How safe is ballooning?
After more than 60 000 passengers flown over 25 years we have a 100% safety record. Your safety is our priority and we only fly in perfect weather conditions. Our pilots are all highly qualified and holders of commercial pilot licenses.
Nervous about ballooning?
Don’t be, you will find the motionless flight of a balloon easier to accustom than any other form of flying. Ballooning is like a magic carpet and the tranquility of your flight is unlikely to cause vertigo.
What happens if the balloon is cancelled due to bad weather?
Due to the ideal weather conditions of the area we have a very low cancelation rate. If the balloon is cancelled because the weather conditions are not perfect to fly you will be fully refunded.
Should you wish to try the day after, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can rebook you.
At what time will I be back at the lodge (pick up point)?
You should be back at your lodge between 10h00 and 11h00 A.M. This will give you enough time to reach your next destination should join our safari the day of your departure (4 to 5 hours drive to Walvis Bay or Windhoek).
How does the pilot control the balloon?
The balloon goes with the wind, at the same speed and same direction. At different altitudes, your pilot might find different winds. By expertly navigating, he can use them to change direction.
By adding heat with the burner or by letting the balloon cool down, the pilot will be able to control his altitude very accurately and enable the balloon to shave dunes or trees…
80% of our landings are on trailer. Should the wind be too strong, you will experience a “sport landing”, your basket will “tip over” and you will drag for a few meters before coming to a stop lying on its side.
Do you fly all year around?
We fly every morning at sunrise – weather permitting. Due to extreme heat, we close from the 15th January to the 15th February. We are also closed on the 25th December and 1st of January.
When and where do we meet?
30 to 45 min before sunrise, we will collect you from Kulala Desert Lodge, Sesriem Campsite, Sossus Oasis camp, Sossusvlei Lodge, Sossusvlei Desert Lodge or le Mirage. If you overnight somewhere else, ask at reception where the closest meeting point is and how can you reach it. The exact time of departure will be reconfirmed the day before, we then need to know where you will overnight the night before your balloon safari!
Are my children allowed to fly?
Children over 120 cm will enjoy the balloon because they are tall enough to see over the basket. Smaller children are welcome to follow the balloon with our ground crew in our retrieving 4×4 vehicle and join the parents at landing for the champagne breakfast.
How fit must I be to go ballooning?
To go ballooning you will need to stand for 1 hour in the basket, bend your knees and be able to squat down in case of windy conditions at landing. If you have any specific medical conditions please do let us know and we will advise you accordingly.
How far do we fly?
Your destination remains unknown until in flight. Depending on the wind, we cover an average of ten miles. As balloons travel at the speed of the wind, you have no feeling of movement. Your pilot will change altitude searching for different wind channels and he will then choose the best direction for the flight.
Do we need specific clothing?
Simply dress to suit the season. A hat is recommended and ladies please no high heels. Please do not overload the basket with unnecessary items as the balloon is very sensitive to weight. You will just need your camera!
Why is the balloon safari expensive?
In order to run a balloon safari operation safely high costs are involved and we make sure we don’t take any shortcuts. The balloon itself costs as much as a brand new series Mercedes but only lasts a few hundred hours, drinks 200 liters of gas per hour and involves quite a big crew to get it going. The location is highly costly as we hold a concession to fly over both the Namib Naukluft Park and the Namib Rand Nature Reserve.
Is the balloon safari eco-friendly?
Our balloon safari has no negative impact on the environment. The retrieving vehicles are restricted to existing tracks and after breakfast we even broom away our foot prints. The balloon base is powered mainly by solar energy where we also grow our own fresh produce for the breakfast.
The choice of launch site depends mainly on the wind direction. According to the weather conditions, our pilots will choose the location the day before the flight in the late afternoon. The main locations are: Kulala lodge (between Sesriem and Sossusvlei), and in the north of the Namib Rand Nature Reserve.
The evening prior to your flight, we will provide you with the time you will be collected at your lodge and all information needed. Keep in mind that ballooning is weather permitting and if the pilot deems the conditions not favorable, he will cancel the flight. Should you wish to try the day later, please let us know as soon as possible so we can check availability.