Hot air ballooning over the Namib Desert is an absolute must for anyone considering a holiday to Namibia and visiting the Namib Desert. To take to the skies at sunrise in complete silence, except for the occasional blow of the burner is an experience one never forgets.
Watch the sand dunes changing hue with every colour of the rainbow and as the sun rises how it changes the contours and shapes of the desert as it comes to life below you.
Below see the tiny footprints left by springbok as they cross the sands, see S-bends left by side winder snakes and the sweeping trails of long grasses as they are blown around in the wind. This is probably the most overwhelming hot air ballooning experience in all of Africa and certainly the most magical!
No visit to the Namib Desert is complete without a hot air balloon ride! The balloon rides are of course wind dependant and one can sail across the dunes or open plains filled with golden grasses framed by purple and blue tinged mountains on the horizon. In the distance can be seen granite mountains in what is the oldest desert in the world and where the animals and plants have successfully adapted.
The Namib Naukluft Park covers huge tracts of the Sossusvlei which is a photographer’s dream. Can one ever take too many photographs of the dunes? Constantly changing the shifting sands form different shapes as they snake across the land.
The hot air balloon flight starts early in the morning before light when you are driven from your camp to the starting point. On arrival you are given a safety briefing and introduced to your pilot. Only a very small number of passengers are taken each day for this wonderful excursion so pre-booking well in advance is advisable.
As the balloon inflates with warm air from the burners, you rise into the dawn sky and float away in silence. Your pilot will make altitude changes looking for the wind channels and to make sure that you gain maximum benefit from the stunning scenery and enjoyment of the ride.
This is a rather romantic experience and after as you descend to earth you are met by the crew who will have set up a champagne breakfast in the middle of the desert so you get spoilt once again!
What a way to start your day and it has only just begun as you are now driven back to your desert safari camp to reflect on the dawn and the rest of the day to come.
By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017
Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...
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