by Simon Capstick-Dale

Hot Air Ballooning

Where to get high in SA

Hot Air Ballooning
Hot Air Ballooning
Going back as far the Anglo-Boer War hot air balloons were first used by the South African army for the purpose of locating enemy camps and monitoring their movements. Today they are used for something quite different – sipping in the picturesque landscapes in various regions of the country from a great height above the ground, providing the opportunity to enjoy spectacular, uninterrupted views of the vistas below. You don’t have to be an adrenaline junkie and there are few physical requirements for hot air ballooning, besides being able to stand for about an hour and being physically able to climb in and out of the basket. The actual hot air balloon flight will last approximately one hour and most operators will finish off your ballooning experience with a champagne breakfast. Because ballooning depends heavily on the weather, most bookings are provisional until a few days before the event to ensure it is ideal for your journey.
An area of significant South African and geological history, the Magaliesberg boasts a range of mountains that are almost a 100 times older than Everest. The same way the Cape Vulture soars in the thermals around these mountains, from a hot air balloon you’ll be able to take in the vastness and beauty of this area in a way impossible from the ground.
Recommended Operators
Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris
Sun Fun Africa Safaris
Cradle of Humankind
Proclaimed a world heritage site in 1998, this 47 000-hectare World Heritage Site is predominately made up of large private game reserves and contains 13 fossil sites, and over one third of the world’s hominid fossil finds. With minimal human impact, this area is a true wilderness gem to fly in.
Recommended Operators
Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris
Air to Air Africa

uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park

Combining sheer natural beauty with a wealth of biological diversity, this 243 000-hectare mountainous region has been preserved and venerated for eons since the San people roamed these slopes. The Drakensberg is also the highest mountain range in Southern Africa, rising to nearly 3 500m. With its awe-inspiring basalt cliffs (snowcapped in winter), riverine bush, lush yellowwood forests and cascading waterfalls, these mountain ranges are a fantastic place to balloon over.
Recommended Operators
Hot Air Ballooning SA
Hartbeespoort Dam
Situated in the North West Province of South Africa at the foot of the Magaliesburg mountain range (almost a hundred times older than the Himalayas), this is one of the most popular areas to go hot air ballooning in South Africa, From your basket you’ll experience sunrise views of one of the most beautiful man-made lakes in Africa.

Recommended Operators

Discover Ballooning
Pilansberg National Park
The Pilanesberg Game Reserve is fringed by three concentric ridges or rings of hills, of which the formation rises from the surrounding plains. The 'Pilanesberg Alkaline Ring Complex' is the park's primary geological feature and is ancient even by geological standards and also one of the largest volcanic complexes of its type in the world.
Recommended Operators
Sun Fun Africa Safaris
Air Trackers
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This edition

Issue 57


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