It’s very early in the morning. The sun is just beginning to rise, but the lights in the heart of Drakensberg Mountains are already beautiful.
You have just arrived on site, where the pilot and his crew are preparing the balloon. You can enjoy a nice cup of coffee or tea, or even some champagne, while the hot air balloon is been inflated. Actually it’s quite an impressive show! Of course you’re more than welcome to help them; it may actually be time to show your passion for Jules Verne!
After listening very carefully to all of the security measures, explained by a calm and confident pilot, you’re ready to jump in the basket and fly over the Champagne Valley, one of the most beautiful valley’s in the Drakensberg Mountains. Within a few minutes you already have a breathtaking view! This panoramic view presents an incredible variety of landscapes: rivers, forests, plains and impressive mountains!
This natural reserve is surrounded by very high mountains, such as the Champagne Castle (3.377m). So if you’re lucky you might see some snow at the top of the highest peaks. And don’t forget to pay attention to the wildlife of this natural reserve: birds and wild animals are the main hosts of this place! Who knows? You may be able to see a Giraffe in its natural environment?
The sun is now up and the luminosity is perfect to show you every details of this sumptuous landscape. The best part about it is that you can really enjoy the view since the hot air balloon is floating for about an hour with the calm South African wind. In front of such a breathtaking view you’ll enjoy the serenity of the hot air balloon experience. This is definitely one of the best ways to discover the Drakensberg Mountains, inland from Lesotho and Kwazulu Natal, usually known for their sport trails only. Few people have the chance to enjoy such a view!
Now it’s time to begin your descent. Still impressed by this stunning view, you jump out of the basket. Of course there is no place in your camera anymore, but you definitely had to capture this unforgettable experience!
As you may have realized, hot air ballooning is not ordinary at all. Therefore the choice of where to enjoy such an experience is very important! Hopefully South Africa and its neighboring countries offer many other places that are as amazing as the Drakensberg Mountains. Don’t hesitate to fly over the Namib Desert in Namibia, the Victoria Falls in Zambia or the Gauteng, near Johannesburg. The landscapes will certainly be quite different (depending on your destination), but the experience will remain unforgettable! So…Let’s fly away!
By Capucine Motte
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