Flying 3000 m. above the
Kathmandu valley safely perched on a wicker basket,
opens up vast of enchanting sights accessible only to the initiated. Breathe
easily in the fresh, crisp air of the quintessential Kathmandu dawn as you
absorb the 360 view of awe-inspiring landscape - lush green hills, terraced
fields enriched by nature's colors, terra-cotta structures huddled together like
watchful sentinels, a gilded temple spire, lonely stupa. Each one bathed by the
first golden rays of the rising sun.
Look right on and there before you rises in majestic splendor the fabled.
Himalayan peaks. Illumined by stray strands of sunlight the snow capped
Gauri Shanker, Chhoba-Bhamare, Melungtse,
Kang all stand to greet you and lull you in to a
dreamlike state, that will live on as memories forever.
Where but in this Himalayan kingdom of Nepal will you experience such
breathtaking sights at minimal costs and maximum safety. Ride the winds with
Balloon Sunrise Nepal and experience the most mesmerizing sky ride over
Kathmandu-the moment that makes dreams a reality.
Sunrise Nepal (P) Ltd. announces its daily flight, weather permitting, from the
first week of October through to the end of April.
- US$ 195.00 per person (inclusive of Hotel Transfers and Souvenir pack,
- Discounts apply for group bookings of 10 pax.
- One person free for every 15+ paying passengers.
- Only One flight daily.
There is no age barrier to enjoying our flights. However, a degree of
fitness is required as we may have to walk through paddocks after landing. There
are no seats in the basket - therefore, standing for the duration of the flight
(about on hour) is unavoidable.
We do not recommend bringing very small children. The reason are twofold-the
first being the comfort and enjoyment of the other passengers. The baskets are
quite small and young children often get restless when in confined areas. The
second reason is more practical. The walls of the baskets are four feet high,
small children would have difficulty in seeing over, unless carried by an adult
(an arduous task for a one hour fight). We do stipulate that children under 12
years must be accompanied by an adult.
We take off soon after sunrise. Winds are usually at their calmest then.
Winter months provide the most reliable conditions. We fly in the summer, but
very early in the morning.
Normally we fly for about an hour, but this is at the pilot's discretion,
taking into account the winds, temperature and weight carried on the day.
What to Wear:
Dress as for hiking, including sturdy shoes or boots plus sun glasses, gloves
and a cap. It does not get any colder in the balloon than on the ground.
Our advice is to bring more film than you think you'll need. There is so
much to see, from an entirely new perspective - you'll want to record it all to
Payments must be made at least 3 days prior to flight. As ballooning is
dependant on favorable weather conditions and safety is our first consideration
and we will not fly it conditions are unsuitable. If you are "weathered out" you
may rebook for this season or the next, or receive a refund.
What to expect on a passenger flight?
Everyone meets at a predetermined spot, usually half an hour before
daybreak. After a cup of tea and a short flight briefing the adventure begins.
At this time the wind direction is determined and a launch site is chosen.
Launch sites are dotted around the valley, so that no matter where the wind is
coming from, the passengers are guaranteed a lovely flight. The actual launch of
the hot air balloon usually takes place no more than half an hour after arrival
at the launch site. The balloon and the basket are carried in a truck. The
basket is laid on its side and the gaily colored fabric is pulled out of its
bag. Flying wires from the "Envelope" are attached, and the whole system is
given a "walk around" inspection by pilot and Passengers may assist with the
inflation, or stand back and take photographs, whichever they desire to do.
Initially, a large fan is used to direct cold air into the envelope - later
the burner is fired, thus heating the air already in the balloon. As the warm
air expands, the envelope rises into position above the basket, ready for
flight..............a sleeping beauty brought to life. As the balloon can only
move in the same direction as the wind is blowing and cannot return to the
launch site, it is necessary for the ground crew to follow in a retrieve
vehicle. Communication between the pilot and ground is maintained via two - way
radio. Flights are usually 45 minutes to 1 hour in duration. At the final
landing point, the retrieve crew assists in packing up the envelope and basket.
Flight certificate and souvenir packs are distributed to all passengers, rounding
off a fabulous adventure. From the start to finish the balloon adventure takes
about 5 hours, yet the experience will leave you with warm memories which will
last a lifetime.
Facts about Hot Air Ballooning
How Big are the Balloons?
The diameter of most envelopes is 45 ft. to 55ft.; heights from 40 ft. to 90
ft. volumes from 19,000 to 260.000 cubic feet.
What is it made of?
Rip-stop nylon, just like parachutes, or the spinnaker on a sailboat, the
material is treated with polyurethane to stop porosity and contain the hot air.
The basket is traditional wicker, like the laundry baskets of days gone by.
How much does it cost?
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? A basic balloon starts around $ 28,000 but can get
more expensive depending on art-worth or special shapes.
How long can it stay in air?
Normally about 2 to 4 hours, depending upon the ambient (outside) air
temperature, and the weight that is carried, on a cold day with only one person
flying, a 4 hours flight would not be uncommon.
How high can it go?
Most balloon flights are around 1,000ft. Record-holders have reached heights of
50,000 feet and up.
How fast can it go?
As fast as the wind blows, for
student pilots it is safer flying in winds up too 8 knots; 15 knot winds are the
limit. High wind landings require skill and experience.
How do you heat the Air?
L P Gas, the same as most people use in their homes. The hot air causes the
balloon to rise, and then as it cools, it will descend.
How many people does it take?
A minimum of three, but preferable five, particularly if the - wind of over
How long does it take to inflate, deflate and pack?
Each operation takes approximately 25 minutes, if all goes well.
Which instrument does balloon use?
An altimeter to indicate altitude, a variometer showing whether the balloon
is climbing or descending, a compass to show direction a themister which records
the temperature in the crown, or top, of the balloon and a Global Position
System for navigation. Each propane tank has a fuel gauge.
Do Balloonist carry parachute?
Not, usually. If the burner goes out and for some reason cannot be
reignited, the balloon acts a parachute and descends at parachute speed.
When do you fly?
Usually soon after sunrise or just before dusk, winds are generally calm
then. Winter months provide safe and pleasant condition for ballooning. Summer
heat brings thermal activity which can be extremely dangerous.
How many people can fit in a basket?
It depends on the size of the balloon, but usually it varies from 2 in sport
balloons, up to 12 people in passenger balloons.
Can you steer a balloon?
Generally speaking, no you do not. It goes where the wind goes. It is possible
to choose an altitude where the wind direction is the one which is needed.
How do you return to a launch site?
The balloon crew track the flight and are usually there when the balloon lands.
After packing all away on the trailer or in the retrieve vehicle, everyone heads
History of Ballooning
"Procure me some taffeta and rope and I will astonish the world". This
statement was reportedly made by Joseph Montogolfier, a French papermaker, (and
his brother Etienne), more than 200 years ago. It was not as pompous as it might
seem. Watching smoke rise up the chimney, Joseph deduced that a paper bag filled
with hot air would rise heavenwards, too. The brothers knew nothing of the
relationship between pressure density, temperature and the buoyancy of gases and
it was ten years before their experiments convinced them to attempt a public
On June 5, 1783, they did indeed astonish the world with a linen balloon some
11 meters in diameter, inflated over a fire of damp straw, old shoes and
brandy-soaked rags. The Paris Royal Academy of Science was impressed and on
September 19 that year, the Montgolfiers inflated a balloon at Versailles before
King Louise XVI and Maries Antoinette. The passengers were a sheep, a rooster
and a duck and the flight lasted eight minutes. Indecorously, the sheep trampled
the duck on landing, but the queen was so moved she installed the world's first
surviving aerial passengers in her private zoo.
The historic first manned free flight followed on November 21 when Jean
Francois Pitatre De Rosier and a nobleman, the Marquis D'Arlands, flew for 25
minutes at an average height of 300 ft. Their balloon was not the simple
functional design preferred today. It was elaborately decorated with sighs of
zodiac worked in gold bearing an embellished monogram of the King of France. The
lower part was garnished with masks, garlands and spread-eagles and the circular
basket festooned with draperies and other ornaments. No wonder Marie Antoinette
dubbed ballooning the "Sport of the Gods", though skeptics dismissed the bizarre
activity as a useless eccentricity of the aristocratic classes. Others, however,
saw great potential. The American Benjamin Franklin was present at the first
launch and, when asked what useful purpose the balloon might serve, replied: "Of
what use is a newborn baby?". Fortunately, many shared his view.
Nigel Pogmore has for many years had an interest in Travel of more
adventurous nature. In 1974 Nigel set off on a motor cycle trip, from his home
town of York, England to Asia,. On his return to Yorkshire he found settling
down to the normal everyday life, impractical, numerous jaunts proceeded. In 1978
Nigel had the good fortune to be selected as expedition driver for Encounter
Overland, a UK company that is renowned for its expedition to Kathmandu. It was
during his time with Encounter, that Nigel became addicted to Nepal. Whilst
working for Encounter Overland, he was sent to support other members of staff
man a nine person's yacht that did ten day charter trips between Pennang and
Phuket. Later on Nigel arrived in Australia, and based himself in Sydney for the
next ten years.
It was in Australia, that Nigels interest in Balloons started. Perhaps it was
fate that he was to meet up with Christ Dewhirst. Chris a well credited balloon
pilot, agreed to train Nigel up to the Australian standard. Nigel went on to run
Balloon Sunrise NSW. Along with many interesting times with Balloon Sunrise
Nepal he was asked to be a part of the Australian Bicentennial Balloon race
team, a race from Perth to Sydney. Nigel went on to start up Balloon Sunrise in
England, and has two operations, one in Yorkshire and the other in the Scottish
border. Along with the above he has flown balloons in UAE, also in Egypt in the
valley of the Kings and the Queens. Nigel's commitments to excellence and
safety, his energetic approach to life, and passion of ballooning plus a love of
telling a tale quickly puts his passengers at ease, all combines to make,
Balloon Sunrise Nepal a special company to fly with.