Hot Air Ballooning above the High Atlas plains. A flight with an experienced, licensed & fully qualified pilot plus full ground support.
Activity code: ITCLHB01m
Duration: 1 Day
Seeing Marrakech and the surrounding countryside, including the snow-capped peaks of the High Atlas, from the air in total peace & quiet (apart from the gasps of your fellow passengers) on a hot-air balloon flight is at the top of most peoples "wish-list".
Our package includes a one hour flight with an experienced, licensed and fully qualified pilot with full ground crew and support vehicle. Also part of the excursion are private round trip transfers from your hotel (or riad) in Marrakech to the launch site and return plus a private tour of the villages en route from your landing together with a visit of Berber family home for a glass of tea and snack.
The first passengers in a hot air balloon flight were a sheep, a duck and a rooster, launched by the brothers Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier on the 19th September 1783. The first recorded flight in a hot air balloon of some 22 minutes was made by the Marquis d’Arlandes and Mr Pilatre de Rosier in Paris on the 21st November of that same year. We’ve come a long way since then, but the principle is the same.
Balloons are aircraft and, as such, both craft and certified pilots are governed, as with all aircraft and pilots, by Civil Aviation Regulations. Piloting a balloon takes skill, yet the controls are quite simple. The pilots’ knowledge of the area and the prevailing daily variations aloft in the layers of wind currents are used to steer a one hour not-too-exact course, usually in a westerly direction from the launch site near Marrakech. Your balloon flight will take you calmly and gracefully over the ground, in accordance with the air flow, some 800m to 1000m to the north-east of Marrakech, over oases and secluded Berber villages. Below you will be the terraced irrigated fields of the Oueds Tinsift and Nfis of the Al Hawuz Plain as you drift alongside the northern Jbilet hill. You can see for miles and miles, lulled to the music of silence, the awesome Western High Atlas Mountains to the south as a constant wonder. In air balloon flights, the sensation of vertigo simply does not exist - it is as if you are suspended in the wind, with the heavens as your reference point.
You will be picked up, early in the morning, between 5:30am and 6:30am according to the season, in a comfortable 4 wheel drive vehicle to the launch site chosen for that morning. Once there, the balloon is prepared for flight – and we hope you’ll take part in the fun – you board your gondola and, on the instruction of the pilot to his ground crew of “lâchez tout” - ‘cast off’ – the magic moment arrives as you rise vertically towards the Moroccan heavens. You will be followed by a chase vehicle, in constant radio communication with the pilot and whose crew establish the day’s most suitable landing site.
Once you establish a ‘kiss landing’ the 4 wheel drive is awaiting. After the crew have collapsed and stored the balloon, they will make a tour of some of the Berber villages you will have over-flown, to stop and have a glass or two of mint tea, some Moroccan pastries or fresh bread dipped in olive oil, in the home of one of the Berber inhabitants. At around midday, you will be taken back to your hotel in Marrakech, armed with a Certificate to show your friends or family back home and a basketful of delightful memories
- (don't be fooled by any inferior packages)
We recommend you bring the following: a wool sweater or fleece top for early morning departure and flight; sunglasses; sun block; camera.
Children under 10 yrs will receive a discount of 50% on above rates; not suitable for very young children.
NOT AVAILABLE (due to high summer heat) - (approx.) 15th July to 5th September.
This excursion is available as part of any tailor made holiday with Rediscover the World.
Based upon 2 persons travelling.
** with current French and Moroccan Pilot’s Licences and Air Worthiness Certificates.