Parks & reserves: Masai Mara National Reserve
Hot air balloon safaris is one of the exclusive joys of Masai Mara. Exclusive, because you probably won't enjoy this elsewhere in Kenya. But exclusive as well because of the price: expect to pay something around USD 500 per person. It is very likely that the balloon companies wish to empty the passengers' pockets and purses so that the balloon can soar up in the sky. Anyway, the experience is superb.
Most lodges and camps offer this possibility. If you travel on a package safari, enquire to your travel agent or safari operator. It is always better to book well in advance, since despite the price this is a very popular activity and flights could be fully booked upon your arrival to the Mara. If you are travelling on your own or wish to arrange it by yourself, you can try to contact the Skyship company, Hot Air Safaris, or Adventures Aloft Africa.
The usual plan is as follows. Passengers are usually picked up around 5:30 a.m. and driven to the site where the lift-off will take place. Inflating the balloon is part of the show. Once the balloon is aloft, passengers have the chance to watch the sunrise high above the plains. The flight lasts 60-90 minutes. Finally, the price usually includes a bush breakfast, made on firewood stoves beneath a tree and served with champagne.