You can’t visit Africa and not take in a safari. But if you’re a frequent traveller to the Dark Continent and have played the wild card a number of times already, perhaps it’s time to take a bird’s eye of the situation.
Cradle of Humankind, South Africa: If you have a morning free in the deep south, consider Air Ventures hot air balloon operation near Johannesburg, a 45-minute drive north of Sandton. The experience entails a serene 50 minutes, during which you float over the picturesque countryside of the Cradle of Humankind and Magaliesberg, a glass of bubby in hand. The area is characterized by gently undulating grassland hills and valley bushveld.
Serengeti, Tanzania: Guests of the hotel can hop on to the sunrise flight over Serengeti and spend an hour in the air watching gazelles, zebras, blue wildebeests, buffaloes, lions and spotted hyenas. Post touchdown, they’re invited to a bush breakfast washed down with champagne.
Great Rift Valley,
Kenya: The Game Watchers’ Safari takes off at dawn and floats over the 650-acre Masai Mara Game Reserve, made special by its great concentration of large herbivores and their attendant predators. If you’re here between June and October, you’ll catch the Wildebeest migration, as well as elephants, zebras, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals, lions, leopards, buffaloes, gazelles and warthogs. While over the bush, the balloon goes up to 15,000 feet. Brekker and bubbly meet you on the ground.
NamibRand Nature Reserve, Sossusvlei, Namibia: The Sossusvlei Desert Lodge is an extraordinary lodge set at the foot of a mountain overlooking the stark, yet beautiful Namib desert. Skip the quad bikes and criss-cross the desert with Sossusvlei’s expert rangers and naturalists. A trip to the Namibian sand dunes, the highest in the world, and Sesriem Canyon will add to this unforgettable desert-safari experience.