Our Johannesburg hot air balloon flight takes off from Glenburn Lodge, a private game reserve located in the Cradle of Humankind.
Glenburn Lodge & Spa is situated very close to both Johannesburg and Pretoria (about 30 minutes from either) in the Cradle of Humankind. It is surrounded by the tranquil Zwartkops Mountains and is located on the banks of the Blaauwbank and Crocodile Rivers.
The area is also a World Heritage Site, so you will be able to have a bird’s eye view of some of our heritage during your hot air balloon trip – not something many people can say. The natural scenic beauty of Glenburn Lodge & Spa provides beautiful views for all of our hot air balloon flight passengers, there is a little bit of everything to see… mountains, rivers, and gorgeous landscapes.
There are also loads of nice open spaces to take off from and land. The balloons Air to Air Africa use for our balloon experiences need about half a football field (about 20×50 metres) for take-off and landing! Glenburn Lodge & Spa will also provide you with an awesome breakfast when you land.
Air to Air Africa currently has three commercial licensed balloons: One 400 000 cubic feet balloon with a capacity for 16-18 passengers or as we know it, the Red Monster. Then we also have Daddy Blue, the 250 000 cubic feet balloon with a capacity for 4-8 passengers. And last but not least, our new addition to our fleet is Rainbow 315 000 cubic feet balloon with a capacity of 10-14
We also operate flights from outside Glenburn Lodge, however, this is only for a minimum of eight passengers and there would be an additional transport cost involved.
Our hot air balloon trips are made possible by our senior pilot, Eddie Jacobs. Eddie qualified as a balloon pilot in Austria and has flown extensively over Asia and Europe. He has also flown advertising balloons for companies like Simba, White Horse, and M-Net, as well as some daring balloon stunt work for British and South African television and films… don’t worry, he won’t pull any stunts while you are up there!
Hot air balloon flights is one of the oldest forms of flight known to man and is truly a magical experience. The first hot air balloon arrived in South Africa in 1969 and the balloons were originally used for the military to do reconnaissance. They were even used during the Boer War to locate enemy camps and to monitor the enemy’s movements.
Balloon experiences will normally start just before sunrise and the ideal conditions are clear skies, stable air and a wind speed of five knots. The flights normally last one hour but this can be longer if the pilot needs to find a better place to land.
Balloons are made of treated nylon (anti-porous and rip-stop) with load bearing webbing tapes and the baskets are normally wicker with wires passing through and under the basket to ensure you are safe and sound.
As we mentioned in a previous blog post, the highest a hot air balloon flight has ever gone was +-21km but hot air balloons can fly at heights anywhere from treetop level to several thousand feet high. The highest the authorities allow hot air balloons to fly is 6500 feet (+-2km) but most pilots prefer to fly at lower levels as you get to see more.
If you’d like to experience our hot air balloon flight from Glenburn Lodge, contact us today for more information or if you have any questions. We can’t wait to take you to the skies.