For many years this has been my desire.
A balloon flight, over the Serengeti!
On Saturday I realised my desires, in celebration of my upcoming 50th birthday.
We were already in the Serengeti for a safari with our visiting mums. Staying on a campsite in the middle of the Serenera.
We were up early before dawn, for the drive from our campsite to the balloon launch site. As we travelled we were able to witness life in the dark of the Serengeti.
A white mongoose A pride of lions.
We arrived just before sunrise.
Our balloon was still to be inflated as we received our briefing.
We clambered onboard and hooked up while the basket lay horizontally, then as the balloon filled it suddenly righted.
The hats were a vital part of the kit to prevent hair being singed.
Then suddenly we were rising up into the dawn skies.
Sadly the effects of El Niño have meant that the teeming herds of Zebra and Wildebeest had already moved south, and so were not where they were supposed to be, but you can’t have wild animals on cue.
From above the plains of the Serengeti were different, revealing the tracks of beasts which had wandered through.
Below we found scattered herds of topi and hartebeest, elephants and impala; hyena, jackets, even a pride of lions.
All too soon we were back on the ground and off on a mini-safari to see a cheetah we had viewed from above.
The cheetah turned out to be a leopard and what an encounter we had.
The leopard suddenly sprung from its hiding place and rushed our vehicles …..
…. before turning and running away
We left the great beast alone and returned for a Champagne toast – a long way from the leopard.
Then a cooked breakfast under the open skies of the Serengeti.
All in all a fabulous start to the day.