Here you find an overview of the frequently asked questions.

Can I fly a balloon when I am pregnant?

Most doctors say that it is not a problem to fly a balloon when you a pregnant

 

Bij Sky Ballonvaarten mag je niet ballonvaren als je zwanger bent. We zijn hier streng in omdat we geen risico´s willen nemen met zoiets belangrijks als de geboorte van jouw kind. Artsen geven aan dat het niet gevaarlijk hoeft te zijn. Toch is het ons beleid om je niet mee te nemen als je zwanger bent. We zien je graag terug nadat je bevallen bent, zodat je zorgeloos kan genieten van je ballonvaart.

What period of the year can I fly balloons in Ethiopia?

In Ethiopia we fly from 1 October to 30 June. In that period generally every early morning is suitable for ballooning as the winds are calm then and there are no showers. We don’t fly from 1 July to 30 September because of the rainy season. In that period too much flights need to be cancelled for safety reasons.

 

What is the balloon program like?

Balloon flight program

Ballooning in Ethiopia is magnificent. However, balloons can only fly early morning in Ethiopia during sunrise. This is because after 07.30 AM (international time) it gets turbulent which can negatively effect the pilot’s control of the balloon. Therefore the balloon program is always as followed:

05.15 AM, pickup by our 14 passenger minivan at one of our pickup points in Addis Ababa (or at your hotel when we fly elsewhere)

05.50 AM, arrive in the take off field (for Addis Ababa flights 20 KM West of Addis near the village Tatek on the new Anbo Road) and a welcome with coffee & tea and a passenger briefing by your pilot (with 20+ years international experience in ballooning)

06.15 AM, after the balloon is inflated with cold air which is heated by the balloon burners you get in the basket and your 1 hour flights at different altitudes (between 0 and 500 meters) begins. You will enjoy a beautiful sunrise from the balloon.

07.15 AM, landing and traditional champagne ceremony to celebrate the balloon flight and to celebrate the birth of aviation (which started with ballooning). After that we drive back to the take off point (or Addis Ababa in case of Addis flights) where we have a complete breakfast

08.30 AM, start of the breakfast and handing out a personal certificate to every passenger

09.30 AM, drop off and end of program

In short, a complete early morning program and a spectacular sunrise balloon flight you will never forget.

We fly in the period 1 October until the end of June. In July, August and September we don’t fly in Ethiopia because of the rainy season.

What kind of clothing can I wear best?

It is best to wear comfortable clothing; clothing you would wear when you would go on a hike. Wear comfortable walking shoes and wear a warm sweater or vest as before take off it can be a bit cold in the early morning (5-14 degrees Celsius), When we are up in the air the sun will start warming us up.

 

Is it cold up there?

It is not cold when you fly the balloon,  because the burners give some heat to the passengers and you don’t feel wind in the basket as the balloon goes with the wind. However, it is important to wear something warm early morning as it can be cold in the field just before take-off.

 

Can children fly with the balloon?

Children can fly with us if they are above 1.15 meter so they can look over the basket and so they are big enough to not be afraid of the sound of the burner. Children need to be guided by an adult.

For children up to 12 years old we charge ETB 2500 per child. For more information and our prices for children click here.

 

Is a balloon allowed to land anywhere?

According to international airlaw a balloon is allowed to land anywhere, because is it a free aircraft, which is totally dependent on the wind speed and direction. The pilot decides where it is wise and safe to land. Of course the pilotwill try to avoid landing in military places, lakes or woods.

Mostly the pilot lands the balloon on grass fields (farmers grass fields) and tries to avoid any damage to the landing field or tries to avoid startling cattle. If damages are made to the landing field these will be paid to the farmer.

After landing the ground team comes onto the field with the chase truck to pack the balloon and the passengers are picked up by our minivan.

 

Can a balloon steer?

Both the distance and the direction (heading) of the balloon are dependent on the wind speed and direction. The pilot of the balloon can control the height in centimeters and uses the wind direction and speed at different altitudes to ‘steer’ towards a suitable landing area (like farmers fields). Averagly the flight distance is 20 KM and generally the winds in Ethiopia are from the East to the West. In short, exact destination is unknown, a balloon is purely a recreational form of aviation, it is not a mode of transport, a balloon cannot steer like airplanes can.

How far does a balloon fly?

Both the distance and the direction (heading) of the balloon are dependent on the wind speed and direction. The pilot of the balloon can control the height in centimeters and uses the wind direction and speed at different altitudes to ‘steer’ towards a suitable landing area (like farmers fields). Averagly the flight distance is 20 KM and generally the winds in Ethiopia are from the East to the West. In short, exact destination is unknown, a balloon is purely a recreational form of aviation, it is not a mode of transport.

Am I insured during the balloon flight?

With Abyssinia Ballooning you are insured according to official EU Aviation Regulations that are endorsed in the same manner by Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority. In the 35 years of our operations in the Netherlands we never had to use our passenger insurance (we took about 200.000 passengers) as ballooning is extremely safe when pilots fly in calm and good weather conditions. We maintain the safety standard with our Ethiopian ballooning operatins. Your safety is always our priority and you can rest assure that you are in safe hands and will enjoy a great balloon flight.

 

Do I need to take something up in the air?

Please bring yourself. Of course it is important to take a photocamera because you can make beautiful pictures of your flight. Also it is good to wear something warm as we fly early mornings. Don’t wear high hiles, wear comforatble shoes. Also baggage is not practical and not needed. If you bring bags you can leave them in our minivan that follows the balloon. On board we will have water available.

Is your question not answered or would you like to know more about a specific question please call 00251-826845086 or email info@abyssiniaballooning.com.

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