Local, Travel

The luxury bucket list: hot-air ballooning over the Okavango Delta

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Africa boasts a wealth of luxurious experiences. From elegant boutique hotels and wine tastings to Michelin-starred restaurants and world-class cruises, we really have it all. In a new miniseries inspired by the November 2017 issue of House and Leisure, we reveal a few of our favourite luxury experiences. First up, a decadent adventure north of South Africa.

Take a hot-air balloon safari over the Okavango Delta

The Okavango Delta in Botswana is one Africa's great wilderness destinations. Reaching across more than 16 000km2, it's home to about 200 000 large mammals including lion, cheetah, leopard, elephant, hippo, giraffe and kudu and, because of it's aquatic nature, this alluvial fan is home to a unique eco-system. In addition to thrilling game drives that allow you to view the animals in their natural habitat, why not gaze upon the water-flooded landscape from above? Experience panoramic views of the vast delta's winding channels, dotted with islands, wildlife, and large expanses of woodland forest from a hot-air balloon that goes low enough to brush the tree tops and as high as 1 000 feet.

Stay at the beautiful Vumbura Plains eco-retreat

Pair your adventure in the Okavango with a stay at Wilderness Safari's Vumbura Plains Camp to round off the luxurious treat. Contemporary in design, each of the 14 tents is balanced on a raised wooden deck, appearing to float on a bed of reeds, and comes with its own plunge pool and sala – a place to relax, gaze upon the passing wildlife parade, and indulge in a soothing massage. And if one hot-air balloon ride isn't enough for you, experience the world-famous Serengeti in Tanzania from the air, too, where more than a million wildebeest pound across the landscape in an annual stampede to fresh grazing grounds.