Ballooning in Tanzania


Jul 3rd, 2005, 09:58 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 72
Ballooning in Tanzania

I am sure this has probably been discussed before, but because I am new to this site I thought I would put my two cents in. I hated it, but no one could have convinced me not to go before I went. Somehow I thought it was going to be a serene experience, seeing the animals at dawn, kind of floating in the air. I didn't realize it was going to be so noisy and I didn't realize it was going to terrify the animals. I can clearly remember them looking up and running for their lives. I would love to hear if others had a similar experience.
One of the things which detracted from the "pleasure" of the flight was the attitude of the captain or whatever he is called. First, he was very rude and arrogant to our guide. Secondly, we had a really rough landing, the basket dragging on the ground for a while and everyone being instructed to protect our heads with our hands. One lady actually got some sort of branch or thorn stuck in her scalp and needed first aid. Anyway, that was just my experience with the ballooning, but I absolutely adored Tanzania and its people. Lorraine
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Jul 3rd, 2005, 02:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 218
Interesting to hear of the different experiences - I loved it, but didnt seem to have anything like the same kind of experience you had. We did not have our guide with us - we were picked up at the lodge and transferred to the launch site by the company. The pilot was pleasant, courteous and enthusiastic with all of the passengers. Noise - some from the burner, but we got a lot of "glide" time which was the peace I had expected although the the wind was higher than I had perhaps realized it would be.

Some animals did run - mainly those with "flight" responses to anything unusual (antelope etc.). The cheetah watched us with complete disdain as did elephants. Looking back behind, the running animals stopped after the shadow of the balloon passed them by.

Our landing was a bit bumpy, but the basket did remain upright - and we had been warned about the possibility of rough landings before takeoff, and that it might end up on its side similar to takeoff position. This is simply because the pilot has only the burner to control where the balloon goes (must be a challenge). No problems with thorns or trees, however, and everyone in our trip loved the experience.

Amazing what different impressions/experiences can be gained from different staff, weather days, landing sites and other variables, because reading your account I can see how easily our experience could have been very different.....!
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