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Hot Air Balloon Flight

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Rochester, United...
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50 posts
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Hot Air Balloon Flight

Afternoon Everybody,

My countodwn has begun as it less than 4 weeks before our first trip to Kenya - cannot wait !

As part of our safari, we will spend 2 nights at Mara Simba lodge, and after I enquired, have just received an email back from them quoting a price of $425 per person for an early morning balloon flight + bush breakfast. Could you tell me if this a good price or not ? Has anyone done this flight out of the Mara Simba ?

Was just wondering whether it would be cheaper to deal with the balloon company directly when we arrive at the lodge or whether they are just one and the same company anyway. By leaving it until we arrive at the lodge, are we risking there being no availability ?

Any feedback welcome

Best Regards

Gary

Oceanside...
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342 posts
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1. Re: Hot Air Balloon Flight

Congratulations Gary. My family and I did the baloon flight out of Mara Simba last summer and paid $400, so $425 this year is probably about right. It's not likely that you would be able to book direct with the baloon company because they do business through the lodges. Waiting until you get there in mid-July will almost certainly mean you would not be able to go. The baloon safaris are very popular and nearly always sell out.

Its a one time experience, so bite the bullet and have a great time.

Safe travels.

Herts
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66 posts
6 reviews
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2. Re: Hot Air Balloon Flight

Gary

I am also off in 4 weeks for my first trip to Kenya and we are doing a balloon flight which we booked with our travel agent in the uk (escape worldwide) and we are paying about £195 each. Not sure if this will help or not.

Rochester, United...
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50 posts
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3. Re: Hot Air Balloon Flight

Thanks for the quick resposnes, so it looks like a reasonable quote. So not to miss out, I will book it up straight away.

So when / where are you going lindyloo ? We depart on July 7th, and are following the Thorn Tree itinerary (with Cosmos) but also offered by Escape I think.

Getting more excited by the day !

Herts
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66 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Hot Air Balloon Flight

Gary

We fly from Heathrow on the 5th July to Nairobi for 5 nights kili safari and then fly to Mombasa for 8 nights at Nyali beach very excited as we have been booked since last august. Can't wait

Linda

scotland
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177 posts
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5. Re: Hot Air Balloon Flight

Hi

We are also going in July - 2 weeks to go. We are going with Hayes and Jarvis and doing a 6 night safari with the offer of a ballon ride at Mara. However I've been quoted £324 per person and think this is way over priced. I'm sure it is now too late to book one when we get there but I just hadn't budgeted for such a high fee.

This is also our first trip to Kenya and we can't wait - hope everyone has a fab holiday

Brisbane
9 posts
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6. Re: Hot Air Balloon Flight

In 2005, we dealt directly with the balloon company granted that this was through a local friend of our but I'm sure if you contact the company .. Balloon Safaris Limited .. they will do a deal for you. I can't remember what we paid in $US but converted at the time to around Aust$500. It seems that the balloon companies merely collect you from the lodges, it's not a case of Mara Simba running their own tours.

Having said all of that, it was worth every penny!! Because of the early morning drive out to the site, there was a lot of wildlife around, although we couldn't stop for photos. The inflation of the balloon was wonderful, the taking off, the flight itself and landing, wow!!! The champagne brekky was fabulous, and they throw in a game drive back to the hotel. I would recommend it to anyone who has the cash.

Rochester, United...
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50 posts
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7. Re: Hot Air Balloon Flight

Hi All,

Coming back to this post again, as was a little further advice from you all on this subject.

We have decided that the quote from the Mara Simba was a good one, and have asked them to book us on the balloon flight. However, they want us to pay through a bank transfer to their account. Not having any banking knowledge at all, I was wondering how secure it is, and what fees my UK Bank (Lloyds TSB) might levy to action this.

Our preferred choice was to pay by Credit Card, as it least we would be protected financially in case of problems.

Any advice / comments people have in this area would be greatfully received

Cheers

Gary (3 weeks and counting)

London
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30 posts
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8. Re: Hot Air Balloon Flight

We paid £225 last year through Kuoni. I was very hesitant because I don't like heights and it seemed a lot to pay if I had to sit on the bottom of a basket, but it was worth every penny. It was the most amazing experience, words just can't describe it and I am just so glad I did it. If there is any chance of there not being availability when you get there, my advice is book now. You might also want to check your holiday insurance because some companies don't cover you unless you book it in the UK before you go. I just hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Manchester
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459 posts
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9. Re: Hot Air Balloon Flight

The only advice I would have is over payment. How are they asking you to give them Credit Card details. I was asked to do this and did not like the idea of giving my credit card details over the phone to someone, nor did I like the idea of faxing or emailing details of my cards. Who knows whos hands these details could fall into? I preferred to pay by bank transfer. However this will cost you around £20 to £30 so make the payment in full dont pay a deposit and then the balance in a seperate transaction or you will pay the charge twice.

Everyone tells me the flights are well worth the expense. If like me you are planning the holiday as though you may never return to Kenya then go for it.

Kingston-upon-Hull...
Destination Expert
for Kenya
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3,467 posts
2 reviews
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10. Re: Hot Air Balloon Flight

Never return to kenya !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You will sir, once bitten by the kenya bug there is NO escape

I said something similar before my first visit, in fact at the time, i was not over keen, mrs smudger dragged me there.

She's always right

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