As all our fans already know, there’s nothing in this world that compares to the experience of a hot air balloon trip with Bill Harrop’s “Original” Balloon Safaris. From the romance of the pre-dawn build-up to the staggering beauty of the natural scenery, your balloon trip is a memory that will never fade. Plus, of course, there’s that glass of bubbly and succulent breakfast waiting for you! Curious to know more about the experience? Here’s everything you want to know.

Who is behind Bill Harrop’s “Original” Balloon Safaris?

What you may not know is that we were the first company to bring hot air ballooning to the South African market. When we say original, we sure mean it! While you’ll find other operators dotted around South Africa today, we introduced the idea to the landscape in the tender days of 1981. Yes, hot air ballooning in SA dates back to the days when hairspray and shoulder pads were all the rage! Earning many 5-star aviation awards, it’s been over 4 decades of safety and fun in the skies, earning us a reputation as one of the premier activities in the Magaliesburg area.

But Bill’s not real, is he?

We’ll be sure to tell him you said so! Jokes aside, we are legitimately a family company, and you’ll have the chance to meet Bill himself. Along with wife Mary and daughter Sarah, this is a genuine family business. Family’s more than just the Harrop’s clan here, however. Time and again we are told that our very best feature is our stunning staff- the broader extension of the Bill Harrop’s family. From the booking team and security guard at the gate who’s welcoming torch is the first thing you’ll see on arrival, right through our superbly trained pilots and ground staff and our kitchen team, everyone is here to ensure you receive a premier hot air ballooning experience. You’ll notice the Bill Harrop’s customer experience guarantee every step of the way.

What is the classic Bill Harrop’s experience?

Your Bill Harrop’s experience starts as you wend your way through the predawn air to the terrace of the clubhouse. There you’ll have the chance to warm up with a hot beverage while the ground staff finish the pre-launch prep. Be sure to keep a careful ear open to your pilot’s initial safety talk, but otherwise feel free to socialise and enjoy. As the balloon rises carefully to life below you, you’ll make your way into the basket for final prep. The ride of a lifetime awaits.

We won’t spoil too much about the trip itself- it has to be experienced to be understood- but your one hour flight will see you soar up to a mile and a half in the air. The ground, a patchwork of colours and activity, will slowly unfold underneath you as you bob through the air current. Feel free to ask the pilot any questions you may have. Fully knowledgeable in ballooning as well as the area, they’re always happy to hear from you on the trip. Once you set back down to earth, the team will efficiently pack away the balloon as you share a celebratory glass of champagne in the dawn of the African bush. Then it’s time to head back to the Clubhouse for your celebratory breakfast (don’t forget to try the Northumberland porridge) with your new friends. The gorgeous Edwardian stylings of the Clubhouse are sure to woo you a little, too.

Bill Harrop’s “Original” Balloon Safaris has balloons going up every morning, including over the weekends. Booking is essential, of course, so why not get hold of the team and get yours in place today?