It has long been a human dream to soar like a bird on lofty thermals – and paragliding comes pretty close. There couldn’t be a better place to experience the thrill than high above the beaches of Camps Bay and Clifton, and the Twelve Apostles.
A number of official paragliding sites are located in and around Cape Town, including Lion’s Head, Signal Hill, Sir Lowry’s Pass, Hermanus, Franschhoek Pass, Dasklip Pass (Porterville) and Noordhoek. The take-off point on Lion’s Head is the closest to the city centre.
Paragliding is dependent on the weather, but there are about 200 days of the year that are suitable in South Africa. Wind is not essential, but conditions are most suitable when it is blowing from 10-30km/h. Ideally, it should be blowing upslope with a tolerance of 15 degrees.
For the central Cape Town area, a good choice is Para-taxi (www.para-taxi.com). Para-Taxi puts a lot of effort into promoting the sport, respecting the environment and making flight possible for the disabled and physically challenged.
In the northern suburbs of the city you’ll find Birdmen Paragliding (www.birdmen.co.za), which is owned and run by Barry Pedersen. During a visit to Switzerland in 1996, Barry started paragliding and developed a love for this artful form of aviation. In 2003, his wife Candice joined him in running the company.
Barry is a qualified advanced pilot with more than 2 500 flights to his credit. He is also a South African Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association instructor for paragliding and powered paragliding, and a qualified tandem flight instructor for both power and mountain flying. To learn how to paraglide, experience a tandem flight or safely see Cape Town and the surrounding area from the air, you can contact Birdmen.
Manu Wegmershaus has been paragliding since 1994 and has completed thousands of flights. He formed Cape Town Tandem Paragliding (www.paraglide.co.za) on his arrival in Cape Town in 2005.
The tandem pilots used by Cape Town Tandem Paragliding are South African Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association-certified and all are paragliding instructors or assistant instructors. Their qualifications guarantee you professional pilots to ensure that your paragliding experience is safe, fun and professional. Cape Town Tandem Paragliding is affiliated to the South African Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association and Wallend-Air School of Paragliding.
There are a number of other paragliding companies in the Cape. Contact Cape Town Tourism on +27 (0) 487 6800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book your trip at no extra charge, or check out the full list of Cape Town Tourism-registered tour operators specialising in paragliding.
- Phone: +27 (0)21 487 6800
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