Zenfolio | Marsha Fouks | Hot Air balloon riding in the Mara

Hot Air balloon riding in the Mara

December 12, 2013  •  11 Comments

​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!  


20130916_Kenya_000320130916_Kenya_0003 A Masai with his cows.  


20130916_Kenya_000220130916_Kenya_0002 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.  




20130916_Kenya_001320130916_Kenya_0013 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.


20130916_Kenya_001520130916_Kenya_0015  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.   






















Craig Sundby
What a spectacular day this must have been! The balloon ride looks amazing. Then to see the lion cubs. Fantastic photos to top it off!
This is by far one of my favourite series of yours in the Mara! The balloon pictures are spectacular and the family of cubs.....SO SWEET!!! Love them all Marsha! :)
I loved the baby lions. What a wonderful opportunity to see and photograph them.
Just when I think I can't enjoy your photos more - there are more! I can just imagine the balloon ride; the quiet, the cool. Particularly like the photo of the balloons and their shadows - I am a big fan of shadows. And mama lion with her babies. I can't imagine how they weren't spooked by your group. Your guides must have been very good. But I had to laugh at the French-Canadian balloon captain with the 4-ring epaulets. I think they were probably more to give you confidence than an indication of his rank. Just a suspicion. :)
Wow what a fabulous experience! The sunrise is so pretty. Love the lion cubs and the close ups of the lion. Beautiful pics!
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