A Maasai Mara sunrise

  • Emily Fraser
  • 06 Feb 20

Waking up at 4:30am to leave the hotel by 5 might not be everyone’s idea of a fun while on holiday, but if there’s one thing worth getting up for it’s to witness a spectacular sunrise over the endless rolling plains of the Maasai Mara.

Luckily, there was coffee before we left the hotel, more coffee before we boarded the balloon basket and more coffee again once we landed – so plenty to get you through even the earliest of mornings.

As someone who had never been in a hot air balloon before, and an avid animal and nature lover, I was beyond excited when we arrived and glimpsed the first signs of a purple-orange sunrise, and our balloon inflating. My head was toasty warm as we began to take off and our experienced pilot maneuvered the basket into the air. The gas flame was loud, and I wasn’t sure if we were going to have to yell across the basket to each other, yet once we reached a cruising altitude there was complete silence as we literally floated through the air.

Looking out from the basket was like you were flying yourself and as we got closer to the animals, herds of zebra and wildebeest scattered away, making for some stunning footage – almost as if being filmed from a drone. Whilst our wildlife spotting was not as exciting as our game drives here, floating above the plains gave us a true sense of the vastness of the Mara and this was an experience worth every penny.

After landing, a decadent champagne breakfast awaited us in the middle of the reserve. This was another amazing experience in itself – it’s not everyday you get to literally dine amongst the wildlife! It really was the perfect end to the most special morning.