Wild Sky

We offer paragliding courses, paragliding tandem flights, and paragliding guiding.  Bulwer is one of the best places to learn to paraglide!  There are ten different paragliding sites in the area that face various wind directions.

Grade

Mind Blowing

Disabled Friendly

No

Accommodation

Yes

Team Building Facilities

Yes

Family Friendly

Yes

Come fly with us in the beautiful foothills of the Southern Drakensberg.

We have ten different flying sites in the area, all very beautiful and different.  Some have a real African vibe, as we fly over and land next to rural villages.

Bulwer mountain is the main flying site.  Take off is 1840 m above sea level. We only need to climb another 250 m on thermals or late afternoon valley release to see the spectacular 360-degree view of the
Drakensberg and the rolling hills of Kwazulu Natal.  Wild Sky Paragliding offers paragliding introductory two-day courses, full license courses that are internationally recognised, and great value tandem flights.  Welcome to Wild Sky paragliding school and lodge.  We are in Bulwer, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.  We offer paragliding courses, paragliding tandem flights, and paragliding guiding.  Bulwer is one of the best places to learn to paraglide!  There are ten different paragliding sites in the area that face various wind directions.  We have both thermic and ridge soaring flying conditions.  The school and backpackers lodge is run by Hans and Ria Fokkens. Hans has been paragliding since 1989 and a paragliding instructor since 1993.  Ria started flying in 1998 and has been an instructor since 2010. With our vast experience and good safety record you will be in great hands learning to fly here. We are serious about safety.  Our school equipment is all rated and suitable for beginners.

The backpackers lodge is set at the foot of Bulwer mountain. With a bit of experience, you can land right next to the deck otherwise the official landing is right next door! The lodge consists of a backpacker upstairs, with ten single beds, divided into three rooms. Adjoining the lodge there are two small cabins with shared ablutions.  There is also one en-suite cabin which consists of two adjoining rooms to the bathroom with shower basin and toilet. There is a campsite under pine trees (no power). The kitchen is shared by everyone and is fully equipped. There is a braai place outside and a comfortable lounge dining area. The atmosphere is warm and friendly. The lodge is built with pine logs.  We have four dogs, Nooka, Echo, Bandy and Loopy all are friendly and love people.

Bulwer (Amahwaqa) mountain is world famous as a spectacular flying site, both for its views and the fact that we fly all year through all the seasons. It is also a perfect training site for students as it has friendly grassy slopes, and very reliable breezes.   The area around Bulwer has many hills that allow us to fly in various wind directions. There are ten different take off sites in the area facing into various wind directions.  Bulwer mountain is the most reliable of all the sites in the area.  The valley generates an updraft regularly, generating its own micro meteorogical climate, which makes it consistently flyable. The site has spectacular views of the rolling Kwazulu-Natal hills and also the Drakensberg. Flying Cross Country to Underberg is beautiful with green fields interspersed with little dams and the Drakensberg ahead. It is glorious! Bulwer is flyable throughout the year and although it gets a bit chilly in winter great height gains and cross country is possible all year round. It also has a fantastic valley release (ridge soaring)  in the afternoons which has taken pilots as high as 900mato.  Valley release occurs when the heat absorbed by the ground during the day is released, which causes warm air to rise and constant smooth lift for paraglider pilots, allowing us to stay aloft for hours at a time. We  offer guiding for newly qualified pilots, as well as groups that want to do tours. Our Cross Country course is superb at any experience level as we deal with each pilot as an individual.  The goal is to improve each pilots flying skills to a higher level, allowing them to take their flying abilities to the next step, whether it be simple thermalling, a bit of acro or flying cross country. Bulwer is an anassuming  little town set below the beautiful mountain.  There are no frills, so don’t expect any.  Also, no credit cards accepted.  You will find the atmosphere below our beautiful mountain both relaxing and fresh.  It is unlike anywhere else.  The Yellowwood Church is some great hiking and mountain biking available in the area, not to mention the spectacular bird watching. The Marutswa forest is becoming a well known birding hotspot. There are a number of historical buildings of note in Bulwer one of which is the yellow wood church, which is definitely worth a visit.

Paragliding Courses

Welcome to the Wild Sky Paragliding School. We hope you have many hours of enjoyment while you learn to paraglide with us. You are in excellent hands!  This is a full time paragliding school, which means you can complete your paragliding course in about ten to fourteen days (weather permitting).  We have set course dates and lengths. You can break your course into two sections by joining us for four or five days at a time during our set course dates.  Booking is essential.

Bulwer, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa, is one of  the best places for learning to paraglide, with ten take off sites that face various wind directions, offering both thermic and ridge soaring flying conditions. Please see below details of what our courses entail, prices and rules. We would prefer you to complete the course within the recommended six months. R400 goes to SAHPA (the South African Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association) to register you as a student and make sure that you are flying legally. We are qualified and registered instructors with all the correct authorities. We are also members of KZN Tourism and Southern Midlands Tourism. Paragliding courses: NOTE:  The first day of training is very physical as students run down the slope learning to pull up the wing.  If you have any previous injuries, for example knee, ankle, elbow or any other, please DO bring all the relevant guards and protectors and please DO tell us, as we have different approaches that suit individual needs.  We can adapt to special cases.  We also reserve the right to terminate a course at any time if we feel the student is not physically or mentally capable of paragliding.

Intro course Duration: 2 Days Cost R2900 Includes.

Introductory lecture

Ground training

Ground skimming flights

High flight/s while instructed on radio.  Yes!  you get to fly within the first two days!

Use of school paragliding equipment

SAHPA temporary membership for six months.

SAHPA training manual and logbook

The course starts on the training slope, where you have an introductory lecture on how a paraglider works, aerofoil, safety checks etc.. The instructor will demonstrate how to pull the glider up. Then it is the students turn to pull up the glider with assistance by the instructor. You then start running down the slope, learning to steer the paraglider and how to stop. This process is repeated while slowly moving up the slope each time until you get your feet off the ground. Once the student has mastered steering and landing, he or she is ready to go for a higher flight.  NB: This course is only an introduction and by no means should one attempt to fly without an instructor until you have completed the full license course Team Building The paragliding introductory course (two days) is an excellent team building tool and is very effective in creating good relationships and work dynamic between staff.  It places individuals outside their comfort zone while being looked after by experienced instructors.  The course aims at getting students to a level where they’re able to have a high flight or two under radio instructions.  Not all will achieve this so for those that do not get to that level we offer a tandem flight to make sure they are still part of the experience and team dynamic. License course Duration: 10 to 14 flyable days with favourable weather conditions. Cost: R13500 + R1330 license fees on completion (if you purchase your gear through us) Includes.

Everything included in the intro course

A DVD/copy on memory stick with the Wild Sky manual and some fun videos.

Instruction on weather, safety rules, flying skills & techniques.

35 high flights

Basic manoeuvres to ensure safe flying

A thorough knowledge and skills on the manoeuvres required.

Open book test

Administration

Marking of test

NB: You are responsible for paying your licensing fees to SAHPA at the completion of your course. The fees for 2016/2017 are R1330. We will provide all the necessary details. NB: You are also responsible for settling the site fees at Bulwer yourself. The fees are as follows: R20 per day, R60 for a month ticket and R300 for a year ticket. The fees are paid to the Biosphere, which manages the area from an environmental point of view. This can be paid to us. The full license course or basic license course: The course involves a list of skills and knowledge that are ticked off along the way. The student completes a number of high flights with the aim of refining turning skills and making sure landings are completed properly. Students are on radio with the instructor/s. Thereafter the student progresses onto more advanced paragliding such as ridge soaring, top landing, thermalling, etc. The student remains on radio with the instructor. All theory is covered during the course. Questions are a must. Includes: Training proficiency: Ground skills: Harness helmet boots, unpacking, pre-flight checks and preparation, layout, safety checks (5 point) before flight, forward pullups, reserve pull ups, ground handling, choosing to take off sites, packing & folding, maintenance. Micrometeorology: Wind judgement during takeoff, effect of terrain on wind and flight, met and flight planning, wind gradient, wind shadow, dangers of dust devils, introduction to mountain weather, dangers of clouds, dangers of thunderstorms, dangers of berg winds. Flight skills: Take off techniques, aborted takeoff and emergency stops, ground skimming flights, simple direction control, landing approaches, landing techniques, flying and landing with rear risers, emergency landings PLF, big ears, ridge soaring, top landing, thermalling, pendulums, spot landings Air law and rules. Important to know:  On completion of the basic license course, you will be licensed with SAHPA (South African Hang gliding and Paragliding Association) and RAASA (Recreational Aviation Authority of South Africa) license.  You will also be a registered member of the Aeroclub of South Africa. This license allows you to fly legally in South Africa.  Should you wish to fly in other countries in the world, you simply apply for the International Pilot Proficiency (IPPI) rating with a fee of R70. What you will need: Sunscreen + sunglasses Hat Jacket Shoes with ankle protection Something to drink and eat as we are often out for most of the day.

Tandem Flights

Tandem flights are R950pp per flight, and well worth it!  We aim to stay aloft for about 10 to 12 minutes, using thermals and ridge soaring lift to climb.

No experience required.  You fly with a qualified Tandem Flight Instructor.  It is a fun filled and beautiful experience.  We fly mainly at Bulwer, the most consistent and popular paragliding site in Kwazulu Natal.   We are also available to fly at the Bluff in Durban, if there are group bookings.

The mountain take off site is 1840 meters above sea level.  The difference between take off height and the landing field is 300m.  Two peaks rise to the left of takeoff to another 280m above the launch sit.  We are often able to use thermal or ridge lift to climb out above the peaks, from where you will have a 360-degree view of the most beautiful Kwa-Zulu Natal rolling hills, as well as a spectacular view of the Southern Drakensberg, which is about 50 kilometers away, as the crow flies.

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