Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Nowhere on earth does a hot air balloon deserve POV like in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, where you’ll see lions, hippos and giraffes wandering through the Acacia-strewn plains. The Micato Safaris team can organize these in-air stays from four strategically located points in the National Park and help you design your trip so that you can observe the seasonal Gnu and zebra migrations from a balloon.
Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Hot air balloons in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve have served as an ultra-romantic backdrop for almost every Safari brochure in East Africa since the dawn of luxury tourism (see you, Micato Safaris). Similar to the Serengeti, it is possible to observe wild animals all year round. But the views here are most spectacular when the wildebeest have migrated across the Mara River into the Maasai Mara, usually between July and October.
Ogle on the ethereal “fairy chimneys” of the central Turkish region of Cappadocia, where the distinctive limestone towers and columns are now dotted with underground churches and dwellings etched in the rocks. The view from the ground is impressive, but this natural size is best appreciated from above when you fly 16 to 3200 feet in the air with Kapadokya balloons.
Napa Valley, California
Take a break from eating and drinking in Napa Valley to enjoy the region with Napa Valley Aloft from a completely different perspective. You start at one of the three starting points – either in Yountville, in the Pope Valley or in Paradisa, depending on the weather-and soon get a panoramic view of vineyards and rolling hills. Keep an eye on Mount St. Helena in the north, the Mayacamas Mountains in the West, and even San Francisco in the southwest on the clearest and cheapest days.
The world’s largest collection of sand dunes, Sossusvlei, in Namibia’s Namib desert impresses from every angle. Marvel at Red, Rust and orange tones punctuated by bare tree trunks and framed by pure blue skies. Organize your balloon expedition through your Lodge with Wilderness Safaris or book directly with Namib Sky Balloon Safaris.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Prepare to take maximum advantage of your memory card during the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, a nine-day love affair with hot air balloons (which this year takes place from October 1 to 9) and one of the country’s most photogenic Festivals. Make sure you are on site for one of the four “mass ascension” events when more than 500 lively balloons take to the sky. If you opt for the balloon perspective, opt for Rainbow Ryders, the festival’s official hot air balloonist.
Queenstown, New Zealand
A hot air balloon ride doesn’t seem too difficult compared to other activities in New Zealand’s extreme adventure capital, but it’s still on the Bucket list. Here the breathtaking landscapes of Middle earth that we admired during the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit come to life. It’s not Bungee Jumping or skydiving, but expect an adrenaline rush on this early morning adventure with Sunrise Balloons.