Reservations - Bill Harrop's "Original" Balloon Safaris

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Opening Hours

What we offer

  • Balloon Safaris
  • Corporate Functions

About Us

If you’re going to do it – do it in unassailable style.

Its sunrise, the silence of flight is punctuated only by the occasional blast of the powerful burners and the faint call of a bird or animal far beneath. The thrill is indescribable.

You’re sipping fine champagne while hovering gently above the tree tops of the beautiful Magalies River Valley, or drifting majestically high above the Magaliesberg range in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage site, just 45 km north of Johannesburg’s northern suburbs, a region boasting some of the best ballooning weather in the world. The exceptional peace of this unique and almost supernatural view of the world will forever remain as a truly cherished memory.

After landing, savour a delectable and generous champagne breakfast at our well established, traditionally exquisite and beautifully appointed Clubhouse, Pavilion and Restaurant, where you’ll be filled with the warmest of memories.

Professional pilots, attentive crew, immaculately maintained equipment, 5 aviation safety awards, make this longest established licensed Balloon Airline in southern Africa the choice of the well informed discerning individual traveller or corporate group.

Internationally hailed as Southern Africa’s best value, best quality tour operator to be appraised as the winner of the South African Tourism “Welcome Awards 2006”. Selected as the preferred hot air balloon operator in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site 2010-2011 promotions.

Contact us today to book your balloon safari – an absolutely unique and inspiring way to view the world.

Bill Harrop’s “Original” Balloon Safaris has been operating as a legally licensed balloon Air Transport Service since 1981. It is a family business run by Bill Harrop, his wife Mary, and daughter Sarah working in partnership with over 60 full time, part time, contract and casual staff.

Only qualified and experienced professional pilots are employed, and over five-thousand very happy passengers a year are testimony to our professional attitude in entertaining you to one of the most memorably enjoyable experiences of your life.

We run a fleet of six large hot air balloons which can carry between two and eighteen passengers each. So whether it is a romantic balloon flight for 2, or a party for 18 adventurers in one of the biggest balloons in the world, or a corporate adventure for 120+, Bill Harrop’s “Original” Balloon Safaris is the preferred choice for safe, reliable, quality ballooning.

Bill will also admit to experience as an ocean yachtsman, singer, hotelier, portrait photographer, advertising executive, and a balloon pilot examiner. He has served on committees of the Southern African Tourism and Safari Association, The Magalies Meander, the Balloon and Airship Federation of South Africa, and two years as the National President of SKAL International (a worldwide body of travel and tourism management professionals).

He firmly believes that attention to service excellence and a commitment to care for ones community will build a better nation, especially through education, and was a recognised “Platinum Benefactor” of the Tourism Education Trust.

When do you fly?

Early, every morning of the week including Saturdays and Sundays, weather permitting and provided we have a minimum of two people. Departure times are confirmed when you book.

Do we need to book before hand?

Yes, we need to check availability and we also need you to give us information which includes the following:

  • Each person’s full name and weight
  • The contact telephone number where you will be staying the night prior to flying.

How fit do we need to be?

Ballooning is suitable for adventurers from 7 to 70 (although our oldest passenger to date is 92 years old) Participants should be nimble, be able to jump unassisted from a height of 60cm and stand for the duration of the flight.

What do we need to wear?

Clothing should be warm enough for the chilly early morning but should be “peelable” because the sun, excitement and probably the champagne will soon warm you. “Country” shoes are also recommended. No high heels please!

What do we need to bring?

Cameras, Video Cameras. Spare memory cards and batteries. Ballooning offers some most spectacular photo and video opportunities.

Why do you fly so early in the morning?

The air needs to be stable, in other words very gentle surface wind and no thermals. As the day heats up thermals and wind generally get stronger.

How high do we go?

We are able to fly anything from a millimetre to a kilometer high.

How many people can fit into a balloon?

We have a fleet of 5 balloons, our smallest balloons take between two and eight passengers and a pilot, the biggest 3 balloons can each take up to 18 passengers and a pilot.

How do you know how many passengers a balloon can take?

The number of passengers each balloon can carry depends on the weight of the passengers, the size of the balloon “envelope”, the air temperature and the proposed height of the flight.

How long do we fly for?

Most balloon flights last about one hour.

Do you have facilities for the disabled?

We offer disabled bathroom facilities and have wheelchair friendly ramps throughout the Clubhouse Pavilion and Restaurant. Also please refer to requirements for flying disabled persons.