Bill Harrops “Original” Balloon Safaris

Why "Original"?  Because in June 1981 Bill Harrop was the first person in
South Africa to conceive and run a legally licensed Balloon Airline.



  • Except where specifically excluded, the above Rates Include VAT at the CURRENT RATE of 14%
  • If the tour is cancelled by the passenger or agent, the deposit is forfeited.
  • If the flight is cancelled for safety reasons, the flight is either re-booked or the deposit returned.
  • A minimum of 2 passengers is required to justify a Flight Departure (max 140) but these can be from 2 individual sources.
  • MINIMUM: 2 passengers (can be two different individual bookings)
  • MAXIMUM: 140 (6 to 18 passengers per balloon)


We also offer very attractive Select Ballooning Lodge packages which include dinner and accommodation at a fine country lodge or hotel and the balloon safari the following morning

Game Viewing Balloon Safari packages at Entabeni Safari Conservancy Mabula Private Game Reserve As well as Optional Special rate car rental packages

SATSA Member since 1981, Magalies Meander Member, Crocodile Ramble Member, SADoT LICENSED, BEE Compliant – 100% PRL
(Bill Harrop is also a Member of the Johannesburg Skal Club - The International Association of 
Tourism and Travel Professionals)


(Warmbaths area, Northern Province)


Bill Harrop’s 'Original' Balloon Safaris now offers you the opportunity to view the magnificent panoramas of this ancient land and enjoy this rare and special privilege of observing the flora and fauna of Africa from the slowly drifting vantage of your hot air balloon….

Entabeni Safari Conservancy and Mabula Private Game Reserve are particularly recommended for the ultimate getaway, and prelude to a most memorable Game Viewing Balloon Safari the following morning
They are both included as one of the “Select Ballooning Lodge” packages which are inclusive of Accommodation and Ballooning as well as transfers, if requested.

World Heritage “Waterberg Biosphere” Limpopo Province

The 22000 ha Entabeni Safari Conservancy, situated in the renowned, malaria-free Waterberg area of Limpopo Province, boasts spectacular scenery with mountains, waterfalls and terrain which varies from bushveld to unspoilt ravines. All of this only 3 hours drive from Johannesburg.

The 5 star Hanglip Mountain Luxury Lodge or the 4 star Wildside Tented Camp are both on the lower escarpment and most convenient to the balloon safari takeoff area. Other 4 and 5 star lodges are also available on the upper escarpment.

The packages include: Accommodation, 3 meals, a game drive and a balloon safari game spotting flight.

Other activities available are scenic helicopter flights, horseback safaris, rejuvenation at the wellness centre, wildlife centre, cultural village, the extreme golfing experience and game viewing activities by day and night, far in excess of the ubiquitous sightings of “just the Big 5”. 



Bill Harrop’s 'Original' Balloon Safaris operate game viewing flights which give guests a magnificent aerial view of the unique 12 000 ha, malaria free Mabula Private Game Reserve, 
situated in the Northern Province, a mere 2 ½ hour drive from Johannesburg.

Legendary African wildlife is a regular occurrence at Mabula Game Lodge, where the big five roam.  Enjoy the matchless hospitality and comfort of this newly refurbished, truly world-class game lodge, which offers a bouquet of activities including guided bush walks, reptile centre, horse trails, rhino tracking, game drives in open land rovers and a health and beauty centre.

After your balloon safari enjoy game-viewing drives in open land rovers, bush walks, or ride horse-back along the trails to observe the animals.  During the heat of the day, relax at one of Mabula’s two sparkling swimming pools.

In the evening take a thrilling night game drive before a delightful boma dinner.  Accommodation is in comfortable thatched chalets, with en-suite bathrooms and private patios.

Mabula and Entabeni Balloon Safari Schedule

  • The Balloon Crew, consisting of the pilot and 3 crew, will arrive at the Lodge the evening prior to the flight, meet the passengers, answer questions and brief them, for the following morning’s balloon safari.
  • On the morning of the flight, the Balloon Crew will set off just before sunrise to establish the optimum launch site. The passengers will follow half an hour later with their Ranger who will have been advised of the chosen launch site by radio.
  • The Balloon flight will last about forty five minutes, starting in the reserve to fly over the game, but may land outside the reserve, depending on the flight direction and meteorological conditions.
  • Traditionally, champagne will be served either “in flight” or on landing, and “Certificates for Bravery” will be awarded with due ceremony.
  • After landing the passengers will re-join their ranger for a game drive and breakfast in the bush or at the Lodge.


If the tour is cancelled by the passenger or agent, the deposit is forfeited. If the flight is cancelled because of bad weather, the flight is either re-booked or the deposit returned


In conjunction with our General Terms and Conditions

Should any element of the package be postponed or cancelled, this will not affect the commitment of any party in the agreement to the supplying and charging for, or receiving and paying for, the other elements of the package on the original dates unless otherwise agreed in writing.
A minimum of 4 guests is required to justify a Flight Departure but these could be from 4 individual sources.
Each balloon can be programmed to make one flight per day, at sunrise. If the flight is cancelled by us, for safety reasons, we will endeavour to fly in the late afternoon if conditions permit.


A selection of first class Lodges and Country Houses particularly recommended for a very special getaway, and prelude to a most memorable and enjoyable Balloon Safari the following morning.

Sunset cocktails on summers' evenings, or in the welcome warmth of a crackling log fire in winter.  Dinner of choice country fare accompanied by fine wines will be an occasion to remember, in the company of your knowledgeable hosts or just yourselves, by candlelight perhaps, or “alfresco" under the canopy of a million stars.

After a comfortable night you will be woken in time to dress and travel to arrive at the Balloon Field of Bill Harrop’s “Original” Balloon Safaris just as the sun rises to soar gently over the majestic Magalies River Valley and surrounding mountains.


65 km north-west of Johannesburg. 30 mins drive from the Skeerpoort balloon field.

This fine country lodge in Magaliesburg is a glorious blend of time-honoured tradition and modern hospitality.  Valley Lodge, with professional and welcoming staff, is well known for it’s imaginative cuisine, carefully selected wines from a well stocked cellar, comfort and tranquillity.

This secure, exclusive getaway contains 76 individually decorated bedrooms and suites, some with fireplaces.  Complimentary facilities include floodlit tennis courts, gymnasium, boating, fishing, library, snooker room, a natural bird sanctuary, nature walks and a Wellness Facility. Comprehensive conference facilities are available in one of seven different venues.
Soak up the sun at the sparkling pool or meander through the lush, manicured gardens to totally revitalise yourself. 
This peaceful spot is the ideal country escape suitable for any occasion. No matter what pace you desire, Valley Lodge will give you a new appreciation of the art of living.



35 km north of Johannesburg, 20 mins drive from the Skeerpoort balloon field.

Set in the tranquil splendour of the African bushveld, Amanzingwe falls within the area newly proclaimed as a World Heritage Site – The Cradle of Humankind, and while enjoying a sundowner on the Zebra Bar deck you may see some kudu, waterbuck, gemsbok, blesbok, impala, zebra and blou-wildebees – ambling to the nearby watering hole.

Accommodation is where Amanzingwe proudly excels, the 2 Super Luxury units with Victorian bathrooms and Jacuzzis, the 48 Luxury units, of which 38 are equipped with televisions, will be hard to improve on.

Enjoy a lovely dinner in the Impala Restaurant or the Goronga Wine Cellar whilst the highly trained staff, are quietly on hand to cater for each and every guests needs.



70 km north-west of Johannesburg, 30 mins. drive from the Skeerpoort balloon Field

Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, in the heart of the magical Magaliesberg, Budmarsh Lodge awaits to welcome you to its world of understated elegance, tranquillity and personalised attention.
Escape through beautiful gardens into river rambles, fly fishing and hikes that boast abundant bird life.
After a sumptuous dinner, conjured by our Master Chef, relax in front of a roaring fire, engage in a game of snooker or simply escape to the quietness of the library to read and forget the stress of your world.
Retire to your bedroom with its antique furniture, under floor heating, en-suite bathroom and sink into your king size bed for a sleep that is truly nature’s balm.


(Previously Plumari Africa)

75 km north-west of Johannesburg,30 mins. drive from the Skeerpoort balloon Field 

Exclusivity in a tranquil African environment.
Guests at Askari can get to see the Big 5 at the Plumari Africa Private Game Reserve in the Magalies River Valley. 
Spectacular game drives are available in open Landcruisers where one can observe a wide variety of game including white rhino, giraffe, zebra, leopard, buffalo, crocodile, hippo, buck and lion.

The charming twin or double bedded thatched chalets of this little gem of history overlook the Hippo dam.  Most have fireplaces to compliment their antique style interiors.  All have a bath, a shower and a mini-bar.  Meals by our top executive chef can be enjoyed in the main dining room or on the patio overlooking the Elephant dam, or in the “lapa” for larger groups.

Askari and Plumari Africa Private Game Reserve is an ideal location for corporate and teambuilding activities from clay pigeon shooting to golf at a nearby course or, of course, ballooning with Bill Harrop.

Other activities include hikes to 1000 year old rock paintings as well as soothing massage treatments by a qualified relaxation therapist.



45 km north of Johannesburg, 10 mins. drive from the Skeerpoort balloon field.

The Harrop’s two adjoining newly built three bed-roomed guest houses at Olive Tree Cove are but a short walk through The Coves upmarket holiday villages to the shores of Hartbeespoort Dam in the Magalies River Valley.

Each lodge offers secure, welcome, modern hospitality that combines comfort with luxury and is fully air-conditioned with its own lounge, dining room and patio just 30 meters from the swimming pool. 

The surrounding area offers a wide range of leisure activities including, boating, horseriding, mountain biking, golf and, of course, hot air ballooning with Bill Harrop’s “Original” Balloon Safaris. 

Also exclusively available to Olive Tree Cove guests is access to the Harrop’s 87 acre Skeerpoort balloon field and country base where one can enjoy picnics, tranquil nature walks, bird-watching, fishing and row-boating on their 2 km. of private river.



55 km north of Johannesburg, 15 mins drive from the Skeerpoort balloon field.
The Elephant Sanctuary offers an exciting, fully comprehensive elephant experience.

We offer an exclusive, ‘hands-on’, educationally oriented experience with 4 African elephants.
Walk trunk-in-hand with the elephants, touch and interact with them in the forest area, and feed these magnificent pachyderms.

Join us for an intimate overnight stay in one of our two lodges and enjoy true African hospitality.
See elephants stabled for the night, followed by a walk to the mountain deck for sundowners while watching the sunset over the beautiful Magaliesberg Mountains.

Return to the lodge for a 4 course dinner in the traditional style Ndlovu boma, where you can relax around a log fire.



55 km north of Johannesburg, 25 mins drive from the Skeerpoort balloon field.
The word “Maropeng” means “returning to the place of our origins” in Setswana. A visit to Maropeng is a journey of discovery to the place where humanity’s collective umbilical cord lies buried. All humankind hails originally from Africa. When we greet visitors, we say, “Welcome home!”

Maropeng is located 45 minutes from Johannesburg and Pretoria and is the official visitor centre for the Cradle of Humankind, a World Heritage Site which has yielded some of the world's most valuable palaeoanthropological evidence and a must-see attraction in South Africa. A visit to the Maropeng visitor centre is a must for anyone wondering about their origins. 

Steal away from the hurley-burley of the city and escape to the intimacy, peace and tranquility of the country. 
The Maropeng Hotel, with breathtaking views of the Witwatersberg and Magaliesberg ranges, opened its doors to the public on June 01 2006. 

The 24-bedroom four star boutique hotel is the epitome of true luxury and is a five minute walk from South Africa ’s premiere tourist destination, the Tumulus visitor attraction and 10 km (6 mi) from the Sterkfontein Caves. 
Enjoy a restful night sleep in one of the 10 King, 13 twin rooms or the 1 fully equipped paraplegic bedroom. The hotel can accommodate up to 48 people. 
The Maropeng Hotel is ideal for a romantic getaway or for executives seeking a convenient conference venue with accommodation not too far out of town.




45 mins from Johannesburg and Pretoria

Nestled at the foothills of the Zwartkops Mountains in the Cradle of Humankind, the five star Kloofzicht Lodge is the essence of tranquillity and ultimate luxury.  

The serenity of the lodge is embodied by water, as the lodge comprises 42 suites, all with views over the 6 fly-fishing dams and the lower reaches of the Blaauwbank Spruit, as it meanders through the unspoilt Zwartkops gorge.  

Set on a private game reserve, Kloofzicht further boasts a fly-fishing academy where the experience of a lifetime awaits you, regardless of your level of expertise.

Five star hospitality and service is the trademark of Kloofzicht Lodge which can be found from our conferencing and banqueting to our wedding and leisure offerings.

Aside from hot air ballooning with Bill Harrop, recreational facilities include archery, guided nature walks, game viewing and bird watching. Within close proximity to Kloofzicht are the Rhino and Lion Reserve, Wonder Caves, Sterkfontein Caves, Kromdraai Gold Mine and two golf courses. 

Dependant on the local weather it is often possible for balloons to take off from the grounds of the lodge or alternatively from the Skeerpoort ballooning base only a 35 minute drive away.  

Please see our General Terms and Conditions:

  • The above rates include VATax at the CURRENT RATE of 14%
  • TOMSA Tourism Levy is included
  • If the tour is cancelled by the passenger or agent, the deposit is forfeited
  • If the flight is cancelled for safety reasons, the flight is either rebooked or the deposit returned
  • Should any element of the above packages be postponed or cancelled, this will not affect the commitment of any party in the agreement to the supplying and charging for, or receiving and paying for, the other elements of the package on the original dates unless otherwise agreed in writing.
  • A  minimum  of  2  Guests  is  required to justify a Flight Departure (Max. 140)

Bill Harrop’s “Original Balloon Safaris has been a SATSA  Member Since 1981 * Magalies Meander Member * Crocodile Ramble Member * SADoT LICENSED * BEE Compliant – 100% PRL
(Bill Harrop is also a Member of the Johannesburg Skal Club - The International Association of Tourism and Travel Professionals)