The feeling of flying through the air has got to be one of the most exciting and exhilarating experiences possible, and paragliding off Lion’s Head, Cape Town is one way you can fly.
What is paragliding?
Paragliding is an extreme sport where one or two individuals, strapped into a harness that is attached to a glider, run off a high point and are carried along by wind down to a safe landing spot.
How can you experience this sport?
There are many paragliding companies who offer both tandem paragliding and solitary paragliding.
- Tandem paragliding
With tandem paragliding, a trained professional will paraglide with you under the same harness. The glider is generally oversized and there are two harnesses. Tandem paragliding is great for beginners who do not have the time or the inclination to do two days or more worth of theory and study before enjoying the paragliding experience. It is also good for people who are too nervous to do it on their own.
- Paragliding solo
If you would like to learn to paraglide by yourself, you will have to spend several days studying the theory of paragliding from a qualified expert. You will learn safety and emergency procedures, you will be taught how to take off and how to land and you will find out all about the paragliding equipment. You will be tested on the knowledge you have gained and when you are ready, you will be able to fly. If you would like to gain paragliding qualifications you will have to study and train further.
Cape Town: the ideal paragliding destination
Cape Town is a beautiful city with many mountain ranges, gorgeous beaches, beautiful views and generally very good weather. There are several great paragliding spots around the city, but some of the best include the following:
- Dassklip Pass
- Signal Hill
- Sir Lowry’s Pass
- Franschhoek Pass
- Lions Head
Lions Head is definitely one of the most prime positions for paragliding. There are several launch sites on Lions Head with special covering to protect the ground below and to make the take off as smooth and safe as possible. Generally, if you paraglide from Lions Head, you will land on Camp’s Bay beach.
To paraglide, a lot of wind is not necessary. For safe take off and landing, a wind speed of between ten and thirty kilometres per hour is best. Because Cape Town has such wonderful weather for most of the year, almost two thirds of the year is perfect for paragliding. More important than wind speed is the direction it is blowing in. It is necessary for the wind to be blowing directly up the take off slope to paraglide safely.
Ready to jump from here?!
How the paraglide happens
If you are going to do a tandem glide with a professional, you and the instructor will be strapped into your harnesses. The glider will be laid out facing into the wind. Once the inflator rope has been tugged, the glider will inflate and rise up into the air. The instructor will do a line check and once he or she is convinced that all is fine, you will be instructed to start running forward.
In a few seconds the glider will pull both you and the instructor off your feet and into the air. The glide will generally be smooth and you will be able to take photographs while you are up there. Landing will generally occur on soft ground where there are not many obstacles.
Companies that offer paragliding off Lions Head Cape Town
The following is a list of some of the companies that offer paragliding off Lions Head.
- SA Venues
- Downhill Adventures
- Extreme Scene
- Cape Adventure Zone
- Cape Town Tandem Paragliding
- Paragliding Cape Town
- Cape Town Direct
- Birdmen Paragliding
Paragliding is an amazing, exhilarating and wonderful experience that you will never forget. You will be in safe hands as long as you go through a company that knows what they are doing.