The driver in his 4x4 Landrover sped down the dirt road and over a series of bumps…at times we actually became airborne. We reached a point in the desert where two huge balloons were being filled and the light of day was bringing the views into perspective. We climbed into the basket of one of the balloons and it slowly lifted off the floor of the Namib Desert. We floated above the landscape where the sun began casting shadows across the distant dunes. The balloon rose and I noticed movement across the desert floor. A group of oryx were foraging for food. The land is flat and extends as far as the eye can see. There are strange circles in the landscape caused by either a dying plant or a fungus. Or, as our balloon pilot states, "the fairies made them." He is quite a character…looks like he could be a relative of Crocodile Dundee. We sail silently toward a stretch of trees that turn out to be a dry river bed. Ostrich run from the shadow our balloon is casting. The dunes glow in the morning sun and we drift over small hills and waves of sand. We follow close to the ground and land in the middle of the desert. A few trucks show up driven by local Namibians. They park and start running around, unloading the trucks. They were so organized I was amazed in watching them pack up the balloons, set up a long table with linens and china, fill the table with all sorts of food and pour champagne into crystal glasses. We make a toast to each other and to our trip together before sitting down to croissants, fresh breads and jams, fine cheeses and meats, crepes and fresh fruit. The best part was the atmosphere.
Reservations can be made through:
Namib Sky Balloon Safaris,
P.O. Box 5197, Windhoek, Namibia
Phone: +264 63 68 3188
Fax: +264 63 68 3189
E Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org