Paragliding in Cape Town: Is It Worth It?

Last Updated on May 1, 2024 by Hannah Stephenson

Paragliding is a super popular thing to do in Cape Town! Almost every day, you can see people flying from Lion’s Head and Signal Hill towards the Atlantic Ocean, and you can hear them whooping and hollering as they land on the Sea Point promenade. 

If you’re considering going paragliding for the first time in Cape Town, the chances are you’re probably a little nervous about it. I know I was! But after my flight, I realised how easy tandem paragliding actually is. So if you’re considering booking a paragliding flight, I’ve written this guide containing everything you need to know! 

1. What is paragliding?

Paragliding is essentially running off the side of a hill or mountain with a big parachute behind you, so that you fly through the air and down to the ground. There’s no jump or freefall involved, and most people do this in tandem, with an instructor behind them. You have to do a course and get qualified to paraglide alone.

Cape Town is the perfect place to go paragliding because its mountainous landscapes mean you can launch right in the middle of the city, and get stunning views as you drift towards the ocean. 

2. Where do you go paragliding in Cape Town?

Most tandem paragliding flights in Cape Town launch off of Signal Hill, although sometimes they go from Lion’s Head instead. The tour company will let you know the night before you go, but they’re close together. I flew from Signal Hill when I went, but either way you’ll get awesome views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Seaboard as you drift through the air.

3. My experience paragliding in Cape Town

After living in Sea Point and hearing the paragliders shrieking with delight as they flew over my garden, I had wanted to go paragliding for ages. And then, to my delight, a very generous friend gave me a tandem flight voucher for my birthday! I was so excited. 

I contacted the paragliding company to redeem the voucher and chose a date. They messaged me the night before to let me know that they would be launching from Signal Hill in the morning, and to confirm my exact time slot. 

The next day, I took an Uber to the Signal Hill parking lot and met my instructor. I had to fill in a quick waiver form, then they strapped me into the harness and it was go time! The parachute backpack also had a section to hold my phone and keys, which was super handy. 

I was quite nervous about the launch, but I needn’t have been. After a short briefing, my instructor and I began running down the slope, and two other instructors grabbed me to assist with the launch. The wind took us and before I knew it, we were flying! 

My instructor told me when to sit down, and then all that was left to do was relax and enjoy the flight. I got so lucky with the weather as there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, so I had crystal clear views of Sea Point and Green Point, as well as the mountains behind us. We had a GoPro attached to us so my instructor snapped some photos and videos, and then began dipping and twirling over the ocean before gently landing on the grass on the prom. 

I was on SUCH a high as we landed. I couldn’t believe how quickly it went by, or that I had really just been flying! Sarah had very kindly opted for the photo package, so the guides uploaded the GoPro footage straight to my phone, and that was that! They offered to drive me back to Signal Hill, but since I had taken an Uber there rather than driven, there was no need. 

I skipped up the street to meet another friend for coffee and tell her all about it! She had actually caught footage of my flight from her apartment window – how cool is that?

I also made a YouTube video about my experience, which you can watch here:

Just press play!

4. How much does it cost to go paragliding in Cape Town?

This top-rated flight costs R1,800, which is around £75 or $96 USD at the time of writing. The price of the flight includes a shuttle ride back to the launch point, which is handy if you’re renting a car, and you can reschedule for free or get a refund if it’s too windy to fly. 

Then, if you’d like the GoPro footage uploaded to your phone, it’s another R300 on the day, which is about £13 or $16 USD. 

5. When can I go paragliding in Cape Town?

Theoretically, 365 days a year! Of course, that’s not possible due to the wind, but you will be able to reschedule your flight for free if it gets cancelled due to the wind. When you book with Viator, you also get free cancellation up to 24 hours beforehand, so no worries about getting your money back, either. 

I would recommend booking paragliding towards the start of your trip, so that you’ll be able to fit it in later on if you do have to reschedule. It’s a pretty quick activity, so it should be easy to rearrange.

You can book this flight for between 10 am and 3 pm. The exact flight time will be confirmed with you closer to the date. For example, if you book for 10 am you might be assigned 10.25 am or 10.40 am (like I was!) 

6. What should I wear to go paragliding in Cape Town?

I would recommend wearing trousers or leggings. You ideally want to have the top half of your legs covered so that the harness doesn’t irritate your skin. 

You definitely need to wear closed-toe shoes that you can run in. You won’t be going far, so trainers or sneakers will be fine. Just leave the Crocs at home! 

7. What do you see paragliding in Cape Town?

If you launch from Signal Hill like I did, you’ll get incredible views of Lion’s Head and Table Mountain, as well as the neighbourhoods of Sea Point and Green Point. You can also see for miles over the ocean and gaze out at the mountains in the distance. It’s just stunning!

8. How long does the tandem flight last?

Paragliding landing
Coming back down to earth!

It only lasted about 5 minutes! It’s a pretty quick experience, but when there’s wind, there’s not much the tour company can do about that. It can last for longer on very still days, so you could always keep an eye on the weather forecast and rescheduling through Viator to maximise your flight time. 

It is quite a lot of money for a short experience, but the time that you’re in the air for is just amazing. I was on a huge high when I landed! 

9. Is paragliding suitable for kids?

It’s only suitable for teenagers aged 14 and over, so it’s not a super family-friendly experience. Under 18s also need to be accompanied and signed for by an adult. 

10. Is paragliding in Cape Town worth it?

YES! Despite the short flight time, it was an absolutely incredible experience, and I will definitely do it again with friends who come to visit. I loved my flight so much, and I’m very grateful to my friend, Sarah, for giving me the best birthday present ever! 

Thanks for reading my paragliding review! If you liked this post, you may also want to check out…

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