Hot air balloon in Hoedspruit
One hour long hot air balloon flights are offered flights west of Hoedspruit over the Lowveld part of the Blyde River. The mountain ranges to the west and south offer shelter from most winds, allowing good flying weather on many days. On calm days, flights are sometimes offered over the Kapama Nature Reserve, to the south-east of Hoedspruit. The land is a mix of private reserves & farmland, on the foot of the Drakensberg Escarpment.
The price is R2600 per person, going up to R2860 per person from 1 October 2011. Children under 45 kilograms are half price.
Passengers are expected to honour their booking, once confirmed by them (although a deposit is not charged and and there is no cancellation fee).
If wind or rain is expected, flights may be cancelled. The weather might unexpectedly turn bad overnight and then we must be able to contact the lodge or the passengers in the very early hours of the morning to stop them from driving needlessly to the launch site. In the long run, flights take place about 8 days out of 10.
Meeting places and times are arranged the day before the balloon flight, once the updated weather forecast has been arranged, (usually by 10am). The meeting time is 20 minutes before sunrise. The choice of launch site is influenced by the forecast wind direction and speed, as well as where passengers are staying. It is important that passengers are contactable the day before the flight.
Passengers should arrive at the pre-arranged launch site no less than 20 minutes before sunrise. Because staff and vehicles are tied up in the 2 hours before a launch, it is difficult to collect passengers from their accommodation. Some lodges do the transfer as a courtesy, while others use a third party to do the transfer, at additional cost to the passengers. We can also assist with arranging a transfer by a third party (Sable Tours are recommended as they are punctual, efficient and not least affordable).
During its flight, the ground crew follows the balloon and meets them at the landing site, wherever that might be. The lodge/transfer company vehicles often accompany the ground crew to a point where a reserve gate has to be entered or where the road gets bad and wait there. After issuing certificates and serving sparkling wine, the passengers are transfered back to where the other vehicles are waiting, or to the launch site.
All bookings are provisional until a completed booking form is received, with a first name, last name and weight for every passenger, as well as contact numbers for passengers.