Paragliding in Cape Town is one of the best ways to see the city. It’s also heart-pumping fun, as you soar on updrafts, and zip and flip about on the way down. It feels so much like flying, and you’ll be able to see Sea Point, the rocky coastline, and Table Mountain all stretching away below and before you.
This post is about our experience tandem paragliding, everything you can expect, and also what your options are for proper solo paragliding courses in Cape Town.
What to wear paragliding
- Wear sturdy shoes like trainers or hiking boots, as you need to jog down a patch of hill in order to take flight! And flip-flops would probably fall off never to be found again
- Long pants and a long-sleeve shirt are most comfortable, even on a warm day, as it can get chilly and breezy
- You’re always recommended to bring sunglasses to help with the wind as you fly, and also because there’s a section where you’re flying over water and it reflects sunlight
Cape Town’s tandem paragliding
When you go for a single paragliding session, it will always be tandem paragliding! This is because you need to be properly trained in order to handle your own paraglide. So, instead, you’ll be strapped to a chunky tandem seat, with your guide comfortably behind you. They’ll instruct you and run all safety checks. They can also do tricks with the gear, and take photos as you enjoy the ride!
Signal Hill paragliding
Most of Cape Town’s paragliding takes place on Signal Hill. That’s because you can easily drive right up to the hilltop paragliding location, whereas on most of Cape Town’s mountains, you’d have a heavy trek up. It’s also at a perfect height for sailing down, and there’s enough wind here to be able to paraglide most days.
You can either book a tandem paragliding trip online, or you can go to Signal Hill and find an operator there. There are multiple companies offering tandem paragliding here, so you’re likely to find someone!
Our experience paragliding
Glenn and I went paragliding for our first anniversary together, because we thought what better way to celebrate than with an exciting experience. And it was fantastic! We booked our experience online to make things simpler, and when we got there they quickly briefed us on safety and got us strapped in.
Feels like flying
We chatted to our guides and to each other while we waited for the wind to pick up (which is often something you have to do, otherwise you may end up paragliding for just five minutes instead of fifteen).
When the wind picked up, my guide walked us into position, and then told me to start running. I can’t explain the experience of jogging along together down the little hill runway, and then just as you’re nearing the end of it, your feet just don’t hit the ground anymore. And suddenly, you’re flying!
Glenn and his guide followed quickly behind us, and we could shout to each other while we flew. It was incredible, looking out over the beautiful hillside below us. We spun upside down and flipped to the sides and soared smoothly. It was such a fun time, and the guide really made sure it was as great as it could be!
Landing in Sea Point
Landing was another bit of fun – right in the middle of Sea Point Promenade’s grassy patch, we abruptly dropped down, the brightly coloured gear billowing behind us and pulling us about a bit before we wrangled it under control. There were people there to help us unclip, and then when Glenn had landed, we were driven back up to Signal Hill, where we’d left the car.
And just like that, it was done! The whole experience lasted less than an hour, but it was such fantastic fun.
Solo paragliding courses
If you’ve tried tandem paragliding before and absolutely loved it, then a solo course is a great option! It’s a pricey hobby, since in addition to the course you need to buy your own gear – and ideally first hand, considering the risks involved.
But, if you have the money to spend and you dream of flying like a bird, Cape Town does offer a number of solo paragliding courses! You can actually get your paragliding certification at the age of 17, so this is even something parents can do with their children.
A basic paragliding license course takes about 14 days. You’ll learn safety and theory, and gain hands-on experience paragliding in different conditions.
You can find course information with Fly Cape Town
Or with Air School Paragliding
Last thoughts on paragliding in Cape Town
The windy city is one of the best places to go paragliding. You easily reach the site due to its central location, making it possible even for spontaneous adventures. And Cape Town’s ever-present winds allow you to stay up in the air for longer. It’s also just such a beautiful city to soar above, giving you a unique view over rocky coastline, fynbos-covered hills, and always, Table Mountain looming behind it all.