Documentation for the TextInfo template.information about this edition. Sister Projects.sister projects: Wikidata item. Five Weeks in a Balloon, or, Journeys and Discoveries in Africa by Three Englishmen is an 1863 novel by Jules Verne. It is the first Verne novel in which he perfected the "ingredients" of his later work, skillfully mixing a plot full of adventure and twists that hold the reader's interest with passages of technical, geographic, and historic description. The book gives readers a glimpse of the exploration of Africa, which was still not completely known to Europeans of the time, with explorers traveling all over the continent in search of its secrets.