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Serengeti Balloon Safaris picture in Serengeti National Park
nicolamargaret / Getty Images

Details

  • Sightseeing, Tours Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.9
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    2.5
  • Facilities
    4.0
  • Atmosphere
    5.0

Read about how we rank Things to Do.

Not all safaris require a four-wheel-drive vehicle; in fact, one of the most popular safaris requires no wheels at all. Since 1989, Serengeti Balloon Safaris has helped park visitors take to the skies to spot animals and watch the park's famous Great Migration. The company's fleet of eight-, 12- and 16-passenger hot air balloons carries travelers annually across Central Serengeti (and seasonally through the Western Corridor and Southern Serengeti) to give them a bird's-eye view of the park. The safari guide collects visitors at 5 a.m. so that the balloons and their passengers can rise alongside the sun. Flights last about an hour, after which passengers gather, surrounded by the park's lush plains, for a sparkling wine toast and an "Out of Africa" English-style breakfast.

Some recent travelers bemoaned the balloon safari's early departure time and high price tag, but most say that the experience is worth it. Former visitors were also impressed with Serengeti Balloon Safaris' staff and pilots, who reviewers described as friendly and knowledgeable.

Hot air balloon safaris, which include round-trip transfers, the one-hour hot air balloon ride and breakfast, cost $546.20 per person. Advance bookings are recommended to ensure availability. You can reserve a balloon safari through your tour provider or at one of the park's lodges. Children 6 and younger, pregnant women and travelers with select mobility and health conditions are not permitted to participate in this excursion. For more information, visit Serengeti Balloon Safaris' website.

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#1 The Great Migration The primary reason to visit Serengeti National Park is to witness The Great Migration. Considered one of the world's largest animal migrations, The Great Migration involves more than one ... Read more » roevin / Getty Images

#2 Seronera River Valley (Central Serengeti) Encompassing a sizable portion of Central Serengeti, this vast valley teems with wildlife. The valley's river keeps the vegetation plentiful, supporting herbivores throughout the year. Wildebeest, zebras, elephants, giraffes ... Read more » Anup Shah / Getty Images

#3 Ngorongoro Conservation Area Although it's not technically a part of Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is worth a visit if you're in the area. Flanking the eastern edge of ... Read more » PhotoStock-Israel / Getty Images

#4 Naabi Hill (Eastern Serengeti) Situated in Eastern Serengeti by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Naabi Hill serves as Serengeti National Park's main entrance. After paying your entrance fee (or stopping so your safari guide ... Read more » Thomas Retterath / Getty Images

#5 Lobo Valley (Northern Serengeti) If you're spending time in Northern Serengeti, a trip to the Lobo Valley should be at the top of your list. It was this sprawling area that American conservationist ... Read more » Douglas Klug / Getty Images

#6 Moru Kopjes (Central Serengeti) Situated in Central Serengeti about 32 miles northwest of Naabi Hill, Moru Kopjes is home to Serengeti National Park's only black rhino population. Though the park made strides to ... Read more » ajlber / Getty Images

#7 Grumeti River (Western Corridor) Catching The Great Migration as it crosses the Grumeti River near the Western Corridor's Kirawira region is a must for avid nature lovers, although those with weaker stomachs may ... Read more » Africanway / Getty Images

#8 Retina Hippo Pool (Central Serengeti) You're bound to stumble across hippos at other Serengeti watering holes, but nothing can compare to the spectacle of the Retina Hippo Pool in Central Serengeti. Situated where the ... Read more » Luis Davilla / Getty Images

#9 Serengeti Balloon Safaris Not all safaris require a four-wheel-drive vehicle; in fact, one of the most popular safaris requires no wheels at all. Since 1989, Serengeti Balloon Safaris has helped park visitors take ... Read more » nicolamargaret / Getty Images

#10 Bologonja Springs (Northern Serengeti) Tucked away in the northeast corner of the Serengeti near the border of Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve, the verdant Bologonja Springs attracts hundreds of animals with refreshing waters ... Read more » bonniecaton / Getty Images

The Great Migration picture in Serengeti National Park
Seronera River Valley picture in Serengeti National Park
Ngorongoro Conservation Area picture in Serengeti National Park
Naabi Hill picture in Serengeti National Park
Lobo Valley picture in Serengeti National Park
Moru Kopjes picture in Serengeti National Park
Grumeti River picture in Serengeti National Park
Retina Hippo Pool picture in Serengeti National Park
Serengeti Balloon Safaris picture in Serengeti National Park
Bologonja Springs picture in Serengeti National Park
The Great Migration picture in Serengeti National Park
Seronera River Valley picture in Serengeti National Park
Ngorongoro Conservation Area picture in Serengeti National Park
Naabi Hill picture in Serengeti National Park
Lobo Valley picture in Serengeti National Park
Moru Kopjes picture in Serengeti National Park
Grumeti River picture in Serengeti National Park
Retina Hippo Pool picture in Serengeti National Park
Serengeti Balloon Safaris picture in Serengeti National Park
Bologonja Springs picture in Serengeti National Park

Every year, more than one million wildebeest, zebras and gazelles move throughout the Serengeti during The Great Migration. roevin / Getty Images

Zebras are just some of the animals you'll find wandering around the Seronera River Valley. Anup Shah / Getty Images

The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to the sixth-largest intact volcanic caldera in the world. Between December and June, you'll also catch a glimpse of the Serengeti's famous Great Migration passing through here. PhotoStock-Israel / Getty Images

You're bound to spot all sorts of fauna, including lions, wildebeest and zebras, when the animals travel south to Naabi Hill during The Great Migration,. Thomas Retterath / Getty Images

The Lobo Valley in Northern Serengeti is one of the few areas of the park where you have a shot at seeing all three big cat species: cheetahs, leopards and lions. Douglas Klug / Getty Images

In addition to finding the park's only remaining black rhino population at Moru Kopjes, visitors can see Gong Rock and the region's famous Masai rock paintings here. ajlber / Getty Images

From July to November, The Great Migration makes its way across the Grumeti River, despite the threat posed by the river's resident crocodiles. Africanway / Getty Images

The Retina Hippo Pool in Central Serengeti is the best place to see hippos. This crowded watering hole near the Seronera and Orangi rivers is home to nearly 200 of these massive beasts. Luis Davilla / Getty Images

To enjoy a top-down perspective of Serengeti National Park, sign up for a hot air balloon excursion with Serengeti Balloon Safaris. nicolamargaret / Getty Images

Northern Serengeti's Bologonja Springs draws larger mammals, including giraffes, buffalo and elephants, to its banks. bonniecaton / Getty Images

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