Paragliding is one of the most simplistic and therefore relaxing and enjoyable forms of flight. It is also one of the cheapest.
Furthermore it is an adventure sport that does not require super fitness or athleticism yet offers thrills beyond one’s wildest imagination. There's even a few 90 year olds that still do it!
If you have never tried it, the way to experience paragliding is to fly in tandem with a qualified instructor. A 15-20 minute flight will take you much further than you think.
It is a great birthday or Christmas gift for someone special. Be sure it’s something that person will be game to try. It’s not good for people afraid of heights!
However, I’ve heard it said, that though a person may feel afraid at the take off, once they're airborne that's all forgotten and the adrenalin rush of delight kicks in.
I've even heard of a dog that’s crazy about it! He has his own harness and flies in tandem with his master – imagine that! It's on my "wish list" to get a photo of that one of these days!
The Garden Route has more than 20 superb launching sites within an hour's drive of each other and Sedgefield is right in the midst of them!
Coastal flying is said to be more placid than inland thermic flying so you're in a good area to learn to paraglide. A bonus is the breath-taking scenery all along this coastline that you will be able to enjoy whilst practising to be proficient.
This list by no means contains the only sites but these are all close by and are among the very popular and highly recommended launching sites.
Launching off at one of the local sites and being carried by thermals to soar silently with birds in flight is definitely addictive. Several people I know have changed their jobs and turned their lives upside-down so they can fly at the drop of a hat when the thermals and wind direction indicate they’ll have a wonderful ride! Paragliding has brought new meaning to the term “free as a bird”!
The people to contact! Check them out, its up to you! They not only will give you an opportunity to experience the thrill of flying in the form of tandem paragliding, they also have reputable training schools where you can learn to qualify for your own solo licence (varies between 2-3 weeks).
All the schools offer a one-day introduction course so the student can get a good idea of what free flying is all about. Note though, that it's best to avoid the winter months (May to September)because they are not considered reliable.
You will receive the SAHPA (South Africa Hang-gliding and Paragliding Association) licence which is recognised internationally. Some schools can provide accommodation at reasonable rates for the duration of your training.
In Knysna, Sedgefield and Wilderness you will have easy access to diverse restaurants in pleasant surroundings and be close to all the other amenities and multiple attractions of the Garden Route.
SA Paragliding Adventures– Deon
This sport has many aspects to it. It’s fun, affordable, exciting, convenient, sociable, competitive and safe! Give yourself a ride on the wild side! One thing is for sure. You'll look at things from a whole new perspective!
Cloudbase Paragliding- Jan or Khobi
Altitude Paragliding School- Nigel
Flytime Paragliding- Jorg and Lucille
Santa Barbara is a stunning place to enjoy this form of free flying. A paraglider is completely portable and it's a care-free way (no traffic, no time-tables) to view new places.
Downhill Adventures offers tandem paragliding, one of the world's most amazing adventure activities in one of the world's most amazing destinations - on the southern tip of Africa, Table Mountain, Cape Town!