excursions as a part of a full, Expert Africa itinerary.

Start location
Any of Expert Africa's camps in the vicinity of Ruaha National Park
End location
Back at your safari camp
Meals included
Bush breakfast with Champagne
Duration
Three hours - one hour flight
Maximum group size
12 people

Photo gallery

What to look forward to.


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Prepare yourself for an early start when ballooning in Ruaha.
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Take off just before dawn and watch the sun rise over the park.
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The views from the balloon are spectacular.
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Look out for game - we spotted a large herd of buffalo on our flight.
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End your flight with a glass of bubbles, followed by a bush breakfast.

Prepare yourself for an early start when ballooning in Ruaha.

Take off just before dawn and watch the sun rise over the park.

The views from the balloon are spectacular.

Look out for game - we spotted a large herd of buffalo on our flight.

End your flight with a glass of bubbles, followed by a bush breakfast.

Ideas for holidays which can include Balloon Safari over Ruaha

Add this experience to these trip ideas or contact us to start planning your own tailor-made safari to Tanzania.


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Dwarf Mongoose Fly-in Safari

6 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Stay in two eco-friendly, rustic bush camps in the Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park. Remote wilderness, a diversity of habitats and a good range of activities are available in these two wildlife havens.

US$4,100 - US$4,550 per person

Itinerary image

Jackal Fly-in Safari

8 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Enjoy a range of activities during this ultra-luxurious fly-in safari. Explore the remoter regions of Ruaha National Park and Selous Game Reserve with phenomenal guides during stays at two impressively comfortable camps that remain perfectly in-keeping with their surroundings.

US$6,460 - US$7,910 per person

Itinerary image

Spotted Hyena Fly-in Safari

7 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Stay in one of the Selous’s best safari camps before experiencing a truly authentic tented camp in Ruaha. Remote locations, superb guiding and a range of activities await guests during this comfortable fly-in safari.

US$6,360 - US$8,730 per person

Itinerary image

Yellow Baboon Fly-In Safari

7 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Two authentic bushcamps offer access to Ruaha’s remote wildernesses. Explore the heart of the park’s best game-viewing as well as its largely untouched eastern fringes in almost utter isolation. Walking safaris, day and night 4WD drives, fly-camping and superb guiding heighten your immersion in nature.

US$6,630 - US$7,320 per person

Itinerary image

Superb Starling Fly-In Safari

7 days • 2 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Two smartly luxurious sister-camps allow exploration of the Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park. Situated in wildlife-rich locations, the camps offer a range of land and water-based activities, a superb standard of guiding and access to beautifully contrasting landscapes.

US$6,930 - US$9,310 per person

Itinerary image

Marabou Stork Fly-in Safari

13 days • 5 locations
KILIMANJARO AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

Four luxurious camps enable exploration of Tanzania’s north and southern regions. With a range of land and water-based activities available throughout, decidedly comfortable accommodation and applicable long-stay discounts, this adventurous safari is excellent value.

US$13,390 - US$18,440 per person

Itinerary image

Red Colobus Monkey Safari

11 days • 3 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

This luxury holiday suggestion combines a wildlife safari in Ruaha National Park with a week on Zanzibar, exploring Stone Town’s narrow streets and relaxing on a palm-shaded beach.

US$5,260 - US$6,510 per person

Itinerary image

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12 days • 4 locations
DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT TO DAR ES SALAAM AIRPORT

This top-value holiday idea combines two safari areas with a week on the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar. Photograph lions and elephants, then relax under the palms on a powder sand beach.

US$4,550 - US$5,030 per person

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