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Frequently Asked Questions

What is a paraglider?

A paraglider is essentially an airfoil wing whose shape is formed by the pressure of air entering vents in the leading or front edge. The pilot sits in a harness suspended below the wing.

What is paragliding?

Paragliding is a form of gliding or free flight which is unpowered. Rising air or thermals are required to keep the glider in the air, these updrafts of air come from:

  1. When the earth's surface is heated by the sun, columns of warm air are formed and rise up these are known as thermals.
  2. when wind encounters a ridge in the landscape, the air is forced upwards, providing ridge lift almost like the wind that goes over the windscreen of a moving car.

Who can paraglide?

Anyone can fly providing they use a glider that is rated for their weight, this is usually between 25-110kg Children under 18 require written consent by a parent or guardian.

Who can pilot a tandem paraglider?

Commercial tandem paragliding can only be done on the basis that the flight is an instructional flight and therefore the pilot must either be a certified paragliding instructor or an assistant instructor affiliated with an official paragliding school.
These Tandem Instructor Pilots must be approved by SAHPA (South African Hang and Paragliding Association)

What is a Tandem Paragliding?

Tandem paragliding flights involve a passenger being securely strapped into a specially designed safety harness which is positioned and connected in front of the pilot and to the glider by spreader bars. The tandem paraglider wing is specially designed to carry two people and is nearly twice the size of a regular paragliding wing.

Are Take-offs and Landings Difficult?

Depending on how much wind there is, take-offs generally require just a few steps to get into the air. The less wind there is the more you will have to run. The most important thing to remember is DON'T SIT DOWN until you are well in the air and your pilot says it is ok for you to get in to your harness.

Is paragliding dangerous?

Our Tandem Instructor Pilots have many years of experience, fully qualified and approved by SAPHA We only use the safest paragliding equipment available and take safety very seriously and Make your safety our number one priority. Paragliding is not without risk but statistically it is no more dangerous than many other adventure sports, most paragliding accidents are a result of carelessness or inadequate training.

How long will the flight be?

Weather is unpredictable, even with a good forecast we sometimes find flying conditions are not favourable or safe. In the right conditions your flight should last between 15 - 30 minutes. The ideal conditions for paragliding are...

  • the correct wind direction for the site.
  • a 20-25km/h consistent wind.

How do I learn to do this cool sport by myself?

Ask us and we will set you up with the best paragliding schools around to complete either an introductory or full basic licence course.

What must I bring?

  • Comfortable hiking/running/walking shoes.
  • Long pants, and top, these are not essential but it can get cold up there in the wind.
  • Protection from the sun, hat or cap, sunglasses, sunblock or sunscreen
  • A snack and something to drink, water is best.

Where do we paraglide from?
As paragliding is weather-dependent, we go to whichever site is best suited to the weather conditions of the day. There are a lot of flying sites to choose from. Some of the more popular sites are listed ont the right.

  Paragliding Sites

Lions Head

S33º56’18” E18º23’14”
Launch site 450m above sea level
Flight ceiling at 1200m above sea level
Description :
A beautiful site to fly, offering a panorama of Clifton, Camps Bay and the Twelve Apostles. Best flying is from 3pm onward.s Parking is on the back (CapeTown side) of Lion's Head, then a stiff hike is required up the gravel road and around to the front side. 'Lower launch' is reached after a 10 minute walk, where the path narrows from a jeep-track width into a hiking track. It is a challenging launch through a silver-leaf tree grove from a short net-covered area. The 'Top site' is reached after another 10 minutes of brisk walking (it is NOT on the top of Lion's Head! It's below the cliffs on the NW side). It is a rocky netted launchsite.

View Paragliding - Lions Head in a larger map

Sir Lowry's Pass
S34º08’55” E18º55’39”
Launch - 320m high, 420m above sea level
Flight ceiling - 1200m - 2000m above sea level
A regular site that offers soaring, thermalling and cross-country, with superb views. The long mountain chain extends in a fairly consistent ridge to the south. To the north of takeoff the ridge rises to become towering mountain peaks,with qwesome views of steenbras dam, False Bay, Gordon's bay, Strand and Somerset West. Launch from the grassed slope below the wall, or for an easier launch, walk directly across the road from the entrance to the carpark, and take the little footpath up the mountain, bearing left until you ascend the final steep crest (10 minutes). You will be high above the pass.

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S34º24.113' E18º14.576'
Launch - 235m asl
Flying ceiling at 2300m
A long ridge shaped like a breaking wave provides consistent flying conditions. Ridge-lift with a healthy sprinkling of thermals makes for some interesting flying. Hermanus is generally a relaxing place to fly
and in springtime you may see the whales in the bay. smooth glides out to sea interspersed with regular thermals, beach landings and elevator launches.

View Paragliding - Hermanus in a larger map