Are all Mara balloon rides the same ?

Jun 28th, 2010, 03:43 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 85
Are all Mara balloon rides the same ?

I'm thinking about booking a balloon ride in the Mara for August and I vaguely remember reading that some operators organize better rides than others. So, here I am asking fellow fodorites for their valuable advice Something I should look for ? Something I should avoid ? Or are they all pretty much the same ?
micmic is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 05:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 4,215
We did opurs from Little Governnors which was fantastic. Sometimes - when not too many animals were down - going really low just passing the tree crowns.the champagne breakfast was also very good.....AND as a bonus we were with Michael Poliza in the basket and having really nice chats about photography, Cape Toen, Kenya and Germany ;-).

So we can not compare - ours was great!

As far as I have heard also the rides from Serena launch site are supposed to be very good.

Whoever you chose - make sure it's a SAFE one!

spassvogel is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 05:14 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
The operator booked is based on who is closest to where you're staying (lodge or camp). As price includes transfer to/from lift-off site, by the operator providing the service. Thus you won't be going clear over the other end of the Mara. The operators are all good and reputable.
sandi is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 06:24 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 85
During the period I want to have the balloon ride, I will be camping at the Olarro private camp site. I also have a local tour agent who can arrange things for me if something proves to be difficult to handle from a distance. If there is not much difference between different rides then I guess the closest launch site would be the Serena.

The ride with Poliza must have been great; I have one of his albums and it's fantastic!
micmic is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 12:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Was recently on Olaro Orek conservancy and the one guest who was scheduled for balloon safari had their lift-off from near Fig Tree Camp.

If you book thru your agent, it'll be booked with the company closests to where you are staying; likewise if you book direct thru your camp/lodge.
sandi is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 01:15 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 79
On our Safari we stayed at the Mara Serena but when our balloon ride was booked there were not four spots left for the balloon ride near the Serena. We had about a 45 minute night drive to the balloons at Governor Camp. We had a lovely balloon ride and the best breakfast. At one time we were so low we almost touched the tall grass. We also landed so close to breakfast we got to walk there. We then had a nice game drive back to the Serena.

cougfan is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,490
It is much a matter of WIND (& luck)
i remember having a baloon ride and after a while, saw another baloon taking off (from another lodge). i saw that baloon landing and we contiued for a substantial more time and distance

to have a night game drive, i'd consider a far away operator
aby is offline  

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