Hot air balloon rides

Hot Air Ballooning in Sri Lanka Starting points and timings

The most popular Hot Air Ballooning sites in Sri Lanka are at Sigiriya, Dambulla & Uda Walawe. The Hot Air Balloon ride lasts for approximately an hour. The total the Ballooning experience is approximately 3- 4 hours; picking up the guests at 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. The ride that is reserved exclusively for the guests find its best timings within 2 hours of sunrise or two hours of sunset. Steady Weather conditions being important, most of the balloon operators prefer to operate the flights in the early morning. Hot Air Ballooning being a fine adventure sport, the guests are invited lend a hand in the ring of activity encompassing inflation and the deflation of the balloon.

The Cultural Triangle Ballooning Trip

Since the flight of the balloon is mostly on a lower altitude in the area around Sigiriya, the fight affords the sight of Elephants roaming, water buffaloes wallowing in the lakes, monkeys swinging from the trees with a view of Sigiriya standing majestically in the distance in the backdrop of the rising sun. Then there is the sight of Chase crew in a jeep following the balloon with village kids on bicycles following close at the heels.

Hot Air Ballooning in Sri Lanka Uda Walawe

The starting point at Udawalawe National Park is on the eastern boundary. There is a distinct possibility of sighting a herd of elephants en route for their morning splash in the Uda Walawe National Park.

Insurance Hot Air Ballooning in Sri Lanka

Operators do insure Hot Air Balloon flight operations with local insurance agents in Sri Lanka.

Weather on the scheduled day

Of course, Hot Air Ballooning flights are subjected to weather conditions on the scheduled day. An early morning wake up call confirms the ride. If a flight is cancelled in view of the bad weather, payment will be refunded.

Casual wear during the flight

Since it is little warmer high up in the air, the hot air ballooning enthusiasts are advised to dress casually. A hat or cap to shade you from the sun is an excellent idea. Closed toe shoes are recommended in view of the limited floor space of the wicker basket.

Sri Lanka Ballooning Operators

Hot Air Ballooning in Sri Lanka is operated under the license from Civil Aviation Authority of Sri Lanka. The operators are Adtech Lanka Ltd, Adventure Centre Asia (ACA) and Sun Rise in Lanka Ballooning (Pvt.) Ltd.

Destinations of Hot Air Ballooning

The destination or the exact route of a Hot Air Ballooning cannot be predicted since the flight is subjected to as the wind direction.

“The beauty of ballooning is that you don’t know your destination but you know the direction and then you got to totally surrender to the laws of nature. In Habarana where we have been flying for eight years, we have never in the hundreds of flights we have done landed on the same place twice. It’s always a different spot.” Peter Stewart

Since Hot Air Ballooning is aided only by the wind, the distance flown depends upon the velocity of the wind: if the wind is 2 mph, we will fly about 2 miles. If the wind is 8 mph, we will fly closer to 8 miles.

Terrain over which the hot air ballooning is done

Soaring between 500 and 2000 feet above tropical forests, dry-zone plains and rocks. Hot Air Ballooning sites at Sigiriya, Dambulla & Uda Walawe consist of mostly flat terrain ideal for the adventure sport. Over and above are the enchanting sceneries of man-made lakes, all green vegetation and cultivated lands.

Hot Air Ballooning season in Sri Lanka: November to May

Hot Air Ballooning trips are operated during the season. During the period of November to May, most often the winds are light and the sky is at its bluest. Of the season March and April offer the best weather. At other times of the year too Hot Air Ballooning is possible. However strong winds blowing from the east take you downwind of the mountains on the western side of the island.

Children

Children under the age of 7 are not allowed to the balloon flight since most often they get frightened by the noise of the burner. Moreover since the wicker basket is of a depth of no less than 4 feet, children who aren’t tall enough to view the sceneries do tend to get disturbed during the flight. During the flight adults are not expected to carry children up in their arms.
Each and every child under the age of 16 is expected to be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Speed and Altitude of Balloon flights

The operators of Hot Air Ballooning season in Sri Lanka consider wind velocity of 10 mph and the clouds 2000 feet above the ground as ideal for safe operations.

Number of Passengers

The equipment used in Sri Lanka ranges from 80,000 cu. ft. balloons suited for 3 persons to a mammoth 350,000 cu. ft. that can carry16 persons. Your vehicle can by all means follow you with the operator’s ground support crew chasing the balloon.

Sri Lanka Balloon Festival

Tourism Promotion Bureau of Sri Lanka in association with the Ceylon Airship and Balloon Club organizes Sri Lanka Balloon Festival on yearly basis. The participants that arrive from Asia and Europe annually are treated to an exclusive week-long tour of the island. The 2011 Sri Lanka Balloon Festival was held in March.