Our International Commercial pilots are highly experienced
“Highly recommend this activity, and our pilot was fantastic too.” – Tripadvisor
“An incredible experience, our pilot Captain Garry Holmes was just amazing…”
Our pilots hold commercial pilot licenses and undergo stringent annual checks and medical examinations every 6 months to validate their licenses, as required by Kenyan law. They possess excellent knowledge of the local wildlife, environment and Masai culture.
Meet our Pilots
To pilot a balloon, it is necessary to gain a pilots license, exactly as with other forms of Aircraft. There are a set number of hours of instruction and the same theoretical exams to pass as any fixed wing pilot. Once qualified as a Commercial pilot, experience has to be gained on different size of balloons; our 16 passenger balloons require a minimum of 500 hours recorded flying experience as Pilot in Command.
“Every dawn is a different adventure…”
Captain Garry Holmes
Chief Pilot & Head of Operations
Languages: English and some French
Garry has been flying Hot Air balloons for over 30 years and holds Commercial Hot Air Balloon Licenses in U.K., South Africa, Kenya and Myanmar. Prior to his career in Hot Air Ballooning he was a senior officer in the London Fire Brigade and runs specialist safety courses in Fire Safety Training. Garry has a special interest in birdlife of East Africa and the Masai Mara.
Captain Serge Nosov
Languages: Russian and English
Sergei holds a Commercial balloon pilot-instructor licenses in Russia, Ukraine and Kenya. He has experience in ballooning since 1999. He has been flying in the Masai Mara, Kenya for 3 years with Balloon Safaris Limited. Like most pilots he has a passion for all things aeronautical and holds a skydiving certificate. He is also an experienced paraglider. He established the Russian Federation of Ballooning in the Samara region of Russia.
Captain Gena Hennadiy
Languages: Ukrainian, Russian and English
Gena has been flying in the Masai Mara since 2018. He has over 1200 hours Commercial Hot Air Balloon flying experience flying in Ukraine and Kenya. He spent nearly 15 years flying Military aircraft in Ukraine and was director of the Aeronautical school, Kiev, Ukraine.
Captain Arturo Chamorro
Languages: Spanish and English
Arturo has held a Commercial European Hot Air Balloon license since 2000 and owned his own Hot Air Ballooning Company in Spain until 2013. He has worked as a Commercial Hot Air Balloon pilot in Cappadocia, Turkey: several seasons in the Masai Mara, Kenya and most recently in Jaipur, India. Arturo is passionate about flying and loves the wildlife of the Masai Mara.
Captain Elly Kirkman
Elly holds Hot Air Balloon Commercial Licenses for Australia, Kenya and Myanmar. A committed aeronautic she has undertaken many sky dives. She has flown for a number of Hot Air Ballooning companies in the Masai Mara over a 20 year period and returns to Balloon Safaris Limited during the High Season each year with her husband Milton.
Captain Milton Kirkman
Milton holds Hot Air Balloon Commercial Licenses for New Zealand, Australia, Kenya and Myanmar. A committed aeronautic he has undertaken many sky dives. Milton has worked for a number of Hot Air Ballooning companies in the Masai Mara over a 20 year period and returns to Balloon Safaris Limited during the High Season each year with his wife Elly.
What are you waiting for?
“A journey of emotion …..for many ….a dream of a lifetime”