Lane Nichols gets a high and mighty view of the Masai Mara.

We rise before dawn. Meeting in the Kenyan resort's bar we guzzle rich black coffee and pastries before moving silently through the darkness to a nearby field.

The giant shape of a semi-inflated hot air balloon is just visible in the half morning African light. A team of men are preparing the aircraft for a dawn flight over the Masai Mara plains.

The flame roars and the bulging balloon takes shape, rising above us like a dark cloud.


We take our places in the wicker basket and the