Champagne breakfast after the balloon safari

Champagne breakfast after the balloon safari

The most elegant way to experience a Kenya wildlife safari is a hot-air balloon. After the balloon wildlife safari over the vast plains and savannas of Kenya, the crew and the passengers of the hot air balloon flight will toast champagne and enjoy a champagne reception. An elaborate breakfast accompanies the champagne toast at the landing place. There is a reason behind this celebration that dates back to the time when the innovators staged the first few hot air balloon flights in the late 1780s.

Local farmers’ wrath

Back in those days when hot air balloon was a novelty, the noble people of France used them as a status symbol. To own a hot air balloon was considered to be exotic. As balloons became a fad, the French aristocratic families soon learned that the farmers did not much like people landing balloons down on their land. The peasants were afraid because the aircraft looked like dragons. While the smoke that powered them may have looked like dragons, it appeared more likely that the local farmers did not want the balloons crushing their crops. Hence, often in the pioneer times of ballooning, when seeing an object descend from the sky, the local farmers would grow afraid or angry and destroy the balloons, attack the balloonists, and chase them off.

Tradition being born

The balloonists had to find a way to circumnavigate the wrath of the local farmers. And they did stumble upon an amicable strategy that put the farmers in the pockets. In the olden days, the pilots used to carry a bottle of champagne along with them to enjoy. They used it to toast each other on board the flight. But instead of drinking it, they used it as a goodwill offer to the farmers whose field their balloon had landed. A tradition was being born. Henceforth, the balloonists carried champagne on their flights and toasted it to the spectators to put their minds at ease. This gesture convinced the local farmers that they were harmless and not dragons as they previously believed. The champagne gift acted as a sincere apology for disturbing the animals grazing in the field. This tradition still stands today.

Following the footsteps

The first legendary aeronauts in the history of hot air balloon were Le Marquis d’Arlandes and Jean-Francois Pilatre de Roziers. In 1783, after successfully flying over Paris in France they celebrated their achievement with champagne. To preserve the long-lived tradition, after each hour-long balloon safari in Kenya, upon landing, the pilot recites the balloonist’s prayer and offer a champagne breakfast. Hors-d’oeuvres and mimosas are also available with every balloon flight. For engagements and weddings, additional accompaniments are provided to make the experience special.

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