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Up in the air! My first ever hot air balloon experience in Ghana

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DCIM100MEDIADJI_0031.JPG[/caption] Some people have accused me in the past of not promoting domestic tourism enough, so when I had the invitation to fly Ghana’s first registered hot air balloon (yes I’m no longer calling it the first hot air balloon in Ghana because I was reminded on Twitter that Richard Branson as part of the launch of Virgin Atlantic in Ghana flew in one, and Nescafe also flew one some years back), I didn’t miss the opportunity.   Tagged ‘Cowbell In The Air’ the campaign is part of, Promasidor Ghana Limited’s efforts to promote tourism in Ghana. In collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Promasidor was able to register and operate the air balloon in the country under the theme, ‘Our Beautiful Ghana’ and aims to position Ghana as a prime destination for the flying of hot air balloons on the continent’.   The novelty Cowbell balloon had several test runs and flights across the country, from the University of Ghana to Royal Senchi, Axim, the Elmina Castle, Mole Park and Shai Hills between May 12 and 19.   I was joined by fellow blogger, Zionfelix to experience the ‘9G-AFO” registered balloon in Tamale, Northern Ghana.  We left Accra on Friday, May 18 and early Saturday morning, we hit the road as early as 4 am in search of the hot air balloon thrill!   We made our way to a bare field in the Nanton District, where the Cowbell team set up for the balloon takeoff. In less than 30 minutes, the balloon had been inflated using a fan and some heat from the attached gas cylinders, and ready to take us on our expedition.   Our Belgian pilot, Koen Audenaert took us through some quick instructions and before long, we were floating in the air! This was my second hot air balloon ride after my safari ride in Kenya, so I was particularly looking forward to what scenery I would find flying above the savannah-rich region. Well, I was not disappointed, surprised but definitely not disappointed… Tamale is beautiful in its simplicity!   We flew over the Savelugu-Nanton District for over an hour and in fact the pilot didn’t want it to end. It was his last flight before he left Ghana, and also the region had a range that allowed for a great balloon experience. Watch the experience below  https://youtu.be/7mHWBip-px0 The hot air balloon is an aircraft consisting of a large bag, called an envelope, which contains heated air. Suspended beneath this is a gondola or wicker basket, which carries both passengers and a source of fuel to burn in order to heat up the air in the envelope.]]>

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