Category "Discover", November 7, 2015 - Stefan Hollmann - Dieser Artikel in deutscher Sprache
Update September 29, 2016

Hot Air Ballooning at Blyde River - a breath­taking experience!

South Africa’s landscape is amazing even from the ground, but what if you could enjoy it from the bird’s perspective? Let me tell you from our stunning hot air ballooning adventure near the Blyde River Canyon…

Round field and mountains

It was March, and after spending some days in Kruger National Park we went to Hoedspruit, to Otters Den, a fantastic lodge on an island in the middle of the Blyde River. It is set inmidst kind of a djungle, and monkeys were climbing in the trees, throwing fruit at the dogs of the owners. We had to cross the river by a rope bridge – quite a rickety experience with all the crocodiles underneath! The food was great, and our accommodation - a hut with outdoor shower under a huge tree - was lovely.

The balloon's engine

We went to Otters Den because they are operating a Hot Air Balloon Service, and our family made us a Hot Air Balloon ride as birthday gift. The setting and the proximity to the Drakensberg Escarpment and the Blyde River Canyon made this the perfect place for a balloon adventure.

We had to get up very early that morning, but fortunately the balloon was inflated not far from the lodge. We were five people in the basket, and we enjoyed a breathtaking ride over the Blyde River and along the rough mountains of the escarpment, watching the sun rising high. The lemon plantations under us formed stunning geometrical shapes, and everything was so green!


The ride last approx. 2 hours, and afterwards we got a bubbly and our certificate. For Claudia it was the first balloon ride ever, and before the start she was a little bit nervous, but after touching ground again she said, she could go again next morning!

Unfortunately Otters Den doesn’t offer accommation anymore, due to repeated heavy damages by floodings. But they still offer balloon rides. Go and enjoy this fantastic experience!


If you are looking for friendly and affordable accommodation nearby please contact Jolyne B&B. Lynn and Jolanthe are lovely and helpful hosts!


Have you already enjoyed a balloon ride in South Africa? How was it?