Did you know?
Some of the world's oldest hominid remains have been found at Gauteng's Cradle of Humankind.
There are several ways to explore the Magaliesberg region, but a hot-air balloon safari is surely the most scenic and relaxing method.
Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris operates from Skeerpoort Country Base within the Cradle of Humankind, about 45 minutes' drive from the northern suburbs of Johannesburg.
Magaliesberg balloon tours depart at sunrise and include a champagne breakfast. The Cradle of Humankind is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasting a range of terrain, including rugged mountains, bushveld vegetation and rivers. The colours of the landscape vary according to the season.
The balloon safaris are suitable for anyone older than seven, with the oldest passenger so far being 92. Passengers need to be fit enough to stand for at least one hour, the average duration of a balloon safari. Special arrangements can be made for people with disabilities. Each balloon can accommodate up to 18 passengers, with a minimum of two passengers required per safari.
Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris won the Best Tour Operator Award at the South Africa Tourism Welcome Awards in 2006. The company acknowledges that hot-air balloon travel is not cheap and makes a big effort to ensure guests get full value for money.
'Our staff appreciate that if they were spending this kind of hard-earned money, they too would expect very special attention to their needs, as well as a few added extra surprises,' says the company’s founder, Bill Harrop. 'We always honestly describe what we provide in our advertising without exaggeration, and always try go the extra mile.'
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris
Tel: +27 (0)11 705 3201
Cell: +27 (0)83 443 2661
How to get here
Johannesburg hotel transfers can be arranged through Bill Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris, allowing you to indulge in champagne during breakfast.
Best time to visit
Balloon safaris operate throughout the year, depending on the weather.
Around the area
Visit the Maropeng Visitor Centre in the Cradle of Humankind to learn more about our ancient ancestors and to enjoy several adventure options.
What will it cost
Rates vary according to the season, as well as the number of passengers per safari. Expect to pay between R2 100 and R2 800 per person for the Magaliesberg Tour, and between R4 300 and R7 100 per person for a game-viewing safari.
What to pack
You will need something warm early in the morning, but it is recommended that you wear something that can easily be removed when the sun comes out.