Basic paragliding licence course in Cape Town

Basic paragliding licence course in Cape Town

Activity Snapshot

  • Sport level: Beginner
  • Spoken languages: Afrikaans, English
  • Fitness level: Beginner
  • Minimum age: minimum 18 y/o
  • Duration: 12 days
  • Cancellation policy: 
    strict1) Cancellation 30 days or more prior to the agreed activity starting date
    → You are automatically refunded the full activity price

    2) Cancellation between 30 and 10 days prior to the agreed activity starting date
    → You are entitled to a 50% refund

    3) 10 days or later, prior to the agreed activity starting date, are considered last-minute cancellations
    → No refund will be made
  • Meeting point:
    Signal Hill, 8001 Cape Town
  • Opening seasons:

Activity description

This course is for the pilot who has completed the Intro Course and would like to continue with the sport, or for the individual that knows flying is for them right from the outset. 

The program you are embarking on is designed to give you the best results but is a thorough and intensive course for which the outcome is to turn you into a safe, confident and competent certified paraglider pilot.

The course starts at Paraglise SA's local training fields and progresses to their training hill in D’Urberville Hills where the mild weather conditions and forgiving slopes provide gentle low take offs and easy landings for your first solo flights. Here your instructor will focus on building your launching, landing and flight techniques through intensive ground handling and repetitious flights, before progressing to higher launch sites.

At least 4 different flying sites will be flown covering all types of flying conditions from costal to mountain site to familiarise the student with the take off techniques used on mountains, ridge soaring, and the rules for flying with other pilots on the ridge, as well as understanding mountain weather.

The course length is variable, the average student taking 9 days to complete the logged skill requirements and Basic Licence written exam, but the objective is to give you that extra input and the school
therefore includes 3 extra days to help you build your confidence and ensure you get some advanced flying tips that will see you safely integrated into the wonderful world of paragliding.

You will have the greatest success in paragliding if you can immerse yourself in the course and then continue with regular flying, perfecting of your ground handling and aerial skills long after you have completed the course.

After completion of the course you will have acquired the skill and knowledge to fly without direct instructor supervision at most of the sites in South Africa. This course is internationally recognised and the beginning of your free-flying career!

Offer Description

The Basic Licence paragliding course has a duration of 12 days which can be achieved over a 3 month period.

The courses are full day and can start at as early as 5am. However, if the conditions are not good then you will have class work from 8am. (You will need to be flexible as the weather rules.)

You will likely have 6 to 8 hour lesson a day, and even more if the flying conditions are good.

The lessons are conducted in convenient areas close to Cape Town, Hermanus and in the Wilderness.


1. Introduction to the paraglider: name of parts; materials; Aerodynamic qualities; pre-flight checks.
2. Basic principles of flight: how an aerofoil creates lift; application to a paraglider; angle of attack and stall; the importance of airspeed;
3. Wind speed, airspeed, groundspeed, drift; wind gradient; wind shadow.
4. Turbulence and rotors; turns near the ground; assessment of weather conditions; thunderstorms.
5. Basic take off and landing techniques.
6. Licence requirements and general rules: practical and theoretical tests; helmets, site regulations; logbooks; drinking.

1. Site and weather assessments.
2. Introduction and layout of equipment.
3. Pre-flight checks.
4. Take-off procedures and checks.
5. Ground handling and control of the paraglider (forward and reverse pull-ups), including collapse and abort techniques.
6. Folding, packing and carrying techniques.
7. Radio Instruction.
8. Low flights or hops (one or two flights usually) take-off, control, steering, landing, emergency procedures, parachute landing rolls.
9. High flights, steering, turns, flight planning, spot landing, thermalling, etc.
10. Debriefing and general discussion after each flight and session.

Activity requirements

Any person over the weight of 20kg and under the maximum weight of 110kg can participate.

The student understands and agrees that there is risk of injury when doing the sport of paragliding, and that he/she has to inform his insurance company and/or medical aid about participating in the sport.

Please note that the activity is weather dependent.

As it is an instructional course, GoPros are not permitted.

  • SAHPA Student Licence
  • Min. of 30 flights extra (to make a total of 35 flights min., max. 40 flights)
  • Equipment, incl. radios
  • Theory lectures covering micrometeorology, aerodynamics, flight planning and air law
  • All the practical requirements
  • Mountain flying training
  • Marked theory test
  • Certificate (but no accreditation)
  • Insurance
Do not forget to bring
  • A good pair of running shoes or boots
  • Long trousers or jeans
  • Protection against the sun
  • Insect repellent
  • Camping chairs and umbrella
  • Food and drinks
  • Warmer clothes for the cool times of the day or during winter
Meeting point
Signal Hill, 8001 Cape Town Get directions


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