Did you dream of flying when you were young?
Skyguide Paragliding welcomes you to Durban Paragliding Adventures - bringing the joy of free-flight
Did you dream of flying when you were young? That’s called “prescience”, the ability to see into the future, and now, are you bold enough to breathe life into your dreams and come and play in the bright blue sky? Whereas solo paragliding does require a full training course, Tandem Paragliding offers you a fly now solution! A reassuring introduction to the wonder and joy of free-flight, you immediately benefit from your Chief Flight Instructor’s 20 years of Paragliding experience. A Tandem Paragliding flight is an adventure you will never forget! Come dance on the winds and perhaps be lucky enough to touch the clouds. The time has come to feel the thrill, to spread your wings, to live your dream of flight. No previous experience is required as you go along as the passenger with a licensed tandem-rated Paragliding Instructor as the pilot in command, under a special purpose-built dual/tandem Paraglider. The passenger sits in a separate harness in front of the pilot, with both connected to the glider above, as well as each other. Standard tandem flights last around 15 to 20 minutes actual airtime, or even longer by special arrangement, but you should plan to spend at least a half day or full day with us, to accommodate both travelling, weather/flying conditions, and pre-flight checks and preparations. Now you can enjoy the thrill and freedom of the sky and an adventure experience of a lifetime, without the stress of worrying about controlling the Paraglider on your own.
Vital Information: You must definitely not be afraid of heights!
While standard flights last around 20 minutes we prefer you to spend a day with us for an optimum experience.
Anyone and everyone is welcome to come and experience the thrill of paragliding.
Dress code is casual and comfortable. That means shorts, jeans, tracksuit, t-shirt or pullover, sunglasses, a hat or cap for wind and sun protection. Good hiking sneakers or boots. Please leave your valuables at home!
Spectators are more than welcome to come and witness the paragliding. Tell your spouse or your partner to bring something to read, if they have short attention span!
Sometimes we may have to wait for ideal, i.e. safe, weather conditions for tandem flight operations.
Your safety is extremely important. Your Chief Flight Instructor’s at Skyguide Paragliding has had 20 years of Paragliding experience. You will be in capable hands.
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Our playground of available sites. . .
The Beach – Durban’s Bluff
Durban’s famous Bluff beach, now available for Paragliding flights since the closure of the old Durban airport. The take-off overlooks the wide open unspoiled and undeveloped beautiful beach between Treasure beach and the “cutting” at the canal. Soar above the natural indigenous
coastal vegetation, the wide sandy beach, and the sparkling blue ocean.
We see Dolphins playing behind and in the surf line, and have even spotted whales. We fly here in South East winds.
One Gum – Kloof Gorge
Just below Kraanskloof Nature Reserve, the local flying site, known as “One Gum”, overlooks the spectacular Kloof Gorge. About 20 km from central Durban, it is one of the oldest and best-known flying sites in the country. We take-off from a spur reaching out into the Umgeni valley that boasts spectacular views inland into the Gorge and Nature Reserve behind us. On a clear day, the entire coastline is visible from Umhlanga Rocks or even Sibaya Casino in the North, down to Durban’s CBD and the main Durban beachfront. We fly here in northeast and easterly winds.
View site – Winston Park
At the end of the plateau that is the Winston Park suburb of Durban, we fly from the renowned view site overlooking the entire Marianhill valley and Giba Gorge. Situated approximately 30 km from central Durban, the views over Pinetown and the city of Durban, the Bluff, and the Durban
South coastline in the distance are spectacular. We fly here in southerly winds.
Ngomankulu – Camperdown
A Zulu word meaning “big hill”. Overlooking the beautiful Tala Valley just outside Camperdown and about 70km from central Durban. The take-off is on one of a range of hills running down
the one side of the Tala Valley. It boasts beautiful views of both the Tala Private Game Reserve as well as the Valley of 1000 Hills. We fly here in easterly winds.
On the regional R617 road on the way to Underberg on the Southern Drakensberg (the road to Underberg), the little country village of Bulwer is about 170 km from Durban. Bulwer is at the foot of the Amahaqwa Mountain range overlooking the Umkomaas Valley. Here we soar high above Bulwer mountain, with stunning views of the surrounding farmlands and rural countryside. We fly here in anything from northeast through to southeasterly winds, with east being ideal.
Introductory Paragliding course
A basic introduction to the wonder and joy of free-flight, in just one weekend (weather permitting). A “weekender” course designed to help you get your feet off the ground. Introducing you to the basics: the equipment, how to launch, and landings. All equipment provided!
Full “Basic Licence” Paragliding Course
The way to obtaining your own paragliding pilots license. This is a full course of a minimum of 35 flights over up to a 6 month period, to help you attain your own SAHPA Basic Paragliding license – a legal requirement to Paraglide – which entitles you to fly at any basic rated registered flying sites, without an instructor present. Your SA Paragliding license from SAHPA is recognised internationally, allowing you to be accepted as a qualified Paraglider Pilot all over the world! The entire Paragliding world will open up to you, and literally be at your feet!
What is Paragliding actually?
A Paraglider is an inflatable ultra-light gliding wing, not a parachute, but a genuine aircraft/glider wing. It is a unique class of hang glider without any rigid frame. Using the (ram-air) flow of air into the canopy, the pilot inflates the glider, raises it above his head and ensures that it is fully open before taking off from any suitable and safe slope. We run down the chosen slope to get airborne, using the slope like a regular aircraft uses a proper runway. The Paraglider is made from very specialised sail fabrics and suspension lines, and can easily be packed into a backpack and carried around. Its simplicity to operate, high portability and swiftness to rig, are its main advantages over our fellow ultra-light gliding enthusiasts, the hang glider pilots.
The Paraglider is laid out on the ground at the top of the hill or mountain on a gentle slope and facing into the wind. The pilot – and passenger where applicable – are connected to the Paraglider with a harness. Pre-flight checks are performed and the Paraglider is then pulled gently into the wind, which causes the canopy to inflate and climb overhead. The pilot then takes a short run, or if the wind is stronger, only a brisk step or two into the wind and glides gently into the air.
How long a flight lasts depends on the weather conditions at the time of take-off. If it is either early or late in the day, there may not be much lift present and you could have a short glide to the ground. The length of this type of flight will depend on the take-off height. Taking off a 300 m hill or mountain will normally give you a flight time of between 5 and 10 minutes if you are simply gliding down to the landing area, depending on the air conditions.
As you gain more experience, the length of your flights increases rapidly as you learn to take advantage of rising air, known as lift. There are two types of lift that enable you to stay aloft longer. The first is called ridge lift. This would involve flying in front of a mountain or hill, catching the oncoming wave of wind as it lifts to clear the ridge – ridge soaring. Once you have mastered this art you can spend hours flying along the front of a ridge – just like the seagulls along beachfront dunes or hills. The second type of lift is flying in thermals. A thermal is a pocket of hot air heated by the ground and rising into the air. The art here is to fly into and circle in this rising air – just like eagles and other raptors – which will then carry your glider with it upwards to great heights. Flying in thermals allows you to start flying cross-country flights. Using thermals, Paragliders have flown further than an astounding 500km, climbed higher than 4000 m above the ground and remained airborne for longer than 12 hours. Over the years, several different paragliding world records have actually been set in South Africa, with the current Paragliding World Distance Record set here, and, held by a South African pilot!
Bluff, KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaKloof, KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaWinston Park, Gillitts, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
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