Hot Air Balloon Rides South Africa

Hot Air Balloon

Love is in the (Hot) Air (Balloon), But Only in the Day

It’s your anniversary and you want to do something extraordinarily romantic for your partner and what could be more romantic than sharing the stars at night in a hot air balloon?  You want to book your hot air balloon ride now, but hold your horses…can hot air balloons fly at night?

Hot Air Balloons, Can They Fly At Night?

Balloon Pilots operate under the rules of the South African Civil Aviation Authority. Depending on where the flight is taking place, visibility must be at least 1 to 3 kilometers. This obviously rules out hot air balloon flights at night. The same goes in most parts for foggy conditions and pilots will be grounded until such time as the visibility is good enough to allow take-off.

Why Hot Air Ballooning is a Bad Idea at Night

Stating the obvious, we know that it is much darker and more difficult to see at night than during daytime. Here are a few other reasons why it is not advised to go dangling in a basket below a huge balloon when you cannot see properly.

  1. Difficult to spot obstacles – night vision takes around 10 to 20 minutes to take full effect in a human. It would be disastrous if your pilot is busy taking off and can’t see the line of trees or the rusted wind-pump nearby. A hot air balloon is nearly 17 meters wide and about 24 meters high and the smallest misjudgment in distance can send the balloon crashing into something sharp and dangerous.
  2. Getting disoriented is easy – When flying a hot air balloon, an altimeter guides the pilot, because in the sky, everything looks the same. It is very difficult to navigate without a point of reference during the day, now imagine the confusion at night and how much more danger there is for the passengers and pilot.
  3. Cannot see where to land – most serious hot air ballooning accidents occur during landing. Rough landings and crashing into obstacles or getting entangled in power lines are the chief causes of serious injury or death. A ground crew directs the pilot to a suitable and safe landing spot during the day. At night, if the pilot cannot see the ground crew or landing site clearly, chances of a serious incident are hugely increased.

What Is The Best Time to Get Into a Basket

High visibility and low winds are necessary for a safe hot air balloon ride. This once again rules out the night as a viable or safe time to try and take off. For something a lot more peaceful and serene you should rather book your flight:

  • Early morning – Experience the invigorating effects of an early morning hot air balloon flight. Weather patterns are usually more stable in the early morning which makes for nice, stable and romantic flights.
  • Before sunset – Crank up the romance levels with a late afternoon flight. Float in a twilight of yellows and oranges with only a few vultures as companions. Let the African sunset create the mood for love.

Overnight and Hot Air Balloon Flight for Two

The perfect wedding, anniversary or proposal idea is spending the night in a 5-star executive suite. Wake up to greet the sun on a romantic hot air balloon flight, sip sparkling wine while you glide low over the water or rise high to see the full splendour of dawn and the spectacular and unique scenery. Click HERE to book your luxury overnight stay and flight now.


About The Bucket List Genie

Everyone has a bucket list of things they want to do in their lifetimes, whether it is a single momentous achievement or a long list of experiences they want to mark off to say "been there, done that". Odette is one of those people with a bucket list that reads like a phone book and she wholeheartedly chases down every adventure.

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