Hot Air Balloon in Cape Town - A Detailed Guide

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Cape Town is renowned for its spectacular mountains, Wineland stretches, and stunning coastline. Hot Air Balloon tours are probably the most appropriate medium to observe this charming city. Notably, from family trips to couples seeking a romantic experience, there are different types of hot air balloon tours for all. Begin your flight on this Cape Town balloon with the rising sun that irradiates the mesmerizing Cape Winelands landscape that you can observe with a bird's eye view. Notably, Hot Air Ballooning in Cape Town is famous as this city has two ideal locations for a Ballooning tour - Stellenbosch and Paarl. These are shielded by the mountains and hilly territory, which makes these two a perfect backdrop for this activity.

Gaze at the colourful umbrella of your hot air balloon as the inflating combustion makes it buoyant and breathes life into it. Enjoy this memorable upwardly surging experience. The ground reporting staff will meet you amicably as the pilot lands you on the ground and take you off for a delightful breakfast, some marvellous local sparkling wine. Also, do not miss a chance to hear some recapitulation of balloon stories during your tour.
  • Total Trip Duration: 3 - 4 hours
  • Flight Duration: Around 1 hour
  • Departure Time: 6:00 AM - 8:00 AM
  • Cost: USD 264 to USD 1125
  • Best Time: Early Morning during Spring-Summer Season
  • Recommended Clothing: Casual

Types of Hot Air Balloon Flights in Cape Town

Majorly the visitors can either book a Private hot air balloon in the Cape Winelands or a shared hot air balloon. 
  • A private tour is suitable for couples, specifically for honeymooners, as it will just be the two of you and no one other than the pilot and crew. 
  • If you want to enjoy this memorable experience with your friends or family members, you can book a group hot-air balloon tour.
  • In a shared ballooning tour, you will share the balloon bucket with other visitors. Notably, many friendships are nurtured this way. So, it is suitable for those on a solo trip.
Here is a selection of a few notable flights:
  • Classic Hot Air Balloon Flight - The classic balloon ride that is one hour of pure joy.
  • Safari Flights - A combination of a hot air balloon ride with game viewing. It includes a flight over game reserves.
  • Exclusive Flight For Two - This is an exclusive intimate flight trip for couples. You will be only accompanied by a dedicated guide or pilot. The prices for this are on the higher side.

Cost And Duration of Hot Air Balloon in Cape Town

All ballooning flights usually take off at sunrise. The complete hot air balloon tour has a 3.5 - 4 hours duration. Typically, these tours include tea/coffee on arrival, a one-hour Hot Air Balloon Ride, a Glass of local sparkling wine (post-landing celebration drink), and breakfast.

For booking one of the hot air balloon tours in Cape Town, the prices are as per the features of the tour selected. The general price range for this activity is from USD 264 to USD 1125. Notably, most tours offer similar features, but the prices will considerably differ depending on whether you opt for a private or a group hot-air balloon tour. 

On a usual trip, you have to report at the pre-informed spot, where you will meet a staff member who will do your sign-in process and take you to the launch pad. You can warm up there with a nice cup of tea or coffee while the balloon is prepared for the flight. Then, in a beautiful balloon, you will start your flight in the Cape Town sky for approximately one hour. In this duration, the balloon can travel from two to eight miles, according to wind speed. After this, you will land and will have a glass of local sparkling wine or juice. Lastly, your trip will be winded up with a delectable hot breakfast at a hotel (as included in your package).

Hot Air Balloon Take-Off Sites & Timings

The Stellenbosch Farms and Paarl are among the ideal locations for a Ballooning tour in Cape Town. So, the major take-off sites are situated around these two areas.

Take Off Sites For Hot Air Balloon In Cape Town
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  • The first take off-site for the Cape Town hot air balloon rides is Joostenberg Bistro & Garden Centre, located around 50 km from Cape Town city in the Cape Winelands of Stellenbosch. This specific location is surrounded by beautiful vineyards and the Jonkershoek and Simonsberg mountains.
  • Another location operating hot air balloon rides is the Berg River Valley. It is a spectacular area in Paarl town that is not far from the Cape Winelands. It is a small town that is a 40-minute drive away from Cape Town.
  • Besides, some balloon flights also take off from a few launch sites in Mosselbay, a popular tourist destination in Africa, set on the Garden Route.
Notably, the departure timings are usually from 6:00 AM to 8:00 AM (according to the season). Hence, you should set your alarm early. It will be an early start, but it is really worth it. The air is most stable at this time, which is highly favourable for a comfortable ballooning experience.

How to Book a Hot Air Balloon Tour

You can book a hot air ballooning tour either via offline or online service providers. For offline booking, you can visit the balloon flight ticketing site. Many offline operators are there in Cape Town, located at the tourist attractions.

The other way is to book a trip via online adventure platforms. Notably, you can find the best resources, with attractive prices and offers online. You can compare prices online and choose the package that suits the most. Nowadays, online booking is an easy way to plan and book your tickets and tours before all the slots get full. You can book this ballooning activity online and will receive your voucher via mail. Many bookings and inquiries are made via email or telephone communication. You can email the service provider any time or call during business hours.

Best Time For Hot Air Ballooning in Cape Town

Best Time For Hot Air Ballooning In cape town
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The best time for Balloon Flights in Cape Town is during sunrise before the earth heats up. As a hot air balloon ride is greatly dependent on the weather and the temperature and winds generally have more stability in the early morning. Notably, balloons do not fly in rain, storms, or extremely windy weather conditions. So, the best time of the year to enjoy a hot air balloon ride is in the spring or summer season in Cape Town, i.e., between September to March. The rainy season in Cape Town begins in May, so it is apt to enjoy this activity before this period.

Cancellation Policy

There are two trip cancellation prospects: One is when you cancel the booking, and the other is when the service provider cancels the trip due to unfavourable weather.

Usually, hot air balloon trips in Cape Town have a convenient free cancellation policy. You can cancel the booking without paying any cancellation charges. Some bookings come with a 24-hour free cancellation policy, i.e., you can cancel your booking anytime before 24 hours when the activity is informed to start, and you will get a full refund. You can find precise information regarding the cancellation policy for your booking on the voucher received from the service provider. Your booking can be either fully refundable, partially refundable, or non-refundable, depending on the policy of your service provider. All cancelable bookings have a cancellation deadline mentioned on the voucher. Hence, you do not need to take stress in case your travel plans get modified. For assistance, you can contact your service provider's 24/7 customer service helpline. 

As the ballooning trip is subject to favourable weather conditions, your service provider can also cancel your booking on the grounds of poor weather. In that case, you will be granted the option of an alternative trip date or a full refund.

Hot Air Balloon Experience in Cape Town - What to See

What To View On A Hot Air Balloon Trip In Cape Town
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To catch some mesmerizing sights, climb into the basket and take off into the sky of Cape Town. Once leaving the launch pad, you will go upward hundreds of meters into the sky. Notably, this opportunity enfolds endless photogenic sights. On your balloon ride, you will fly over the Cape Winelands for around an hour, where you will lift off to the golden sunrise that is starting to stretch across the early morning sky. You can enjoy the scenic views of the beautiful villages, serene fields draped with dew, magnificent mountains, dams, vineyards, and homesteads. Rings of mist often drape the valleys.

The best place to view a Hot Air Balloon Ride in Cape Town affords is the stunning Limietberg part of the magnificent Cape Fold Belt of South Africa. You can watch the sun rising over Table Mountain, which is a part of the Cape Fold Mountain Range, without the crowds. On clear mornings, you can easily spot this iconic Table Mountain, around 55 km away to the west, and even catch a sight of the rocky finger of the Cape Peninsula. The Atlantic Ocean with the Cape of Good Hope headland should also be seen.

The balloon will float gently with the winds over wheat fields, vineyards, and the magnificent Cape-Dutch manor houses in the grand old wine estates. Besides, the multiple farm dams that appear like giant slivers of glass in the early morning sunshine are also worth viewing.

Hot Air Balloon Trip with Children

Hot Air balloon trip with children
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You must note that there is no upper age bracket for hot air ballooning in Cape Town. It is just that all passengers should be fit and capable to jump into the basket and stand throughout the duration. Children can come with their parents if they are 12 years old or above and are at least 1.2m or taller so that they can see over the boundaries of the basket. No children under 12 years or of a shorter height than 1.2m will be allowed for this activity. Hence, no toddlers or younger elementary-age kids are allowed in the hot air balloon basket. Visitors must adhere to the minimum age of riders as it is completely meant for their safety.

What To Wear for a Hot Air Balloon Trip

It is better to wear casual clothes. A comfortable dress will let you enter and exit the basket with ease. Also, warm clothes or a light jacket will be apt for the early morning breeze in cold weather, as the flights take off at sunrise. Hence, you should wear something warm on your upper body, like a windproof jacket with long cotton pants. It is essential to layer clothing and jackets for cold weather since it is colder at higher altitudes. Fancy dresses must be avoided.
 
Besides, you should wear comfortable footwear that can facilitate easy climbing in and out of the basket. Closed footwears are advisable for winter. Hence, you can wear a pair of comfortable athletic shoes or cushy flip-flops. Keep in mind that your balloon ride is expected to go on for 3-4 hours, and Nobody will want to be standing with uncomfortable shoes throughout this duration.

Tips

  • Many idyllic photo opportunities await the visitors, but you must not forget to put the camera down every so often and immerse yourself at the moment too.
  • Please note that the rainy season in Cape Town starts in May, so it is favourable to enjoy a ballooning tour before or after this period.
  • Hot air balloon rides have chances of flight cancellation a day before due to bad weather conditions. Hence, it is advisable that if you are specially visiting Cape Town (or other South African regions) for hot air ballooning, then try to spare two to three days for your ballooning trip. 
  • You should keep a fully charged camera and binoculars with you to observe & capture the beautiful sights.
  • Remember to use the washroom before leaving for the launch pad, as there are no washrooms accessible once you embark on your ride.
Hot air Ballooning is a truly cherishable experience in one's lifetime. You should enjoy a spectacular hot air balloon ride over the beautiful city of Cape Town. You will catch visibly distinct views as the balloon will float over the mesmerizing scenery of the Cape Winelands. Take this worthwhile move and book an adventurous hot air balloon tour at this exceptional destination in South Africa.

This post was published by Kanika Sharma

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