Experience Namibia’s landscape from above with hot air ballooning in the Namib desert. When visiting Namibia you have the unique opportunity to fly over the world’s oldest desert in a hot air balloon during the calm hours of the early morning with Namib Sky Ballooning Safaris. Watching the dawn in the Namib Desert from a hot air balloon is a magnificent experience and a thrilling feeling.
Take to the skies in a hot air balloon and experience the world from a whole new angle. Read more about this in this blog article.
History and tradition
Namib Sky Ballooning is Namibia’s oldest ballooning firm. Eric and Nancy Hesemans, originating from the Congo, established their family company in 1991, long before the first lodges opened at Sossusvlei. Namib Sky Ballooning’s years of expertise and professionalism are important criteria for Info-Namibia when scheduling a hot air balloon ride in Namibia. Despite the fact that the four pilots (including the Hesemans’ son Denis) have been doing this for 27 years, their joy for each trip is astounding.
Namib Sky has a lengthy history and over 60.000 successful balloon flights in the desert, and has a 100% safety record.
How They Work
Because hot air rises, hot air balloons operate. By using the burner to heat the air within the balloon, it becomes lighter than the cooler air outside. The balloon will float upwards as if it were in water as a result of this. Obviously, allowing the air to cool causes the balloon to eventually deflate. The height of the balloon is at the control of the pilots, who monitor it with different equipment. Over time, they develop extraordinary anticipating abilities and can typically regulate the fall of a balloon to within millimetres.
Because balloons cannot be guided in the traditional sense, they move in the direction of the wind, which varies depending on altitude. Pilots utilise this intelligently to change direction by burning to go up or allowing the air to cool to go down, and catching different air streams at various heights.
Pilots may utilise twisting vents in the balloon’s side to spin it 360 degrees for a complete panoramic view and to make the basket’s broadside lead for landing.
Planes and helicopters land in predetermined spots, whereas hot air balloons do not. They can’t be guided in the same manner (which is why it’s always a thrill!). The balloon is brought to land by the pilots after about an hour in the air on a passenger ride, when they see a safe open spot, generally in the countryside.
All passengers are asked to squat down in the seated landing posture by the captain (knees bent, back facing in the direction of travel and holding ropes provided). The pilot opens the vent at the top of the balloon as the balloon approaches the ground, allowing the heated air to escape.
Balloon flying in Namibia – an unbelievable experience
The wind carries the hot air balloon, hence the landing place is likewise determined by the wind. The pilots select where they will take off in the afternoon before the trip and convey this information to the lodging where the passengers would be picked up. As a general rule, you will be collected up 45 minutes before sunrise, either at your accommodation or at a pre-arranged meeting location.
You set out just before daybreak to witness a breathtaking sunrise from the comfort of the balloon — an unforgettable experience. You will have the opportunity to see the Namib Desert awaken from above for the following hour.
A wonderful breakfast buffet with sparkling wine greeting awaits you at the landing spot in the middle of nowhere. An authentic “Out of Africa” adventure. The pilot will hand over your flying certificate before taking you on a picturesque journey back to the designated pick-up points.
Depending on the season, you will return to your lodging between 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.
Describe the experience
A hot air balloon ride over the Namib Desert is a must-do for anybody planning a trip to Namibia and the Namib Desert. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime sensation to take to the sky at daybreak in utter stillness, save for the odd blow of the burner.
Observe how the sand dunes change colour with every rainbow hue, and how the sun transforms the curves and patterns of the desert as it comes to life below you as the sun rises.
Springbok leave small footprints as they travel the dunes, sidewinder snakes leave S-bends, and tall grasses leave sweeping tracks as they are blown about in the wind. This is perhaps the most awe-inspiring and enchanting hot air ballooning experience in all of Africa!
A hot air balloon flight is a must-do on any trip to the Namib Desert! The balloon trips are, of course, wind dependent, and one can float through dunes or vast plains filled with golden grasses, framed on the horizon by purple and blue colored mountains. Granite mountains may be seen in the distance in the world’s oldest desert, where animals and flora have successfully adapted.
The Namib Naukluft Park encompasses vast swaths of the Sossusvlei, creating a photographer’s paradise. Is it possible to snap too many photos of the sand dunes? The shifting sands produce varied forms as they crawl across the ground, always changing.
You will be taken from your tent to the launching site of the hot air balloon trip early in the morning before light. You’ll be given a safety briefing and introduced to your pilot when you arrive. Because only a small number of people are taken on this beautiful tour each day, it is best to reserve well in advance.
You soar into the early sky and float away in silence as the balloon inflates with warm air from the burners. Your pilot will shift altitude to hunt for wind channels and to ensure that you get the most out of the breathtaking view and ride delight.
This is a really romantic experience, and when you return to Earth, the crew will have prepared a champagne brunch for you in the middle of the desert, so you will be spoiled once again!
What a way to start the day, and it’s only the beginning as you’re now being taken back to your desert safari camp to ponder on the sunrise and the rest of the day ahead of you.
— Bronwyn Reynolds, Fizzin