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Ballooning in Sossusvlei

Listed under Flying, Gliding & Ballooning in Namibia.

  • Photo of Ballooning in Sossusvlei
  • Photo of Ballooning in Sossusvlei
  • Photo of Ballooning in Sossusvlei
  • Photo of Ballooning in Sossusvlei
  • fantastic breakfast at landing site
  • Photo of Ballooning in Sossusvlei
  • Photo of Ballooning in Sossusvlei
Photo of Ballooning in Sossusvlei
Photo by Photography: Phil Dunnington
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There are three ballooning locations in Namibia, at Sossusvlei, Swakopmund and Otjiwarongo run respectively by Belgian, South African and German pilots.

The operation at Sossusvlei is the most extensive and caters for up to 25 passengers per day on a private estate amongst the dunes of the Namib desert, some over 300m high. Flights are always at dawn and last about an hour ending in champagne and a mouth-watering spread for breakfast at the landing spot. The pilot is well-versed in local geography and culture so the in-flight commentary is fascinating. Rust-red dunes untouched by signs of human presence form a seemingly endless backdrop. Animals and birds of prey populate the plains between as the balloon’s shadow contrasts starkly with the sunlit sand. A balloon basket is probably the most stable moving camera-platform you’ll ever encounter and has 360-degree vision open to the fresh desert breezes. Any concern about vertigo is soon dispersed when passengers realise that flying in a balloon is just like anything else where you are not connected to the ground and fear of heights is totally absent. Flights last about an hour ‘from sunrise to breakfast’.

Access to the area is either a 400km drive on dirt roads or, if you can afford it, by private aircraft to a nearby airstrip. Accomodation varies from basic safari-style camps to luxury lodges with prices to match. The balloons fly most mornings throughout the year except for the hottest season over New Year.

Written by  Phil Dunnington.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

The price is way over the dune top

1 Reply

How much was it?

Namib Sky Balloon Safaris Namibia... A MUST

In piercing icy darkness we arrived somewhere -not just anywhere though- out in nowhere. Surrounded by pure undisturbed nature we started to get ready for the serene adventure ahead with just the slightest hint of light threatening to slice through the silent darkness surrounding us. The light was beginning to illuminate the gigantic columned masses to the east, revealing the power of ancientness and uncontaminated force.

The clients arrived & suddenly, as if in a trance, light as a feather we were airborne, soaring gently, carried by the wind; -higher & higher. We now are children of the wind, in the hands of nature, but also in the hands of chaste skill...

Abruptly, yet gradually, we were caught between heaven & hell, amidst the vivid aurora light of a lucid sky & unconditional freedom. Few fine scattered, almost translucent clouds dotted the azure horizon, bathing in the morning light, giving off a magical glow in pastel-like hues. In the far distance, right below us as well as very neigh a picture of perfection presented itself all around us, unfolding like a perfect undiluted dream; -Utopia. Emotions & feelings of fascination- wonder- utter completeness- fulfilment & realisation flushed over our faces in turns. We were but only spectators yet part of the whole, in our true selves, amongst old friends; -the rocky arid mountains reaching for the dawning morning sky; the endless golden yellow, yet sylvan plains of elated grass dancing, playing with the gentle wind drinking up- & yet reflecting all of the early new born morning sun as the grassland slowly fades over to the famous crimson copper dunes that give a softness to this stunning contrast all around. In the far distance a touch of yawning blue paints the line of the ocean which takes your mind further than your eyes could ever behold... As we transcend on different heights and the light keeps on changing and maturing, a new picture continuously paints itself, as if nature is playing with our mind, forcing us to retreat deep within ourselves to find insight & an understanding most have long since lost.

Suddenly the ground is close to touch as the Balloon slowly descended down without me having truly noticed since I was drenching myself in this genuine untainted beauty of totality & transitory unconditional freedom.

As for the breakfast after this magnificent Balloon ride, I say nothing as this would be a new story on its own entirely & definitely worth while every minute of the total experience...

How Much does it cost to travel in a hot-air-balloon?

How much does it cost to travel in a Hot air balloon in Namibia? Namibia Currency if possible.

1 Reply

Hello Gamma,

It is N$ 3 950.00 per person, was still in March 2010, and includes a 1 hour balloon ride and then a breathtaking breakfast, erected like magic, in the middle of nowhere. The whole activity took us round about 4h30 min. When we arrived at the balloon, they did not even ask us to help with the unpacking etc of the balloon; -no, all was perfectly organized and everybody knew what to do; unlike other countries where you have to help unpacking the balloon. The ride in many countries, like Germany, is often also not that long and not half as informative as the one I did at Namib Sky Ballooning.

The price sounds much at first, i do admit, but all I can say is; “hang in there for a moment!” and consider what you get in other countries for the same price... Of all the Balloon rides i did thus far, i’m most impressed with them, -being their service, organisation, the pilot’s knowledge of the country and the ambience.

Namibia as such is already worth every penny, alone already because of all the untouched places and the fight against pollution.

I hope this answers your message...

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