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Kenya: Balloon Safari in Mara

Balloon Safari (from Bateleur Camp in the Masaai Mara)
This was the only part of our trip that didn’t go as planned. We were awoken at 4:00 to prepare for a 5:00 am departure to the ballooning site. After an hour’s drive, we reached the take-off spot, where we received a briefing from an incredibly funny balloon pilot and were offered hot drinks. It was a wet morning, so they started blowing up the balloons with fans in order to dry them off. Then several test balloons (regular helium balloons) were sent up, but it was determined that it was too windy to fly that day. I’m sure they would have done everything possible to send those balloons up, since at $435 per person x 40 people (2 balloons each held 12 passengers, and 1 balloon held 16 passengers) meant a lot of missed money that day (although our travel agent has promised us a refund, we are still waiting for it over three weeks later). The balloon safari was run by Governor’s Camps (www.governorscamps.com). We were back at our camp by 7:00, in time to take the morning game drive (I think the balloon company called the camps to make sure they waited for their guests). Our game drive that day turned out to be excellent, so it was a good consolation for the missed balloon experience. We tried to rebook for the next day, but there was no space available. As long as you heart won’t be broken if you can’t go, it seems like a great experience. Just seeing the little that we did, it’s something that we will try to do again in the future (even if it’s in the US).

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