Flying in a hot air balloon in Kenya
by Wendy Smith
Living and working in south africa for 40 years and having visited most of the state game parks and private game parks, and working in a few, I also am a hot-air balloonist! Though I am now living in England I do go back to SA whenever possible.
I have not yet visited Kenya nor have I had a balloon trip there but, am going to Kenya in 2011 to do so. Having just read all the items above it seems to me that the people most concerned are the ones that have never travelled to Africa but only listened to others, perhaps the other people have not travelled there either?
I founded a hot air balloon company with a friend, who now completely owns it. Balloons only use their liquid propane burners for short bursts of seconds. So much gas has to be loaded according to how many passengers plus their actual weight. The pilot does not waste gas by burning it at frequent intervals. Once aloft if there is a prevailing wind, the balloon will 'cruise' but if the pilot descends and then ascends again, then the burner is used, which obviously makes a noise.
I cannot conceive of anyone actually condemning something they have never experienced. I am fully aware of the technology of ballooning, as are the pilots, and no-one in their right minds will make unnecessary trips upwards and downwards if the flight is only an hour.
I could say a lot more but, as the Webmaster has so succintly put it, the economics for Kenya is based on tourism and so the life cycle goes on. Hoorah for the pilots who give people an overview of the great rift valley and well done to the game wardens who look after the animals.
My travel tip is to be completely silent when aloft and listen to what is underneath you. You will hear all manner of noises that you would never hear if chatting merrily away.
By an avid conservationist!