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Here we answer the most frequently asked questions about ballooning in the Masai Mara.

When is the balloon ride done?

The ride is normally done early in the morning at approximately 06:30 am in time to enjoy the sunrise glow in the distant horizon. The good thing about the Mara weather is that it is conducive for balloon rides to be operated daily throughout the year. Our company operations base and the launch site are close to Talek River bordering Maasai Mara Game Reserve. However, during windy times we use a launch site inside the park, approximately a seven-minute drive (4km) from Talek Gate, just off the main Talek-Keekorok road.

How long does the excursion last?

The flight usually lasts approximately one hour and covers anything between five and 20 km from launch to landing. The total distance covered always depends on the wind conditions on any given day. The entire excursion from pick up at the camp/lodge to drop off back at the camp or lodge varies from a 4:00 am departure to a 6:00 am departure, depending on the proximity/location of said camp/lodge. There are plenty of photographic opportunities on board and on the ground to and from the balloon excursion, including a game drive en route back to your camp/lodge by around 10:30 am.

Is there a minimum age or mobility restrictions?

As a rule of thumb, we generally don’t fly children under the height of the basket or younger than three years old. There’s no upper age limit, provided passengers are reasonably fit and ready to enjoy the adventurous soaring across the majestic plains. For clients’ own safety, ballooning is not suitable for pregnant ladies, persons with health conditions, heart matters, brittle bones, or neck and back conditions. Any balloon flight requires a certain amount of physical strength to climb in and out of the basket, in case the basket is standing upright or lying on its side. People with impaired mobility may be accommodated with prior notice to help us plan for them.

What should I bring with me?

We encourage guests to carry binoculars, cameras, and, if they want to, a “selfie stick’ to capture those once-in -a-life-time moments!

We recommend you dress in layers, and a warm jacket or fleece is best for transitioning from the cool, dark early morning to the relatively late morning sun rays. It’s normally cool in the early mornings, and as you watch and wait for the balloons to be inflated, the chilly morning breeze can be uncomfortable. Once on board, the heat from burners above makes all around you warm. Trousers, long-sleeved shirts/tops and closed shoes come in handy in case we need to walk through some grass after landing.

How does the pilot control the balloon?

Hot air rises…The balloon normally glides with the wind, but at different altitudes, the wind often flows in different directions. Therefore, by expertly navigating this vertical landscape, the pilot finds some directional control. To gain or lose altitude, the pilot manipulates the temperature of the air inside the balloon envelope using burners fueled by butane gas. When heat is added, the balloon gently rises. To descend, the pilot allows the balloon to cool naturally. The cooler the air inside the balloon becomes, the more quickly it descends. As the balloon descends and approaches landing, the pilot will add some bursts of heat from the burners to slow down the rate of descent and ensure landing is safely done with the expertise of a Mara Pilot.

Are take-offs and landings rough?

Take-off is generally quite gentle, although it may be a bit fast in windy conditions. If the wind is above 15 knots at the take-off site, we will not fly due to safety concerns. While most of the landings are smooth, some are what we call a “tip over” landing, where the balloon basket drags along the ground for some metres before coming to a stop lying on its side. There may be a few bumpy landings, though. However, all are steered safely to a stop.

Do you ever cancel a flight? What happens if my flight is cancelled?

We rarely cancel flights (~5 times per year) and only do so due to high winds, rain, or extremely poor visibility. If your flight is cancelled, you will receive a 100% refund. Or, if your safari schedule allows and there’s available space in the balloons, we can attempt to fly you the following day.

How many people fit in the basket?

Our balloons can hold a maximum of 16 people in a basket.

The Experience

An adventure of a lifetime

Start your day hot air ballooning in Maasai Mara, it is one of the most magical ways to experience Kenya’s vast savannah and wildlife.

Discover more about Hot Air Safaris

As you rise the Maasai Mara plains opens up before your eyes to feast on the golden sunrise, enchanting sceneries, plains-game below as the winds gently blows the basket deeper into the reserve.

The Experience

The Experience

Hot air ballooning in Maasai Mara is one of the most magical ways to experience Kenya’s vast savannah and wildlife.



The Maasai Mara is stunning and free, and the abundant wildlife can make for spectacular viewings from above.

Hot Air Safaris
"It was an early morning, but well worth it! Captain Mervin was knowledgeable and a great pilot. We were able to see the rivers and wildlife… simply gorgeous. I highly recommend this balloon ride!"
Debra G
"Stunning sunrise and views of the Mara as well as many animal sightings including elephants, lions, cheetahs, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, wildebeest and so many more. Captain Riz was very informative about the land and animals and ensured a smooth take-off and landing. After landing, we were treated to a lovely champagne breakfast and the facilities included a ‘loo with a view’. Highly recommend taking this flight when in the Mara!"
Payal S
"An amazing experience and a great opportunity to see the Masai Mara from another perspective! Lions, elephants, ostrichs, pumba and the big migration, we’ve seen it all :) Captain Marvin is a lovely man who sees and knows a lot and also the rest of the staff, food etc is friendly and well organized. So this is something you have to do!!"