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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 24 January, 2023
Expert travel writer: Richard Holmes

There are few more enjoyable ways to soak up Namibia’s serene landscapes than from the silence of a hot-air balloon. Coasting on the airwaves doesn’t come cheap though, so if you’re going to splash out make sure the scenery’s worth the splurge.

In Sossusvlei, home to the world’s most beautiful dunes, that means dawn take-offs that have you soaring over the ochre sands for an hour, before a gentle touchdown and Champagne breakfast on the sands of one of the world’s oldest deserts.

Price from: £450
Minimum age: 7
Age suitable: 7+
When: All year around
Duration: 4 hours

Getting there & doing it

You need to book your own pre-dawn transfers to the launch site (your camp or lodge will able to do that for you). Depending on conditions, flights last one hour, before touching down in the desert for a champagne breakfast.

Note – the dunes are always visible, but actually flying over them depends on the wind direction.

Despite the altitude, hot-air balloons aren’t especially cold, with the burner above your head keeping you warm. Simply dress as you would on the ground. Children need to be at least 7 years and min 120cm tall to see over the edge of the basket. Smaller children can follow the balloon from the 4WD retrieving vehicle.

When to do it

Flights are available all year round, seven days a week, weather permitting. Collection is pre-dawn.

Our writer’s recommended tour operators to book with

Namib Sky

Namib Sky

Sesriem, Hardap Region, Namibia

Highly experienced, Sesriem-based local operator that Pioneered hot-air ballooning in Namibia. Flights take off before dawn, and finish with a Champagne breakfast.

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience




Desert adventure and desolate coastlines meet game-rich reserves and quirky towns in this unique and atmospheric country.