Western Cape Ballooning in South Africa
Come and join us floating over the vineyards of Paarl not far from Cape Town in sunny South-Africa.
We are Carmen & Udo at Wineland Ballooning and offer the unique and exclusive adventure of Hot-Air Balloon flights in the beautiful wine region around Paarl near Cape Town in South Africa. Enjoy the wonderful feeling of floating through the sky as slow as a cloud and as free as a bird. Since more than 29 years the most romantic and exciting excursion around Cape Town. A dream adventure of a lifetime you will never forget. Fly near the most southern tip of Africa and see Table Mountain in a distance. You will be thrilled by the blues of the silhouette of the Hottentot Holland Mountain Range, the bright green of the vineyards and the endless rolling wheat fields glowing in the sun. – We make dreams come true. Balloonflights in South Africa take place – weather permitting – at sunrise before thermal activity starts. We make you real aeronauts by getting you involved in the rigging of the balloon and a gentle ascent takes you well above tree top level and with a light breeze you fly away over fields and vineyards. Our retrieve vehicle follows and will bring you back to Paarl, where the exquisite Grande Roche Hotel expects us with a five star breakfast to celebrate this lovely morning experience.
Flights last appr. one hour but please allow 4-5 hours for the whole trip incl. of breakfast.
Anyone who is fit to climb the basket and over 1,20m high. We can take a max of 5-6 passengers in the basket.
Mon - Fri: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm Daily from November to April at sunrise - weather permitting. Booking is essential.
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Wineland Ballooning cc. is a South African registered non-scheduled Airline operating at highest standards of service since 1990. We are licensed and checked by the SA Civil Aviation Authority and pride ourselves with an impeccable safety record of over 2450 flights.
Many people from all over the world have enjoyed a flight with us but due to erratic weather and wind conditions in the Cape, cancellations happen just as often. Therefore please allow as many days as possible to arrange your flight. It´s advisable to phone us as soon as you arrive in the vicinity of Paarl or Cape Town to give us and yourselves the chance to organise the experience.
Even though there is a good chance that Mother Nature will spoil our attempts, because safety comes first and we don’t take any risks. Balloon flights nears Cape Town will always be exclusive. We had guests who only went up at their second holiday in the Cape and this gives you a good reason to come back to the “Fairest Cape of All”.
Have you ever been up in a “Hot-Air Balloon”? Looking for a romantic present to say those magic words? Come and join us floating over the vineyards of Paarl not far from Cape Town in sunny South-Africa.
Why not spending your holidays in Paarl, one of the oldest towns in the Winelands of the Western Cape?
The “Pearl of the Boland-Region” offers world-class wine cellars, lovely mountains and great hospitality. We would love to welcome you at the bottom end of Africa, the most beautiful Cape of Good Hope. At our “PAARL ROCK SUITES” we offer you fully equipped, comfortable apartments, friendly atmosphere and all the help you need to explore the Western Cape. You will soon feel at home and come back as a friend.
Wineland Ballooning, Paarl near Cape Town offers Hot Air Balloon flights, Balloon Rides and a Balloon flight with Balloons in Paarl near Cape Town in the Winelands of the Western Cape of South Africa for more than 29 years & is one of the most exquisite things to do. Wineland Ballooning offers the unique and exclusive adventure of Hot-Air Balloon flights in the beautiful wine region around Paarl, South Africa. Enjoy the wonderful feeling of floating through the sky as slow as a cloud and as free as a bird. Fly near the most southern tip of Africa the Cape of Good Hope and see Table Mountain in a distance. You will be thrilled by the blues of the silhouette of the Paarl Rock and the endless rolling wheat fields glowing in the sun. Wineland Ballooning is a South African registered non-scheduled Airline operating at highest standards of service since 1990. We are licensed and checked by the SA Civil Aviation Authority and pride ourselves with an impeccable safety record of over 2450 flights. We also offer luxurious Self Catering Accommodation with our Paarl Rock Suites and Holiday Apartments. We are not a Bed and Breakfast as such but your Holiday Apartment will be of the highest standard & fully furnished. The Flats or Apartments are in walking distance of good restaurants and the 5 star Grande Roche Hotel. The Boschenmeer Golf & Country Estate in the Fraanschoek Valley with Paarl Golf Course & Pearl Valley Golf Estate Golf course is just across the Berg River. It is 5 min. to the N1 Highway and only 55km to Cape Town´s Waterfront and a little further to the Cape of Good Hope. You can visit Franschhoek and many world class Wine Estates like Fairview, Nederburg or the KWV Cooperative nearby.
Commonly we most often refer to these vehicles as hot air balloons; in fact there are various types of balloons that can take passengers. A balloon is a type of lighter than air aircraft that remains aloft due to its buoyancy. A balloon travels by moving with the wind. It is distinct from an airship which is a buoyant aircraft that can be propelled through the air in a controlled manner. It is also distinct from aerostat which is a balloon that is moored to the ground rather than free flying.
There are three main types of balloon aircraft:
· Hot air balloons
· Gas balloons
· Rozière balloons
Hot air balloons obtain their buoyancy by heating the air inside the balloon. They are the most common type of balloon aircraft.
Gas balloons are inflated with a gas of lower molecular weight than the ambient atmosphere. Most gas balloons operate with the internal pressure of the gas being the same as the surrounding atmosphere. There is a special type of gas balloon called super pressure balloons that can operate with the lifting gas at pressure that exceeds the pressure of the surrounding air with the objective of limiting or eliminating the loss of gas from day-time heating. Gas balloons are filled with gases such as:
Hydrogen – not widely used for aircraft since the Hindenburg disaster because of high flammability (except for some sport balloons as well as nearly all unmanned scientific and weather balloons).
Helium – the gas used today for all airships and most manned balloons in the United States
Ammonia – used infrequently due to its caustic qualities and limited lift
Coal gas – used in the early days of ballooning, high flammability
Rozière balloons use both heated and unheated lifting gases. The most common modern use of this type of balloon is for long distance record flights such as the recent circumnavigations.
Ballooning is an inherently safe sport. The sport is governed by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), who oversee the licensing of Pilots and issue Air Service Licences and Operating Certificates. The Operating Certificate certifies that the Air Service has been inspected and shows:
That adequate Passenger Legal Liability and Third-Party Insurance is in place;
· The registration letters of the particular hot air balloons the Air Service is allowed to use for hire and reward;
· That the hot air balloons are all Certified as being maintained and signed off by a currently licensed AMO (Aircraft Maintenance Organisation);
· That the hot air balloons are type-certified and have been manufactured by a company licensed to do this.
Each aircraft (hot air balloon) also carries documentation including:
· A Flight Folio book in which the aircraft hours are recorded after every flight, and shows when the Mandatory Inspection is due in both hours and date;
· A Certificate of Airworthiness
· Certificate of Ownership
· Certificate of Safety for Flight
Flights are usually conducted early in the morning when the winds are calm, and the air is stable. Although you may get a bit of a bump on landing, the experience is generally quiet, calm and gentle.
Highest Altitude: 34 668 m – Malcom D. ROSS (USA) 1961
Greatest Distance Travelled: 40 814 km – Bertrand PICCARD (Switzerland) 1999
Longest Flight: 477 h. 47 min. – Bertrand PICCARD (Switzerland) 1999
Shortest time around the world: 320 h 33 min – Steve FOSSETT (USA) 2002
The hot air balloon was developed as a children’s toy round about the 2nd or 3rd century AD in China.
It has been proposed that some ancient civilizations developed manned hot air balloon flight. For example, it has been proposed that the Nazca lines (which are best seen from the air) presuppose some form of manned flight, and a balloon was the only possible available technology that could have achieved this. Julian Nott designed and built a balloon using woven cotton fabric and a Torta reed gondola, both readily available to the peoples who made the Nazca lines. Heating the air in the balloon with a wood fire, Nott flew over the Nazca Plains. He comments that there is no evidence of any kind that that ancient peoples did fly but this flight proved beyond doubt that most early civilizations could have flown: all they needed was a loom and fire.
In 1709 in Lisbon, Bartolomeu de Gusmão made a balloon filled with heated air rise inside a room. He also made a balloon named Passarola (Port. Big bird) and attempted to lift himself from Saint George Castle, in Lisbon, but only managed to harmlessly fall about one kilometre away.
Following Henry Cavendish’s work on hydrogen, of 1766, Joseph Black proposed that a balloon filled with hydrogen would be able to rise in the air.
A model of the Montgolfier brother’s balloon at the London Science Museum
The first recorded manned balloon flight was made in a hot air balloon built by the Montgolfier brothers on November 21, 1783. The flight started in Paris and reached a height of 500 feet or so. The pilots, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and Francois Laurent (the Marquis of d’ Arlanders) covered about 5 1/2 miles in 25 minutes.
Only a few days later, on December 1, 1783, Professor Jacques Charles and Nicholas Louis Robert made the first gas balloon flight. Like the first hot air balloon flight, this flight left from Paris. The hydrogen filled balloon flew to almost 2000 feet, stayed aloft for over 2 hours and covered a distance of 27 miles, landing in the small town of Nesle.
Once flight was shown to be possible, the next great challenge was to fly across the English Channel. The feat was accomplished on January 7, 1785 by Jean-Pierre Blanchard, a Frenchman, and American John Jeffries, who sponsored the flight.
Blanchard went on to make the first manned flight of a balloon in America on January 9, 1793. His hydrogen filled balloon took off from a prison yard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The flight reached 5,800 feet and landed in Gloucester County in New Jersey. George Washington was among the guests observing the take off.
Gas balloons became the most common type from the 1790s until the 1960s.
The first steerable balloon (also known as a dirigible) was attempted by Henri Giffard in 1852. Powered by a steam engine it was too slow to be effective. Like heavier than air flight, the internal combustion engine made dirigibles, especially blimps, practical, starting in the late nineteenth century.
Ed Yost reinvented the design of hot air balloons in the late 1950s using rip-stop nylon fabrics and high-powered propane burners to create the modern hot air balloon. His first flight of such a balloon, lasting 25 minutes and covering 3 miles, occurred on October 22, 1960 in Bruning, Nebraska.
Yost’s improved design for hot air balloons triggered the modern sport balloon movement. Today, hot air balloons are much more common than gas balloons.
64 Main St, Paarl, Western Cape 7646, South Africa
Meeting in Paarl, ca. 55km from Cape Town
S 33° 45' 16.413'' E 18° 57' 43.287''