Masai Mara Hot Air Balloon festival to support anti poaching


(Posted 23rd August 2013)


An international line up of hot air balloons will congregate in Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve between 06th and 08th of December this year, to throw their support behind the growing momentum of Kenya’s anti poaching campaign. Organized by Prestige Travel the event hopes to see dozens of foreign hot air balloons take to the skies over the Masai Mara and the international media is expected to cover the three days of aerial spectacle over the reserve. Several teams from Europe and the United States have already confirmed their participation but as the publicity spreads more confirmations are sure to come.

Poaching has become Kenya’s conservation enemy number one and only yesterday was a Chinese woman, who got nabbed at the international airport a few days ago, sentenced to 31 months in prison in a landmark ruling, which shocked her and her lawyer after she had pleaded guilty hoping to escape with a token fine, as has been the case until now. ‘There is now a new resolve to deal with this problem. In the past smugglers paid a few hundred dollars fine and were let go. Now we confiscate the ivory, they pay fines and they go to jail. Let that message go out loud and clear. You get caught in Kenya with ivory, you try to smuggle it out, you go to jail, full stop. If Kenyans get caught abroad smuggling contraband, they also are sent to prison and we now do what should have been done so long ago. Dozens of cases were reported with small fines and the culprits are on the next plane. Our outrage knew no bounds then and why it took so long we will never fully understand. Any magistrate now handing fines instead of jail terms can expect to be immediately investigated and reported to the Judicial Service Commission for action. Next will be to send poachers down for 10 or 15 years. Wildlife is the back bone of our tourism industry. Destroy our wildlife and you destroy the most important economic sector we have’ commented a regular conservation source from Nairobi when passing the information about the balloon festival yesterday evening.

Another source did point out though that in view of the short time available till December all necessary approvals need to be secured, from civil aviation to the park managers at the Narok County Government to be certain that all regulatory permissions have been obtained so that the event can take to the skies. Watch this space.

9 Responses

  1. I would think twice about having a Balloon festival over the Mara at any time! The Mara is already full of Balloons that create and cause a massive disturbance to the wildlife each morning that they are able to take off. What started as the licensing of a few balloons in different areas of the Mara is now totally out of control. There is no doubt that the tourists love the experience, and that no matter what the balloon companies charge for the one hour experience the guests will pay, but that does not mean that the number of balloons allowed to operate should be increased! I say decrease the number of balloons and increase the cost! The Serengeti does not have this many balloons yet they have an area five times (or more!) the size of the Mara. Do they know something that the Mara does not or, is this just another case of greed taking precedence over conservation and the welfare of the wildlife! Just saying!

    1. Hot air balloons are the most Eco-friendly way to watch wildlife. To heat air in the balloon envelope for the balloon to rise, balloon pilots and crew uses Liquid Propane Gas(LPG), the same gas you use in the kitchen. LPG is non-contaminant, non-caustic and not considered a greenhouse gas. LPG vapor has no effect when inhaled by humans, birds or animals. if it had any effect anyone who cooks would be dead-which is all of us, haha.LPG does not contaminate the soil or waterways even if released accidentally even in large quantities. it has no long term effect.This cannot be said of vehicles that produce carbon and other greenhouse gases,are noisy and drive on pastures spooking animals. Balloons after inflation are silent and silently move with the wind and do not spoke animals. Animals do not even realize there are people floating above them unless of course it flies too low. We will be promoting ballooning as the best way to watch game with minimal human ecological footprint.

  2. Great!! President Uhuru should also act on the recent revelations that high ranking government officials including governor in his government were involved in the recent caught Ivory enroute to China. Start at the top and prosecute big Cats and we succeed otherwise all efforts and determination to stop poaching will be futile attempt.

    1. Thanks we need all support and efforts possible to fight poachers and also conserve our ecosystems especially the Maasai Mara,for more information please visit our

  3. This is such an amazing idea am glad someone is taking Kenya to the next level.Its really sad to see Kenya loosing its animals and am glad this event will be covering anti-poaching.

  4. This event will definitely continue to put Kenya on the map as the Kings of Tourism in Africa. I am looking forward to being part of this great occasion!!! And for those who think the can kill our elephants and get away with it think
    again.keep up the good work I love Kenya my home my country.We are one.

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