Our small group thought it would be fun to go on a hot air balloon ride over the Masai Mara. Only Joanna had been on a ride before and said it was a fantastic experience. As we signed the contract one of our group members pointed out that there was a small clause saying the company was not responsible for any issues even if due to their negligence. I'm pretty sure that most people wouldn't have even noticed the fine print -who can actually read it? I figured that it must be pretty safe because the rides were so popular and I hadn't heard of any disasters. In the back of my mind I did recall something about friends of mine going on a similar ride in Ontario and having a horrible experience. Still this was a chance to have a new adventure and see the country from a different perspective.
We had to leave our hotel around 5 AM to reach the area where the balloons were taking off. There were a number of balloons heading out ahead of ours -this was a photo of one of them. The pilots had a lot of difficulty in getting the balloons up as there was practically no wind today. It was fun to watch everyone getting ready to take off.
Lots of dust from the cows.
It was nice to see the sun rise- made it worth while getting up around 4.30 AM!
A Masai with his cows.
Our pilot was a French Canadian with a great sense of humour. I was very happy to have a Canadian piloting the balloon.
One great thing about balloon rides in the Mara was there were no electrical wires to get in the way.
It was wonderful seeing the beautiful scenery from the air. I also enjoyed photographing the other colourful balloons in the air.
I couldn't take a picture of our balloon with all of us in it so I just took a photo of part of the balloon to show off its beautiful colours.
The flight was so smooth. It was a great feeling to be floating in the air.
We could also see animals from above.
We were in the air for over an hour before we landed to enjoy a Champagne breakfast. I have to admit it the landing was a bit bumpy.
I don't think Joanna minded help getting out of the balloon.
Enjoying breakfast on the Mara. Our guides drove out to where the balloons landed to pick us up and go on a morning safari. So after eating a delicious breakfast we headed out to see some animals.
We were lucky to come across a family of lions. The mother was trying to keep all of her cubs together.
I'm guessing that the cubs were only a few weeks old.
The family crossed the road and wandered off into the grasses. You can see the cubs partly hidden by the grasses.
A Saddle-billed Stork. This is a large wading bird in the stork family. These birds have a massive red bill. Like most of its relatives it feeds mainly on fish, frogs and crabs but also on small birds and reptiles.
Wildebeest in the distance.
We caught up with the lions again.
More lion pictures to follow in the next blog.