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.  

 

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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.  

 

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Lots of dust from the cows.  

 

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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.

 

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One great thing about balloon rides in the Mara was there were no electrical wires to get in the way.

 

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It was wonderful seeing the beautiful scenery from the air.  I also enjoyed photographing the other colourful balloons in the air.

 

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​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.

 

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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.  

 

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​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.

 

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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.

 

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We were lucky to come across a family of lions.  The mother was trying to keep all of her cubs  together.

 

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I'm guessing that the cubs were only a few weeks old.

 

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The family crossed the road and wandered off into the grasses.  You can see the cubs partly hidden by the grasses.

 

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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.  

 

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Wildebeest in the distance.

 

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We caught up with the  lions again.

 

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More lion pictures to follow in the next blog.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Comments

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!
Nicole(non-registered)
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! :)
Diane(non-registered)
I loved the baby lions. What a wonderful opportunity to see and photograph them.
Irene(non-registered)
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. :)
Hetty(non-registered)
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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