Hot Air Ballooning is unique from all other forms of flight as there is little sensation of motion or perception of height. Balloons travel with the wind & at the same speed, which makes for one of the magical sensations of the flight. “Sensational tranquility” … is how many describe it whilst others as “surreal, peaceful and quiet”.
Floating at heights of 500 to 2000 feet on average, this feeling of peace and tranquility is apparent from the extent of sighs & smiles as the earth seems to slowly descend & rotate below you whilst the views rapidly expand. After the excitement of the takeoff (and its preparations with the inflation of the balloon), within moments you are at ease & in awe of the lofty spectacle while you effortlessly drift over the treetops, wildlife, lakes & rivers, cultural sites, local urban homesteads & landmarks like Sigiriya Rock. Ballooning adds an intimacy with the landscape & people that most guests volunteer as “an experience of a lifetime” whilst floating over the Sri Lankan countryside in gentle, panoramic harmony with nature. Apart from the occasional burst of the burners there is little to disturb the unusual noiseless environment.
Your Typical Flight
A sunrise hot-air balloon flight is a complete morning travel experience starting with your arrival at our meeting point (Kandalama Hotel) in the heart of the Cultural Triangle shortly before sunrise. From here we transfer you to the takeoff point normally at the edge of the Kandalama Tank (Lake) just meters from the hotel. The preparation and inflation of the balloon, flight briefing, takeoff, the flight, landing & retrieval plus return to your hotel after a champagne breakfast is, in all, about 3-4 hrs. You’ll be back at your hotel in time generally by 8:30-9:00am
A typical flight is scheduled for take-off commencing soon after dawn to take advantage of the cool morning atmosphere and view the landscape also waking to a new day. The exact start time varies depending on the season and will be nominated when you make your reconfirmation call between 4 pm and 5 pm the day prior to your flight. Generally the arrival time at the launching point is 0630am.
On the morning of your flight you will receive a wake-up call one hour prior to the meeting time. This call is put through ONLY if the weather is suitable for a flight. Cancellations are rare! No call - No flight! But you must be in reach of a telephone or be able to be reached i.e. via your hotel.
On the assumption that Sunrise is at approx 0700hrs then the following would apply as a typical flight.
Click here for photographs of Birthday celebration with hot air ballooning
05.45 - 06.00 am
Meeting point Heritance Kandalama grounds or Hotel reception.
06.15 – 06.30 am
You board the balloon and the Chief Pilot will brief you on safety.
Enjoy your one hour flight, floating serenely over stunning and breathtaking views of the countryside with only the occasional blasts of the burners to disturb the peace!
Flying over the jungle you may see elephants roaming freely, water buffaloes standing in the paddy fields and monkeys swinging from the trees. View of Sigiriya standing majestically in the distance is very visible with the rising of the sun.
Village kids beneath the balloon trying to keep up with the chase on foot or bicycles and you could also spot our Chase Crew as they follow us to the landing site.
8 am approx.
After an exhilarating flight over the jungle you will be welcomed on landing by friendly villagers who are happy to help pack away the balloon.
After each flight we commemorate the adventure with a Champagne Celebration. After, you will be brought back to your hotel by our crew.
Things to make a note of :
- Dress casually and comfortably for the weather, it is a little warmer while the sun is out.
- We recommend closed toe shoes to opened toe or high heeled shoes as we want to protect your feet just as much as the rest of you.
- A hat or cap for protection.
- If you wish you may carry a pack of sweets to throw to kids when flying over their villages or hand over to them at the landing site when they come to welcome you as an adventurer to their homeland.
- Your vehicle can by all means follow you with the chase crew.
- You are advised to allocate a maximum of 3 1/2 hours for your balloon excursion.
- Kids below 7 years and pregnant women will not be allowed in the balloon. However, please talk to us about flying your kid.
- If a flight is cancelled due to bad weather we do not charge and payment is refunded in full case of advance payment.
US$ 185 per adult and US$ 106 per child between the ages of 7 – 12.
Rs. 11,500/- per adult and Rs. 8,200/- per child between 7 – 12.
Kids under 7 and pregnant ladies are not recommended to take the flight.
- For Kandalama package we are requesting minimum of 2 people