Direct Flights to London from R14,225*

Bill Harrop Hot Air Ballooning 2024/2025

Cape Town ballooning
Cradle of Humankind
Drakensberg ballooning Hartebeespoort ballooning

Each balloon trip includes coffee/tea on arrival, a 1 hour flight, sparkling wine on landing & a Citation for Bravery. There are 3 main option offered by Bill Harrop ballooning for shared flights:

  • The "Traditional" Balloon Safari package: tickets are valid for 12 months after booking and paying. This is the most expensive shared ride, from a price of R3500 per person sharing (subject to change). In the event of the flight needing to be cancelled by Bill Harrop due to unsafe flying conditions (e.g. rain/wind/hail/snow) passengers must rebook before the expiry date on their ticket.

  • The "Explorer" Balloon Safari package: tickets are valid for 12 months after booking and paying. This is medium-priced, at a price from R3200 per person sharing (subject to change). I the event of the flight needing to be cancelled by Bill Harrop due to unsafe flying conditions (e.g. rain/wind/hail/snow) passengers must rebook before the expiry date on their ticket.

  • The "Adventurer" Balloon Safari package: tickets are valid for 12 months after booking and paying. This is medium-priced, at a price from R3200 per person sharing (subject to change). This has the cheapest price, and is the one reflected on the form below. In the event of the flight needing to be cancelled by Bill Harrop due to unsafe flying conditions (e.g. rain/wind/hail/snow) passengers can either rebook before the expiry date on their ticket, or request a refund.

     

Booking Form & prices for Hot Air Ballooning






















*Prices subject to change

Electronic gift vouchers

Please email rob@southafrica.to to request an electronic gift voucher. They make amazing gifts.

Private balloon flights

Private balloon flights are possible, but expensive, ranging from R11,000 per couple per flight (Monday to Thursday) and R15,000 per couple on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The combined weight must be enough though!

Can children fly in a hot air balloon?

  • Kids must have an accompanying guardian with them, or parent.

  • Kids must be 7 years of age or older  and at least 1.3 meters in height.

  • If children are too small, they may not be allowed on board the balloon.

Reservations info required

  • Flight date

  • Each passenger’s name, age, weight, dietary requirements, allergies, medical impediments, physical impediments or pregnancy (pregnant women are not allowed to fly)

  • Details of non-flying breakfast guests.

  • Total number of breakfast eaters (this is at an additional cost)

  • Cellphone number of group leader, for coordinating matters in the morning of the hallooning.

  • Is this is a wedding, engagement, birthday or other special occassion?

  • Choice of pacikage:.

    • Adventurer

    • Explorer

    • Traditional

    • Exclusive

Launch site

The launch site is near a little dorp called "Skeerpoort", which is in the Magalies River Valley, some 45 kilometres north of Joburg, south-west of the Hartbeespoort dam..

Time of day

There is one flight a day around sunrise (the exact time of which varies through the year, later in winter than in summer); with this time of the day being chosen as the air is more stable (less windy).

Review

Bill Harrop hot air ballooning pride themselves on being the 'Original' hot air ballooning outfit in South Africa, and it shows - I was "blown away" by their professionalism. They took no risks with safety, and my ballooning flight was cancelled as a result of what they call strong cross-winds, but to a Capetonian is a gentle breeze. Luckily conditions improved on the Monday before my Mango flight back to Cape Town.

safely landed in our hot air balloon

Northern side of the Hartbeespoort

They are situated just north of the Hartebeespoort Dam and are easy to find - in fact a kilometre before I got there I was already seeing signposts saying "Bill Harrop hot air ballooning". On arrival at 06h10, it was nice and frosty, the sun wasn't up yet, and I was guided to the ballooning site by a friendly security guard.

propane burner filling the hot air balloon up

The gang

Dave welcomed us with offerings of hot chocolate, biscuits, tea and coffee. Dave lives on the premises with his wonderful family (he's daughter's home-schooled so she's also around), and runs the ballooning when the Harrops aren't around. Nik was our pilot, a salt-of-the-earth Englishman who has been there and done it all - he regularly balloons in the Serengeti and is on his way to work in England, where he alternates between ballooning and truck-driving.

trees next to the Magalies River

You cant steer a balloon in any direction other than up or down. And Nik immediately showed off his years of experience by allowing the "drainage" to take us towards the Hartbeespoort and then lifted higher so that the wind would take us back over the Magalies River, and very nearly into it as he lowered us again so that the drainage took us down to within a few feet of the river. We then went back over where we started and waved hello to those preparing our breakfast.

Bill Harrop ballooning take off spot

In the area we ballooned we could go to a maximum height of 1km, as the flight path for international flights to OR Tambo International Airport is above us, and we saw evidence of it with a Lufthansa A380 and a Singapore Airlines aircraft passing closeby overhead. Occassionally Nik would spit over the edge of the balloon, to see in what direction the wind was going.

mountain in Witwatersberg

As we flew over the Witwatersberg we saw cows, zebras, babboons, a jackal and giraffe (the balloon descended and we saw the animals up close and a bit confused). We headed towards the Hartbeespoort tracking station (where they used to track the space shuttles). We passed over a field where a less friendly farmer isn't keen on balloons landing, and landed very close to the tracking station. The landing wasn't hard, but we were dragged along a bit before ending in an upright position. I climbed out of the balloon, and relieved of my enormous weight it lifted up again! Japie, Nik and Dave then manoevered the basket smartly onto the trailer (which had arrived seconds after we landed).

After landing we drank champagne, as is the tradition started on the first flights in France, and at breakfast the shared experience and the champers all contributing to an enjoyable relaxing occassion. Nik told me that if we had landed 5 minutes later we would have had a hard landing (where the basket tips over and you get dragged along horizontally).

I have to mention the breakfast - it was very very good - as a vegetarian I am naturally fussy, but they full catered for my needs - including a delicious bean stew - thanks Patsy! At breakfast we had certificates handed out recognising our extraordinary bravery!

inside a hot air balloon

I recommend going ballooning with Bill Harrop hot air ballooning - whether it's man-alone like me or as the ultimate gift to your partner or parents.

Author:

Terms & Conditions

Click here to read Bill Harrop's Terms and Conditions for 2023/2024.

Click here to read Bill Harrop's special terms and conditions for frail/challenged/disabled people.

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