World’s first trans-Serengeti ballooning safari a success

What you need to know:

  • For three decades, only hot air ballooning services were being offered within the national park, but with the product, adventurers will have the opportunity for crisscrossing the entire ecosystem

Serengeti. The world’s first trans-Serengeti ballooning expedition has been successfully tested in Tanzania’s flagship national park, promising to be a new awe-inspiring tourism product for adventurers.

For over three decades, Serengeti Balloon Safaris, the pioneer balloon operator outfit, has been offering hot air balloon service within the national park only, but with the innovative product now, adventurers will have the opportunity to crisscross the entire ecosystem.

The Serengeti is an iconic ecosystem straddling the Tanzania-Kenya border, partly protected by Serengeti and Maasai Mara National Park and by various other kinds of protected areas, including game reserves, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and community-managed Wildlife Management Areas.

“The journey from the sky by hot air balloon offers an unparalleled opportunity for immersing oneself in the en-chanting world of the majestic Serengeti National Park,” said Mohamed Masudi, who participated in the expedition recently.

The renowned BBC presenter-cum-conservationist, Ms Kate Humble, along with a select few clients, joined an expert crew from Serengeti Balloon Safaris to undertake the world’s first expedition, traversing the entire Serengeti from east to west by hot air balloon.

On November 1, 2023, the expedition team arrived in Serengeti and departed from Eastern Serengeti’s Nyabogati area and then, for over five consecutive days, flew westwards before landing on a football pitch in a remote village on the shores of Lake Victoria.

One can imagine an incredible reception that greeted them from the community that had never seen the spectacle of a hot air balloon.

“Each morning the team flew for two hours to make the distance and complete the journey in time,” says the Serengeti Balloon Safaris Marketing Manager, Mr Pascal Kirigiti.

The team made the most of the steady morning weather conditions, taking off just before dawn and enjoying the magical Serengeti landscape from the air, traversing over unseen areas and hidden corners of the wilderness.

Owing to exceedingly high rainfall on their penultimate day, Mr Kirigiti said the team was forced backwards and so needed to extend the planned expedition by one day to complete the journey and land on the shores of Lake Victoria.

“This light footprint adventure offered a totally unique perspective of this famous park, and on the way, the team met resident conservationists and scientists who are undoubtedly the modern heroes of this fabled land,” he noted.

Friend of Serengeti Balloon Safaris Kate Humble, who along with her award-winning producer husband, Ludo Graham, captured the magic of this adventure on a camera to make some stunning marketing video clips as well as compelling articles for major UK and international travel and adventure publications.

A select number of paying clients also joined the expedition, which partnered with Far & Wild Travel, Aardvark Safaris, and Sabbatical Travel Company, LiNGER.