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“I Can See For Miles and Miles...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Balloon Safaris Ltd.

Balloon Safaris Ltd.
Wilson Airport, Maasai Mara National Reserve GPO 01000, Kenya
+254206009093
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Type: Tours, Adventure
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Attraction details
Owner description: The ORIGINAL Hot Air Ballooning Company. Flying over the world famous Maasai Mara game reserve in Kenya since 1976.
McLean, Virginia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“I Can See For Miles and Miles...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2013

Captain Elly masterfully piloted our hot air balloon over the Masai Mara in Kenya, for one of the most breathtaking vistas imaginable.....wildebeest migration, herds of zebra, giraffes, a pair of majestic lions strolling across the Savannah...from the pre-dawn take-off to the post-flight champagne breakfast surrounded by wildlife (at a safe distance!) this is an experience not to be missed.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sebastian T, Public Relations Manager at Balloon Safaris Ltd., responded to this review, September 20, 2013
Many thanks for your review!!!!!
Sebastian
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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24 reviews from our community

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London
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Amazing - must try”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

View was breathtaking - landing and take off was smooth - we didn't even realise we were up in the air! Views - stunning - followed by hot breakfast after on a table with chairs in the savannah. Loved every second of it

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sebastian T, Public Relations Manager at Balloon Safaris Ltd., responded to this review, September 20, 2013
Many thanks for your review!!!!!
Sebastian
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, South Carolina
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Icing on the cake”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

this was one of the most amazing things - the captain was great and very informative - this was one of the best ways to see the wildebeest migration! I would recommend this to anyone!

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
1 review
“Awesome!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 24, 2013

We recently used Balloon Safaris Ltd for a balloon ride across the Masai Mara in Kenya and our experience can only be described in one word...AWESOME!!
We were picked up at around 5.15 am from our camp by Joseph and taken to the site from where the balloon was going to take off. There we met our pilot, Mike. It was all perfect ....from the take off to the landing to the unlimited champagne breakfast served in the middle of the savannah grasslands. Luckily for us, it was a clear sky and so was easy to spot the animals. We saw herds of impalas, elephants, giraffes , ostriches and even a lion and a lioness.
One of the reviwers below has given bad rating to this company which is really surprising because neither the weather nor the wind direction is in the pilots control. The only thing he can do is take off safely and land safely which was done perfectly in captain Mike's case.
The fact that he was full of interesting nuggets of information about the animals and the place only added to the experience. Overall, I rate our experience excellent.

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sebastian T, Public Relations Manager at Balloon Safaris Ltd., responded to this review, September 20, 2013
Many thanks for your review!!!!!
Sebastian
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Denver, Colorado
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Bad Experience - Avoid Balloon Safaris Ltd.”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

I want to share with others my unfortunate experience of a disastrous balloon ride with Balloon Safaris Ltd. I was with a group of people touring Kenya. While staying at our hotel, the representative for Balloon Safaris, Ltd. approached our group about a balloon ride for the next morning.
The representative presented the balloon ride as an unforgettable experience to see wildlife. Well after we launched, the pilot, Mike Carnevale, informed us, "This only happens one or two days a year, but it is cloudy today." Consequently, for the next 1 1/2 hours the twelve of us (@$450) saw nothing but clouds. The customary ride was an hour, but Mike thought that an extra silly thirty minutes of a cloudy balloon ride would appease us.
At the end of our excursion, I expressed our collective dissatisfaction with the futile sightseeing balloon ride. Mike stood in front of our group and gave us a combined lecture and scolding about he was faultless in our disappointing balloon ride. Mike is an alleged experienced balloon pilot, who was aware of the likely weather conditions prior to the balloon ride.
Any reputable company would have cancelled the ride, but Mike and Balloon Safaris Ltd. just wanted the money. In my past experience with balloon companies in New Mexico, they actually advised us to cancel the ride due to cloudy conditions, but that won't be the case for you with Mike and Balloon Safaris Ltd.
Throughout the remainder of our group's tour throughout Kenya and Tanzania, Balloon Safaris Ltd. was ridiculed for questionable business practices. Captain Mike Carnevale became the brunt of our jokes. Regardless of what Mike thinks, the majority of us will relating this experience to our friends and travel groups.
There are plenty of other companies, so run away when you see this one.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sebastian T, Public Relations Manager at Balloon Safaris Ltd., responded to this review, March 27, 2013
On behalf of Balloon Safaris I would like to offer our sincere apologies for your balloon flight not meeting your expectations.
Based on the comments, there are issues that need to be dealt with in respect to future flights and these issues have been duly noted.
1) It is all too common, in the tourist trade, to portray a Balloon Ride over the Mara as a glorified game viewing platform. Whilst that may be so during the four months the Migration is in the Mara from June through September and sometimes later, that is not the case for the rest of the year. We, as pilots, would rather brand it as, first and foremost, an "Experience" and any animals seen as a "Bonus".
2) Our prime concern is "Safety"; the one aspect of the operation we do not compromise on and an aspect that is closely linked to weather. Weather plays an important part in the Pilots decision at the launch site to fly or not. The constraining factors are excessive wind speeds and continuous morning rain. The former happens infrequently (say, 20 times a year) and the latter really only during our rainy seasons (April, May & November) and this, very rarely. In those instances flights are cancelled. I don't believe, in this instance, there was a "Safety" concern and it is at the pilots discretion to act in the clients and the companies best interests.

Sebastian Tham
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