* Hot air ballooning stems back to 1783 when Pilatre De Rozier sent the first passengers into the skies (a sheep, a duck and a rooster) aboard a hot air balloon. The flight lasted only 15 minutes.
* Two French brothers named Joseph and Etienne Montgolfier were the first humans to fly in a hot air balloon, their flight last 20 minutes over the city Paris in France. The balloon was launched from the centre of Paris and flew for a period of 20 minutes.
* A hot air balloon operates on the principle that hot air rises! The air in the balloon is heated by a propane burner causing the balloon to rise. To lose altitude the pilot simply opens a circular opening near the top of the balloon releasing hot air, thus causing the balloon to slowly drop.
* A balloonist can only control the up & down movement of a balloon, the direction is decided by the winds of mother nature!
* The Breitling Orbiter 3 was the first hot air balloon to successfully circumnavigate the globe. This feat was attempted by number of balloonists before, but only achieved in 1999 and in the process the pilots covered 42812 kilometers
* The highest altitude achieved by a hot air balloon was set by a certain Mr Vijaypat Singhania who took his balloon to a height of 21,027 meters (that’s 68986 feet). This flight was conducted in India in November of 2005

Hot Air Ballooning in South Africa