The fabulous weather and flying conditions in South Africa means that it is a great place to learn to fly as you could complete all your required flights in a relatively short time. The exchange rate also means that it is much cheaper here than learning in Europe or North America.
For good gliding, you need one of two things: Either thermal winds or mountain ridges that force the air upward, creating lift. South Africa's coastal areas offer excellent ridges, and the country's flat interior offers great thermals on hot days.
In the right conditions, hang glider pilots can fly extermely far, simply by using air currents and thermals - The world record is just shy of 800 km! Many people think that all you do is glide down to the bottom of the mountain once you take off with a hang glider, but by using thermals you can soar for hours at a time.
Before paragliding in South Africa, you must become a temporary member of the South African Hang-Gliding and Paragliding Association (SAHPA), so for all the admin details like licensing, registration, safety, etc., contact the SAHPA on the following details.
Every hill or sand dune is obviously a launching site, but South Africa has quite a couple of very special and spectacular sights, like Table Mountain or the Drakensberg Mountains.
Lions Head, right next to Table Mountain in Cape Town, is one of the best launch sites, scenic and convenient, especially around sunset. After a short walk up a good path to the launch, the flight offers views over Cape Town and the surrounding beaches. After the flight, you can land on a grassy field next to a beachfront pub, what more could you want!?
The mountains of Porterville also offer great flying. It's a high take off with good ridge lift, but with strong thermals from the flat valley below as well, so it's a great cross-country site.
The town of Wilderness is another classic, with strong ridge lift on the dunes that face the sea. You often see whales and dolphins from the air!
* Cape Town Tandem Paragliding
* Wild2Fly Hanggliding and Paragliding Club (Wilderness)
Tel: +27832292919 (Johan Anderson) or +27822903294 (Rose)
* Paragliding and Hanggliding Site (Plettenberg Bay)
Accommodation in Western Cape
The dry town of Jan Kempdorp is a favourite launch site, as the thermals are fantastic.
Accommodation in Northern Cape
The Drakensberg, particularly at Bulwer and Oliviershoek, is a great spot.
* LSSC Training
* XC Paragliding
Accommodation in Mpumalanga
The Haretbeespoort Dam is one of the destinations accessible from both Gauteng and the North West, which offers awesome panoramic views while hang-gliding here.
* Attitude 4 Altitude PG School
* Paragliding Adventures
* Ynot Fly
* Free Flying Adventures
Accommodation in Gauteng
* Wildsky Paragliding School
* Pegasus PPG School
Accommodation in Kwazulu-Natal
* Air-Ventures Paragliding School
* Border Paragliding School
* Dirkies Air HG School
Accommodation in Eastern Cape