Today will be a very early start…. but well worth it! After a quick cup of tea or coffee, it’s time to check out. Depending on the weather conditions, you will be transferred at 5:30AM to the nearby launch site for Bill Harrop’s “Original” Balloon Safaris – approximately a 15 minute transfer.
Bill Harrop’s “Original” Balloon Safaris has been operating as a legally licensed balloon Air Transport Service since 1981. It is a family business run by Bill Harrop, his wife Mary, and daughter Sarah, working in partnership with over 60 full time, part time, contract and casual staff.
Only qualified and experienced professional pilots are employed, and over five thousand very happy passengers a year are testimony to their professional attitude in entertaining you to one of the most memorably enjoyable experiences of your life.
Bill firmly believes that attention to service excellence and a commitment to care for one’s community will build a better nation, especially through education, and he was a recognized “Platinum Benefactor” of the Tourism Education Trust.
After a hot cup of tea/coffee and biscuits, served from the beautifully appointed clubhouse pavilion, you will set out on your flight at sunrise…
Your flight will be approximately an hour over the Magalies River Valley which boasts some of the best ballooning weather in the world.
Enjoy a celebratory glass of sparkling wine on landing whilst the professional crew pack up the balloons, and afterwards, a delectable breakfast will be served from the clubhouse pavilion and restaurant overlooking the beautiful Magalies Mountains.
After breakfast, it’s time to head back to Johannesburg International Airport for your flight into the Lowveld of South Africa– another adventure awaits. Transfer time approximately 1.25 hours.
On arrival check in for your flight to Hoedspruit airport – to be advised (flight cost included in the program). Flight time approximately 1 hour.
After landing and collecting your luggage, you will be met by a representative of Southern Sky Adventures and transferred to your next destination – a private game lodge in the Timbavati Game Reserve.
Even though you know that Africa and South Africa offers so much more than the Big Five, the familiar images of these iconic five animals soon begin playing in your mind: lions roaring; elephants trumpeting; buffaloes lurking in long grass; rhinos standing stately under a thorn tree; leopards prowling in the gathering darkness….you’ve seen the Big Five in books and you’ve seen them on TV, but now it’s time for the real thing, and so much more…..
Check in and enjoy some leisure time, before heading out late afternoon on a private guided game drive, in an open game viewing vehicle. You will be accompanied by your local guide and wildlife veterinarian (provided he has arrived in time since he will follow by road with the veterinary equipment!).
Enjoy sundowners in a scenic location in the bush, as the sun slowly sinks beneath the horizon and then slowly make your way back to the lodge, looking out for nocturnal species on route.
Freshen up back at the lodge before dinner in camp, and a good night’s rest, listening to the night sounds of Africa.