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Exciting Hot Air Balloon Safari In Namibia

Exciting Hot air balloon safari in Namibia

Exciting Hot air balloon safari in Namibia

The exciting hot air balloon safari in Namibia is a captivating and timeless adventure that allows you to explore the breathtaking landscapes of this remarkable country from a unique perspective. These colorful giants, comprising of a vast envelope filled with hot air and suspended gondola, rely on the simple yet elegant principle of heating air to achieve lift. With a storied history dating back to the late 18th century, hot air balloons hold a special place in aviation.Sossusvlei Activities - Hot Air Ballooning over the Namib Desert

Beyond their historical significance, hot air balloons are celebrated for the tranquil and enchanting experiences they offer. Safety is paramount in balloon operations, with trained and certified pilots ensuring secure journeys. These whimsical aircrafts come in various shapes and sizes often adorned with intricate artwork. Whether soaring above the scenic skyscape or engaging in the festivities of a balloon rally, hot air balloons continue to capture the imagination and provide a unique way to explore the world from the sky.

Namibia, located in the south western Africa, is a land of striking contrasts and breathtaking landscapes. It is renown for its vast deserts, rugged mountains and pristine coastlines. The country is also known for its rich cultural diversity, with several ethnic groups including Ovambo, Herero, Himba and San people, each contributing to the country’s unique tapestry.

Namibia is home to some of Africa’s most iconic natural wonders, such as the otherworldly Namib Desert, the towering red dunes and the wildlife-rich Etosha National Park. The country’s commitment to conservation and sustainability is evident in its well-preserved natural environments and flourishing wildlife populations.

In Namibia, hot air balloon safaris are most commonly offered in the Sossusvlei area of the Namib desert. This region is renowned for its towering red sun dunes and surreal landscapes, making it popular destination for hot air balloon adventures. Here, you can experience the magic of floating above some of the world’s most iconic dunes as the rising sun bathes them in a warm golden light.Sossusvlei - Wikipedia

Hot Air Balloon Safari Experience in Namibia

The hot air balloon safaris typically begin at sunrise, just as the sun starts to peak over the horizon. The near silent night flight, that is only interrupted by the occasional burst of the burner to maintain altitude, brings a sense of tranquility as you watch the sun bath the wind sculpted landscapes of the desert with a soft golden glow. From your elevated vantage point, you will be treated to astonishing views of the Namib desert’s iconic red dunes sculpted by the wind over millennia.

The contrast of colors ,from the deep reds to stark whites, is a feast for the eyes. As you drift gently above the desert, you may be able to spot below wildlife like the oryx antelopes, springboks and ostriches without disturbing their natural routine allowing for excellent viewing and photographic opportunities.

Prices of hot air balloon rides in Namibia

Hot air balloon rides in Namibia often come with a relatively high price tag with an average of  N$ 7800 per person. This is due to several factors like the unique and magnificent landscapes of Namibia including its iconic red sand dunes and stunning desert views that draw adventure seekers from around the world. Additionally, the operation of Hot air balloons involves significant expenses including maintenance, skilled pilot fees and safety measures.

The best time for hot air balloon safaris in Namibia

The dry and cooler months from May to September are considered the best time for hot air balloon safaris in Namibia due to the comfortable weather, low precipitation, clear skies and ideal flight conditions  they offer. With minimal rainfall and humidity, these months provide reliable and enjoyable ballooning experiences, ensuring excellent visibility for the panoramic views of Namibia’s stunning landscapes, including the renowned dunes of Sossusvlei.

Furthermore, this period coincides with the dry season, making it an optimal time for wildlife viewing as animals gather around water sources, enriching the overall safari experience.

Other tourist activities carried out  in  Namibia

Explore the dunes

Hiking the towering red dunes is a mesmerizing adventure. The gigantic sand dunes, among the world’s tallest , create a surreal and dramatic landscape that beckons tourists. Ascending dunes like dune 45 or big daddy is a challenging yet rewarding experience, with each step offering spectacular panoramic views of the vast desert. The soft and fiery-orange sand and the ever changing interplay of light and shadow provide photographers with an enthralling canvas.Namib-Naukluft National Park - Wikipedia

The ascent of the Big Daddy in particular, leads to thrilling descents into Deadvlei, an otherworldly white clay pan with ancient skeletal camel thorn trees. The grandeur of the dunes, their imposing heights, and their ever shifting contours make hiking all the more fun.

Visiting Etosha National park

This sanctuary, located in North western Africa is one of Africa’s largest national parks known primarily for its iconic feature the Etosha pan. The vast salt pan covering approximately 4800 square kilometers is so prominent that it can be seen from space and stretches for miles in every direction. It dominates the park’s heart creating a unique and sublime centerpiece to this outstanding wilderness. Etosha national park is also celebrated for its abundant wildlife, offering exceptional opportunities to observe the Big Five, cheetahs, giraffes, and diverse birdlife.Etosha National Park - Wikipedia

Its numerous waterholes, both natural and artificial, are gathering points for animals, providing unforgettable game viewing, especially during the dry season. The park’s accessibility and well-maintained gravel roads make it a popular destination for self-drive safaris, allowing visitors to explore at their own pace.

Furthermore, Etosha’s conservation efforts, which protect endangered species like black rhinos and African elephants, contribute significantly to wildlife preservation in the region. Beyond its wildlife, Etosha captivates with its stunning landscapes, including grassy plains, mopane woodlands, and breathtaking sunsets over the pan, making it a cherished destination for wildlife enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.”

Visit the Walvis Bay Lagoon

Walvis Bay, nestled along Namibia’s picturesque coastline, is a sanctuary for flamingos, both greater and lesser. These elegant birds grace the bay’s shallow waters, mudflats, and lagoons in stunning flocks, their pink plumage creating a vivid contrast against the blue backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean. Greater flamingos, known for their statuesque presence, and lesser flamingos, with their vibrant pink hues, find ample sustenance in the nutrient-rich waters, feasting on tiny brine shrimp and algae.Walvis Bay (luuk) - Wikipedia

Visitors to Walvis Bay can witness these avian wonders year-round, with the best displays occurring during the breeding season between September and December. Whether enjoyed from the shoreline or from scenic flights above, the sight of these graceful flamingos in their natural habitat is a mesmerizing and unforgettable experience in Namibia’s coastal paradise.

Explore the Skeletal coast and Cape Cross Colony

The Skeleton Coast in Namibia is a mysterious and hauntingly beautiful expanse of coastline, renowned for its desolation and unforgiving landscapes. Its name, “Skeleton Coast,” is derived from the numerous shipwrecks and skeletal remains of marine life that litter its shores. This remote region is characterized by dense coastal fogs, strong ocean currents, and shifting sands, making it one of the world’s most arid and challenging environments.walbis bay

Despite its harsh reputation, the Skeleton Coast offers breathtaking landscapes, including dramatic sand dunes, rugged cliffs, and expansive desert vistas, making it a haven for photographers and adventurers. It also boasts a unique ecosystem with diverse wildlife, such as Cape fur seals, jackals, brown hyenas, and desert-adapted elephants.Cape Cross - Wikipedia

Adjacent to the Skeleton Coast lies the Cape Cross Seal Colony, one of the largest colonies of Cape fur seals globally. Thousands of seals gather along the rocky coastline, providing a bustling and noisy spectacle. This protected area serves as a critical breeding ground for the seals, with thousands of pups born each year, offering a unique opportunity to witness their natural behavior.

Additionally, Cape Cross holds historical significance, as it was explored by Portuguese navigator Diogo Cão in 1486, making it one of the earliest European landmarks in sub-Saharan Africa. Today, the Skeleton Coast and Cape Cross Seal Colony have become popular destinations for tourists seeking both natural beauty and insights into the region’s maritime history and abundant wildlife.

Journey to the Fish River Canyon

The Fish River Canyon in Namibia stands as one of Africa’s most awe-inspiring natural wonders, ranking as the world’s second-largest canyon after the Grand Canyon in the United States. Over millions of years, the Fish River has meticulously carved this colossal geological masterpiece, resulting in a sprawling canyon system that spans approximately 160 kilometers (100 miles).

Its dramatic landscape, characterized by rugged cliffs, massive gorges, and intricate rock formations, offers visitors breathtaking panoramic views and a profound sense of wonder. Fish River Canyon - WikipediaThe canyon’s renowned Fish River Hiking Trail challenges trekkers with its approximately 90-kilometer (56-mile) journey deep into the heart of the canyon, while its diverse ecosystem supports an array of wildlife. As a seasonal river, it transforms from a rushing torrent during the rainy season to isolated pools in the dry months, further emphasizing the dynamic nature of this extraordinary natural wonder.

Stargazing

Namibia’s reputation as a premier stargazing destination is rooted in its pristine wilderness areas, including the Namib Desert, where minimal light pollution and clear desert skies create an ideal environment for celestial observations. Two International Dark Sky Reserves, Namib Rand Nature Reserve and !Ae!Hai Kalahari Heritage Park, emphasize the country’s commitment to preserving dark skies. Here, the Milky Way dazzles in all its splendor, offering fantastic astrophotography opportunities.

Astronomy lodges with observatories and expert astronomers provide immersive stargazing experiences, while meteor showers and planetary viewing are common celestial spectacles. Camping under the starry desert sky and cultural experiences with the San people add to Namibia’s allure as a celestial haven for stargazers of all levels.

Venture to the Ghost town of Kolmanskop

Kolmanskop, nestled in the heart of the Namib Desert near Lüderitz, Namibia, is a haunting ghost town that bears silent witness to the diamond rush of the early 20th century. Once a thriving diamond mining hub with elegant German colonial architecture, Kolmanskop’s fortunes waned as richer diamond deposits were discovered elsewhere. Abandoned by its inhabitants, the town gradually succumbed to the relentless advance of desert sands.File:Kolmanskop Ghost Town.jpg

Today, it stands as a remarkable open-air museum, its well-preserved buildings and sand-filled interiors offering a captivating glimpse into its bygone era. Kolmanskop’s eerie and surreal beauty, a photographer’s paradise, draws visitors from around the world to explore its history and the enduring power of nature. Guided tours recount the town’s diamond mining legacy and the lives of those who once called it home, making Kolmanskop an evocative and unforgettable destination in the Namib Desert.

Animals in Namibia

Gemsbok (oryx)

The gemsbok, known as the oryx, is an iconic desert-dwelling antelope in Namibia. Recognized for its striking appearance with long, straight horns and black-and-white facial markings, it thrives in arid landscapes, including the Namib and Kalahari Deserts. These resilient creatures are both grazers and browsers, adept at obtaining moisture and nutrients from desert flora.Gemsbok - Wikipedia

Gemsboks are often seen around waterholes and are known for their solitary or small group behavior. With their keen eyesight and sharp horns, they are well-suited to avoid predators, contributing to their healthy populations in Namibia’s national parks and reserves, making them a symbol of Namibian wildlife.

Springbok

The springbok, a graceful antelope, is a common sight across Namibia’s diverse landscapes. Recognizable by its reddish-brown coat and distinctive white face and belly markings, it thrives in a variety of habitats, from grassy plains to desert regions. Springboks are known for their remarkable leaping ability, or “pronking,” where they spring into the air, a behavior often used to signal alarm or excitement.Springbok - Wikipedia

These social animals are usually found in small to large herds, and their adaptability to arid conditions allows them to access moisture from their food. Springboks are an integral part of Namibia’s wildlife and are often encountered during safaris and game drives, adding to the country’s rich biodiversity.

Ostrich

The ostrich, an iconic and flightless bird, roams the varied landscapes of Namibia. With its distinctive long neck, long legs, and a prominent plume of feathers, it’s easily recognizable. Ostriches are highly adaptable, inhabiting deserts, grasslands, and savannahs. They are known for being the world’s largest bird species. Ostriches are omnivorous, feasting on a diet of plants, seeds, insects, and small animalsCommon ostrich - Wikipedia

They are known for their incredible speed, capable of running at up to 45 miles per hour. Ostriches often travel in pairs or small groups and are frequently spotted during safaris and wildlife encounters in Namibia, adding a unique avian charm to the country’s rich natural heritage.

Meerkat

The meerkat, a charismatic and highly social mongoose species, thrives in Namibia’s diverse landscapes, particularly in the arid regions such as the Kalahari Desert. Meerkats are renowned for their distinctive upright posture and their habit of standing guard while foraging for insects and small prey. These cooperative creatures live in tight-knit family groups, often referred to as “mobs” or “clans,” with each member contributing to the group’s survival.Meerkat - Wikipedia

In Namibia, they are frequently encountered in sandy habitats, and their curious and playful behavior makes them a delight to observe during safaris and nature excursions. Meerkats add a charming and endearing dimension to Namibia’s already remarkable wildlife.

African elephant

The African elephant, one of the world’s largest land animals, is an iconic presence in Namibia’s diverse landscapes. These majestic creatures are known for their impressive size, powerful trunks, and distinctive large ears. African elephants inhabit various regions of Namibia, including the Kunene and Zambezi regions, as well as Etosha National Park, where they are frequently spotted. These intelligent and social animals roam freely, often in family groups, and are a captivating sight during safaris and wildlife encounters.Elephant - Wikipedia

Namibia’s conservation efforts play a vital role in protecting its elephant populations, ensuring the continued presence of these magnificent animals in the country’s national parks and reserves.

Accommodations in Namibia

Luxury accommodations

Namibia offers a selection of luxury accommodations that blend opulence with the stunning wilderness. Examples include Little Kulala Lodge, perched on the fringes of the Namib Desert with private villas and stargazing decks, Shipwreck Lodge, an eco-conscious retreat nestled along the Skeleton Coast, and Onguma the Fort, a lavish lodge overlooking Etosha National Park’s vast plains, ensuring a memorable and indulgent safari experience.

mid range Accommodations

Namibia provides an array of comfortable mid-range accommodations that offer a balance between affordability and quality. Notable options include the Etosha Safari Lodge, ideally situated for exploring Etosha National Park, Desert Quiver Camp near the Namib Desert’s towering dunes, and Mowani Mountain Camp, offering unique rock formations and cultural experiences in Damaraland. These mid-range choices ensure a pleasant and well-rounded stay while exploring Namibia’s captivating landscapes.

Budget Accommodations

For budget-conscious travelers, Namibia offers affordable accommodations that don’t compromise on the adventure. Budget options include the friendly atmosphere of Cardboard Box Hostel in Windhoek, comfortable stays at the Out of Africa Town Lodge in Swakopmund, and camping options within Namibia’s national parks, such as the Skei Campsite in Etosha. These budget-friendly choices provide a cozy place to rest after exhilarating days of exploration in Namibia’s stunning natural surroundings.

Other Hot air balloon safari destinations in Africa

Okavango Delta, Botswana

Hot air balloon safaris in Botswana‘s Okavango Delta are a truly enchanting experience that provides a unique vantage point to soak in the delta’s splendor. As you ascend into the morning sky, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the winding water channels, lush islands, and emerald landscapes below. It’s a prime opportunity to spot diverse wildlife from above, including elephants, hippos, crocodiles, and a colorful array of bird species.

The gentle and silent flight allows for uninterrupted moments of wildlife observation and photography. After your serene journey, you’ll descend to enjoy a champagne breakfast in the heart of the delta, adding a touch of luxury to this immersive adventure. It’s a captivating way to embrace the natural beauty and wildlife of the Okavango Delta from a truly unique perspective.

Serengeti national park, Tanzania

Hot air balloon safaris over Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park offer a captivating and immersive way to explore this iconic wilderness. As you take off, the vast plains and dramatic landscapes unfold beneath you, revealing a tapestry of savannah, acacia trees, and meandering rivers. The true magic happens as you glide silently above the park’s renowned wildlife, from herds of wildebeest and zebras on their Great Migration to lions, elephants, and giraffes. The tranquility of the flight enhances wildlife viewing opportunities and allows for breathtaking photography.

Maasai Mara, Kenya

Hot air balloon safaris over Kenya’s Maasai Mara are a spellbinding way to explore this iconic wildlife haven. As you gently rise above the plains, you’ll be greeted by sweeping vistas of golden grasslands, meandering rivers, and the distinct silhouette of acacia trees. The real thrill comes from observing the Maasai Mara’s famed residents from a unique perspective. You’ll witness the Great Migration as millions of wildebeest and zebras traverse the Mara River, while lions, cheetahs, and elephants roam below.Maasai Mara - Wikipedia

Magaliesberg, South Africa

Hot air balloon safaris over Magaliesberg, South Africa, offer a serene and scenic adventure in this captivating region. As you ascend, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the rugged Magaliesberg Mountains, lush valleys, and meandering rivers that define this picturesque landscape. The gentle flight allows for tranquil observation of the diverse flora and fauna below, including antelope, birdlife, and the occasional glimpse of elusive predators.

It’s a peaceful and immersive experience that provides a unique perspective on the natural beauty of the Magaliesberg area.

Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

Hot air balloon safaris over Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park offer an entrancing and soothing way to explore this lesser-known gem. As you rise into the morning sky, you’ll be greeted by sweeping vistas of the park’s diverse landscapes, including ancient baobab trees, lush swamps, and the meandering Tarangire River. The true magic of this experience lies in the bird’s-eye view of the park’s wildlife, from large herds of elephants and giraffes to graceful impalas and majestic lions.

The tranquil flight ensures uninterrupted moments of wildlife observation and photography. It is truly an extraordinary way to connect with the natural beauty and wildlife of Tarangire National Park, creating cherished memories in this pristine wilderness.The Best time to visit Tarangire National Park

Drakensberg, South Africa

Hot air balloon safaris over South Africa’s Drakensberg region offer an irresistible and gentle way to explore this stunning mountainous landscape. As you go up into the morning sky, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking views of the rugged Drakensberg Mountains, dramatic cliffs, and lush valleys that define this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The true magic of this experience lies in the peaceful flight that provides a unique perspective on the natural beauty of the area. From above, you’ll appreciate the pristine wilderness, cascading waterfalls, and serene lakes that dot the landscape.Drakensberg - Wikipedia

Kafue National Park, Zambia

Hot air balloon safaris over Zambia’s Kafue National Park offer an arresting and tranquil way to explore this vast and diverse wilderness. As you soar into the morning sky, you’ll be greeted by sweeping vistas of Kafue’s varied landscapes, including lush riverine forests, rolling plains, and meandering rivers. The true magic of this experience lies in the bird’s-eye view of the park’s wildlife, from herds of elephants and buffaloes to graceful antelopes and the occasional glimpse of elusive predators like lions and leopards. The tranquil flight ensures uninterrupted moments of wildlife observation and photography.Kafue National Park - Wikipedia

Luxor, Egypt

Hot air balloon experiences in Luxor, Egypt, offer a magical and enchanting way to explore the ancient wonders of this historic city. As you spiral upwards into the morning sky, you’ll witness the breathtaking beauty of the Nile River winding through the timeless landscapes, with iconic temples and monuments dotting the horizon.Karnak - Wikipedia

The true marvel lies in the unparalleled view of Luxor’s ancient treasures from above, including the Temple of Karnak, the Valley of the Kings, and the Temple of Hatshepsut. The serene flight ensures uninterrupted moments of awe and discovery, providing a unique perspective on Egypt’s rich history and architectural marvels.

Marrakech, Morocco

Hot air balloon adventures over Marrakech, Morocco, offer a mesmerizing and immersive way to explore the enchanting landscapes of this vibrant city. As you gently lift off into the morning sky, you’ll be greeted by panoramic views of Marrakech’s distinctive red rooftops, historic palaces, and the magnificent Atlas Mountains in the distance.

The true allure of this experience lies in the unique perspective of Marrakech’s architectural wonders and bustling markets from above, including the iconic Jardin Majorelle and the bustling Djemaa el-Fna square. The tranquil flight ensures uninterrupted moments of wonder and discovery, providing an extraordinary view of Morocco’s rich culture and heritage.

Frequently asked questions
  • Is a hot air balloon safari in Namibia worth it?

Yes, a hot air balloon safari in Namibia is absolutely worth it for its breathtaking views and unique wildlife encounters

  • How much does it cost to have a hot air balloon ride in Namibia?

Hot air balloon rides in Namibia cost about N$7800 per person

  • What is the best time for a hot air balloon ride in Namibia?

The best time for hot air balloon rides in Namibia is during the dry season, from April to October, when the weather is clear and wildlife is more concentrated around water sources.

  • How long does a hot air balloon safari last in Namibia?

Hot air balloon safaris in Namibia typically last around one to one and a half hours, providing ample time to enjoy the breathtaking views and wildlife sightings.