Hot Air Balloon Adventures: 6 Hidden Destinations in Africa


Whether you are an adventure lover or an adrenaline junkie, hot air balloon adventures are a unique way to experience any destination. On this once-in-a-lifetime experience, you get to take in the wonders of nature from a bird’s eye view.

You may have enjoyed wildlife adventures and African safaris in the past. But this lesser-explored adventure takes the entire experience to a whole new level.

It offers a matchless vantage point to view diverse terrains and creatures in a tranquil setting. A balloon safari is an opportunity to venture beyond the beaten path and view scenes that few have seen before. Best of all, it allows you to explore hidden gems and remote regions that are not accessible any other way.

Best Off-the-Radar Destinations for Hot Air Balloon Adventures in Africa

Here are seven of the best places in Africa that are off the tourist radar to visit on a hot air balloon vacation:

Aberdare Range, Kenya


Enjoy an exhilarating ride over the stunning landscape of the Aberdare Range in central Kenya. The ride will take you over the Aberdare National Park, home to a number of stunning waterfalls. Among these is the Karuru waterfall, the highest in the country. It features a 273-meter drop in three stages, offering a breathtaking scene. Other waterfalls here include the Gura, Magura, Chania and Thomson’s Falls.

During your ride, you will also notice how dramatically the landscape changes. In one section, a canopy of trees making up the thick rainforest stretches as far as you can see. Next, the ride takes you over the majestic peaks of the Aberdare Range. While you are here, you will also likely see Mount Kenya and Mount Satima in the distance.

Through these diverse landscapes, you will get to see a variety of wildlife and plant species. Rare wildlife species that live here include the black rhino, Eastern bongo, black leopard and black serval. Among these, the black leopard is the hardest to spot.

Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa

Hot air balloon adventures are one of the best ways to take in the African bushland that defines Madikwe Game Reserve. A ride over this pristine wilderness takes you through a vast savannah landscape and over lush, riverine forests.

In addition to the characteristic thickets and grasslands, you are likely to see plenty of wildlife including the Big Five (lions, leopards, rhino, elephants and buffalos).

There are numerous watering holes across the reserve, where these and other animals gather for a drink. Notably, Madikwe is home to both the black and white rhino and you may be fortunate enough to spot both.

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania


A balloon flight over Ngorongoro Crater is an opportunity to see one of the seven natural wonders of Africa. This UNESCO World Heritage Site sits in a protected area in Arusha. If you love volcanic destinations, you will certainly love your aerial tour of this enchanting site. The huge volcanic caldera is a vibrant ecosystem with remarkable landscapes.

Often described as the “African Eden,” the crater has the densest population of wildlife anywhere in Africa. This is because of the crater’s floor high fertility levels due to mineral-rich volcanic soil. It grows lush green vegetation that attracts herbivores in droves. These in turn attract countless numbers of predators. The population density of resident lions here is one of the highest worldwide. In total, there are about 30,000 large mammals in the area including herds of endangered black rhino.

Besides the opportunity to view wildlife, your balloon tour will also take you over diverse terrain. From the woodlands of Lerai Forest to the Mandusi and Gorigor Swamps. You will also view Lake Magadi’s soda flats from above and its vast population of waterbirds.

Other noteworthy sites here include the Olduvai Gorge and shifting sand dunes made up of volcanic ash.

Kafue National Park, Zambia

A hot air balloon adventure over the second-largest national park in Africa is a memorable experience. It gives you a sweeping view over beautiful waterways, forests and vast grasslands.

Among the highlights of this ride is a view of Busanga Plains. These wild wetlands are flooded and inaccessible for seven months every year. Yet they are a treasure trove teeming with wildlife. You might spot the elusive roan, the red lechwe, oribi and puku among other rare species.

In the meandering waterways of the park, you will likely spot crocodiles and hippos lazing around in the sun. The park is also home to beautiful wooded islands and 400 species of birds, including numerous waterbirds.

Bazaruto Archipelago, Mozambique

If you have a soft spot for tropical beach vacations, Bazaruto is your ultimate destination. It is a scenic paradise consisting of a cluster of islands on the Indian Ocean. Hot air balloon adventures offer a unique opportunity to take in all that this paradisaic setting has to offer.

It is home to idyllic beaches that are still unspoiled due to the remote location. Gliding over these untouched spots is an adventure in itself. The islands also have diverse landscapes that provide a remarkable visual feast. In addition to pristine beaches, you will also come across beautiful dunes and dense coastal vegetation.

If you ride takes off at sunrise, you are in for a treat. This is one of the best spots for watching the sun rise from the depths of the ocean.

Swakopmund, Namibia

Combine your love for historic destinations and seaside vacations in an aerial tour of Swakopmund. Hot air balloon adventures in this beautiful holiday town is unforgettable. It is a rare opportunity to see one of few places in Africa where the desert meets the ocean.

This coastal town sits between the Atlantic Ocean and the Namib Desert. It is a beautiful artwork of contrasts between the deep blue of the ocean and the golden sand dunes. The unique architecture of the town pops against this scenic backdrop.

You may spot a dolphin or two, seals and even whales in the ocean. As you drift into the desert landscape, the striking orange dunes come into view. Oryx and springbok and various bird species are among the creatures that dare to thrive here. Depending on the timing of your balloon flight, you might enjoy astounding sunrise or sunset views – major highlights of this location.

Elevate Your Vacation Dreams with Hot Air Balloon Adventures in Africa


Going on an African Safari is an unforgettable experience. Hot air balloon adventures are a great way to inject some adrenaline into the experience. There is so much to see from an aerial perspective, as you glide along in silent awe. These magical moments will forever remain etched in your mind and heart, inspiring you for the next big adventure.

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