5 things you need to know before booking a Luxor Egypt Hot Air Balloon Experience.
I hadn’t originally planned to dedicate a whole post to the hot air balloon ride that we took in Luxor, Egypt, but as this was the most amazing experience of my life I knew I had to share more.
Plus, even with all of the Egypt tips posts that I have been sharing, I still had quite a few hot air balloon pictures I wanted to share with you.
So I decided to sit down and create a new Egypt travel tips post that will give you a few more tips about our trip to Luxor and what you can expect when you book a hot air balloon flight on the West Bank.
Although I should note, that the wind really plays a major factor in where you go on your flight.
I’ve seen photos of the hot air balloons going across the Nile River, but the wind didn’t take us that direction on the day we flew.
But no matter where the wind and your pilot fly you, booking a hot air balloon ride in Egypt is an experience you won’t want to miss out on while in Luxor!
1. Book in Advance
As this is a middle of the night and early morning experience you will need to book this experience in advance.
Unlike the Cairo Museum in which you can walk right up to the ticket counter and purchase tickets, this experience needs to be booked as soon as you book your hotel dates for Luxor.
As Egypt increases in tourism (as is predicted) experiences like these will be booked out further and further in advance.
You may get lucky and be able to book your Luxor hot air balloon flight one or two nights in advance, but I wouldn’t recommend waiting until the last minute.
Roger booked ours about 1-2 months in advance and our trip was on the cusp of the influx of tourists to Egypt.
We booked our hot air balloon excursion through I like Egypt Tours and the cost was $67 US dollars per person, but you can also book through TripAdvisor.
2. Be Flexible
The wind is always an unpredictable factor that plays a key roll in if the hot air balloons will be able to fly on any given day.
We made sure to book our hot air balloon ride for the first morning of our stay in Luxor.
So just in case, if the wind wasn’t blowing in the right direction and they canceled flights, we would be able to reschedule the experience for the next morning.
Luckily we didn’t have any problems and from what I gathered our hot air balloon pilot was very experienced and they try their best to accommodate travelers so that they can have this once in a lifetime experience!
3. Wake up
Early in the Middle of the Night
Like how I crossed out early?
Early doesn’t quite express the time we woke up for the hot air balloon ride.
While I knew that we would need to wake up early for a sunrise hot air balloon ride over Luxor, Egypt, I didn’t realize just how early the sun rises in this part of Africa.
When we visited sunrise was around 5:10 am.
But the hot air balloons begin to rise over the valley before the sun even rises.
And since we (as were most of the tourists) staying on the east side of the river, the commute to where the experience begins was a bit of a distance.
We ended up waking up at 3 am, meeting our driver in the hotel lobby at 3:30 am, who took us to a ferry, that took us across the river, where we then loaded into a minibus with other tourists, that took us to the hot air balloons.
I should also note that the transportation (driver, ferry, minibus) were all a part of the hot air balloon package that we booked.
Oh, and there was also a solo female traveler who was staying at our resort that had also booked the same tour and we were with her during the whole experience.
And on a random side note, we ended up seeing her again, days later, at the Cairo museum.
She saw me from the second floor (we were on the first floor) and started waving at me.
Roger couldn’t figure out who I could possibly know and be waving at in Egypt. I couldn’t believe it either!
4. Enjoy Heights
Although I am majorly claustrophobic (hence my panic inside the Great Pyramid that you can read here), I do not have acrophobia (fear of heights) in the least.
Actually, quite the opposite, I get some kind of natural high from being up in the sky!
We offered to take my in-laws with us to experience the hot air balloons, but they decided that the idea of waking up early (with a day of sightseeing ahead) and going up that high was not something they were interested in doing.
And there is no shame there!
Again, I couldn’t make it all the way to the center of the pyramid (my heart is racing just thinking about it), and it’s important to know both your capabilities and your limits.
Luckily my discovery of having extreme claustrophobia happened in a place that I could easily leave.
That’s not the case in a hot air balloon full of people.
You will be way up in the sky with about 15-30 people and you will have 2-4 other people in the same compartment of the basket as you.
The last thing you want is to have a person next to you freaking out or be the person who faints from the fright of being so high.
But if heights don’t scare you, then you will absolutely love this top Luxor experience!
5. DSLR Cameras Are
See what I did there with the strikethrough again?
When we first got into the car (or was it the ferry?) I was told that DSLR cameras were not allowed on the hot air balloon ride.
Of course, I instantly panicked because I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with my camera.
He told me he would take it and give it back to me at the end.
Although I was still a little leary at the idea of handing over my $3500+ camera and lens to a stranger, that was packed full of pictures from the first half of our trip, I knew we had booked through a reputable company.
He also told me that he knew the pilot of the hot air balloon and once the inspector went by to clear our lift-off he would hand me back my camera.
However, he warned me not to lift it up/use it until we were up in the sky.
I have an overactive conscious so the whole plan gave me all kinds of anxiety as I didn’t want to do anything wrong.
Praise God we didn’t have any issues and his plan worked.
Although I’m still not 100% sure if DSLR cameras are or aren’t allowed, or if he was being extra cautious, or if he just wanted an extra tip (no judgment, this was a theme in Egypt).
And let me tell you, no matter what the case I’m so glad I had my camera to capture this incredible experience.
I hope these hot air balloon tips help you as you plan your Egyptian vacation.
If you want to look more into booking a hot air balloon ride in Egypt click here.
I have more blog posts focused on tips that will help you plan your grand adventure to Egypt.
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With love, Giusti
We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
1 John 5:20 NIV