A hot air balloon flight is usually a once in a lifetime experience, and choosing the right operator to ensure that your flight meets all expectations, is an important decision.
Melody Dhlamini took upon herself a vow that every year on her birthday she would indulge herself on a solo adventure, being the ‘lone wolf’ she describes herself as.
Hot air ballooning was her first choice back in 2019 when she turned 27 but was confronted by an unfavorable weather condition then, fast forward to the consecutive Covid19 pandemic years that followed.
This year, the now 30 year old hip Afrocentric could not wait to book herself a packaged deal of the classic hot air balloon experience at Magaliesburg’s Air ventures and a night stay at Cradlemoon lodge.
As much as she enjoys spending time out with friends and family, she also adores the freedom of doing her me-time in her own company and space.
Procedure preps for the air adventure
“I received a call to wake me up for a pick up from Cradlemoon lodge at 4 am by the Air ventures bus, where we proceeded to pick up a few other tourists at other lodges who were joining us for the ride. Most of them were couples, it was just me and a man from Sweden who were traveling solo. We all had coffee and a brief meeting on what to expect during the adventure & how we were going to land.
Perfect weather for hot air ballooning is sunny
The weather condition was favorable this time as she explains, a bit chilly in the morning but the sun was slowly picking up allowing the flight that lasted up to an hour.
“The sky was clear that all the nature particles were out loud and visible. I even made new friends who experienced the whole adventure with me that i completely forgot that I was on the retreat alone.”
“Our phones being on flight mode was not a bother as we were floating in the sky, absolutely surpassed by experiences. My eyes reached out to the peaks of mountains using my binoculars to zoom in my experience.”
You are likely to experience changes in directions and altitude as the hot air balloon picks up. The temperature also fluctuates, therefore dressing in layers is recommended to fit the weather and readily adjust to the temperature through the balloon experience.
“I didn’t realize how much cooler it would get up in the air, luckily I was warm wearing my a coat & warm comfortable shoes. It also becomes warmer as soon as the hot air balloon pilot turns the burner to fill the balloon with hot air.”
“My hot air balloon experience was a serene beauty of floating over cradle of humankind drifting at tree top height and over the river. Going up and down in the atmosphere, it climbs and descends to catch specific wind directions. We had one balloon fly above and we had another balloon almost touch the river beneath us.”
Guests with any medical conditions need to alert the Airventures crew, so to be advised according as all passengers must be able to stand during the duration of the flight. Passengers must also be able to enter and exit the basket. I for one, was overjoyed that I finally had the courage to defy gravity and soar above the earth in a hot air balloon, the oldest form of flight known to man.
“We gathered around the table soon as we landed and we were offered sparkling wine and orange juice before being handed to, the beautifully made commemorative certificates to show that we came, saw and conquered.”