Up and away with Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris


The morning of our flight there was a second balloon that launched…
Bill let them go first.
This company is South Africa’s most experienced Licensed Balloon Airline.
It was established in 1981 and has carried 1000’s of passengers.

Pretty as a picture?
Rip-stop nylon and 33m tall…
Much like Parliament, hot air keeps this aloft.

Final checks…
Bill mentioned that his armpits are the most photographed in the world…
I think that he forgot about his nostrils!
Your ticket will tell you to save you applause for the end of the flight.
However, Bill tends to use the flight as a floating “stand-up” comedy venue.
And he has a wicked sense of humour…

And, just like that, we were floating…
The ground crew has to follow the balloon
so that they are on hand to assist with the landing.

The club house in the early morning light.
We returned here after the flight to enjoy a really great breakfast…
and to chat about the experience.

Sunlight over the Magaliesberg.
Looking like a Pierneef painting?

The view from our basket.

Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris property.

View 1…the valley

View 2…out towards Hartebeespoort Dam

Tracey’s balloon above the R560.

The guest in her balloon were probably taking pictures of us.

Hartees in the early morning light.

I see a “Yellow jersey”…

But I am uncertain if this is a Jersey…

And all too soon it was over.
We had been afloat for just over an hour.
We had reached an altitude of about 1000m
and, we had covered about 6km as the crow flies.

My wife being used as a comparison for the envelope.
Fully inflated it is 33m tall.
The height of a 12 storey building!

In less than 20 minutes the crew had the envelope and the basket packed.
Bill was able to land on the trailer which made their job a lot easier…
and our landing VERY gentle.

My last flight in my 5th decade…
A sort of pre-birthday present.
To find out how YOU can own one of these,

Knowing Bill’s sense of humour,
this has nothing to do with reptiles,
but everything to do with being wary of guests(or staff)
wearing La Coste clothing!

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