Sky Safari set to be UK’s largest ever hot air balloon event

Full details have been announced for the 2018 Longleat Sky Safari (September 14-16), when more than 220 hot air balloons from around the world will arrive at Longleat for what might prove to be the largest ever gathering ever seen in the UK.


Fittingly, there will be a menagerie of flying animals taking to the skies during the Sky Safari – including Simbaloo, Longleat’s very own lion.  Other animal-themed inflatables will include penguins Puddles, Splash and Tall Steve; Wes the wolf; a donkey; and an owl.


The Sky Safari will also be able to a chance to see a pair of Bertie Basset characters, a giant 120ft Hunter Wellington boot, an orange, an Aston Martin wing and a balloon themed around Disney’s hit movie Up.  And it will give visitors to Longleat the opportunity to witness some breath-taking scenes during the series of mass launches, tethered displays and night-glows.


Weather permitting, the spectacular three-day event should create a new UK record for the most balloons in the sky simultaneously, with more than 150 inflatables of all shapes and sizes taking to the skies above the UK’s No.1 safari park.


The daily 2018 Sky Safari schedule will be as follows:

07.15-08.00                                         Morning mass balloon launch

10.00-11.30                                         Morning tethered balloon display

11.30-12.00                                         Model ballooning display

14.30-16.00                                         Afternoon balloon tethering display

17.00-18.30                                         Evening mass balloon launch

19.45 (Friday and Saturday only)       Night Glow


Hot air ballooning, however, is incredibly weather dependent, and Longleat is keen to stress that timings may have to be adjusted on the day; and that, in adverse conditions, some launches and displays may have to be postponed or cancelled.  The Sky Safari itself is included with an All in One Day Ticket, meaning visitors can go to the Longleat website and select tickets for a Sky Safari date.  Walk-up tickets may also be available on the day; but numbers to the park throughout the Sky Safari will be limited.


The All in One Day Tickets also gives access to all our other attractions at Longleat, including the Main Square and Safari Drive-Through.  Ticket prices are: Adults £34.95 (£29.70 online); Children £26.20 (£22.27); Seniors £31.45 (£26.73); Under 3, free.


For full details visit

“Flying facts” from the 2018 Longleat Sky Safari:

  • 228 balloons set to be involved in this years event
  • 7 animals taking part:
    • Simbaloo the lion
    • Penguins, Puddles and Splash as well as their baby penguin, Tall Steve
    • Wes the Wolf
    • An owl
    • The new Longleat Koala
  • 25 special shaped balloons taking part over the course of the weekend
  • 675 – The number of people participating and making up balloon crews during Sky Safari.
  • 165 hot air balloon pilots
  • Flying over 9,000 acres of the Longleat Estate
  • With good weather, there could be over 1,000 flights throughout the event, with a total distance of 15,000 miles; which is more than half-way around the world.
  • 160 – The number of balloons we hope will fly all at once in at least one mass balloon ascent to set a new British record.
  • 2 x world champions will be attending and taking part.
  • 9 Countries represented at this year’s event
  • Pilots from:
    • UK
    • USA
    • Canada
    • Thailand
    • UAE
    • Germany
    • Spain
    • Belgium
    • Lithuania