After an awe-inspiring journey around the globe – which has seen the Moët & Chandon ‘Spirit of 1743’ fly over the world’s great capitals and iconic landmarks including the Great Wall of China and the Statue of Liberty – the iconic hot air balloon finally graced the skies of Southern Africa last week. The larger-than-life cork has visited 21 countries around the world since its maiden voyage in 1990 (including Japan, Russia, USA and Australia) and was brought to the continent in honour of the House’s worldwide Moët Impérial’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
With Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium as its backdrop, South African stars Boity Thulo and Maps Maponyane took their place in history and joined a cast of the privileged few who have had the opportunity to travel in the ‘Spirit of 1743’ as she graced the skies over Durban.
Southern Africa is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery and natural beauty on the planet, it’s everything you imagine it to be – vast open plains and expansive skies and home to a plethora of wildlife. No trip to the continent would be complete without a visit to the bushveld and Sunday saw the ‘Spirit of 1743’ finally traverse the skies over Tala Game Reserve in Zululand, soaring above herds of elephant, buffalo, rhino, leopard and giraffe as they grazed on the open plains below. African birds sang in chorus (in what seemed like genuine celebration) as the balloon took to the sky over a magical African sunrise.