PARAGLIDING OVER CAPE TOWN

A mini holiday to South Africa’s Cape Town came at a point when I was just about to celebrate my 30th birthday, which is said to be the new 20. I could not travel on the exact date of my birthday so I really looked forward to being in Cape Town. I have been to Cape Town before but always looking forward to going back since the popular destination has so much to offer.DCIM100GOPRO

Friday 22nd, just four days after turning 30 years old saw me jet off to Cape Town with a stop over at Oliver Tambo International Airport. I am ac- companied by radio presenter and rapper, Thato Matlha- baphiri affectionately known as Scar, Tsholo Dikobe of the GaTash Fros and Taazima Kala from Hotwire PR Agency. It is a smooth flight full of excite- ment. Upon reaching Cape Town we are met by our guide together with other guests from Mozambique. Cape Town saw us hitting the ground running. After short introductions, our itinerary is changed due to the perfect weather for paragliding. Our guide Joe feared that the weather might not be perfect the next day so it was best we did it. We rule out going for lunch as the excitement has already filled up our bellies.DCIM100GOPRO

It is a scenic drive from the airport to Lion’s Head Mountain, which lies between one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Table Mountain and Signal Hill. The launching of the Paragliders is done at about 1000 feet, which is almost half way from the summit at 2195 feet. As one hikes up the hill, you are met by South African Na- tional Parks authorities and hikers going up to enjoy the panoramic view of cape Town.

Once you reach the launch pad, there is a small briefing with your tandem master and he quickly straps you upin harnesses. The launch does not take much time. The tandem master just waits a bit to get the right wind direction. As soon as he gets the reading that is needed to get you airborne, you are quickly on a smooth glide as you slowly climb to higher altitude.DCIM100GOPRO

By the time we reach 8000 feet, it gets very cold and windy but thatdid nothing to our paraglide. My tandem master Kai assures me he has 20 years of flights on a paraglider. I sit back and enjoy the scenic and beautiful Table Mountain, Camps Bay and looking at Greenpoint stadium.

While relaxed and enjoying the view, Kai watches me and take aerial shots as I had taken my canon EOS 7D camera. Looking at the coast, where the ocean meets land is so much relaxing even though it was cold. He asks me if I would like aerobatics and I immediately get excited and I tell him to do his best to thrill me. He just giggles and says to me, “ok here comes some really crazy stuff.” All of a sudden the paraglider starts spinning in circles as if we have lost control of it. The thrill gets me shouting and cheering while I try counting the number of spins. At this point, we are paragliding over the ocean. One cannot help but wonder what would happen should something go wrong but again I feel better because of the ocean below than the other side with hard ground. We make yet another aerobatic stunts this, time faster and descending very quickly till we are about 1000 feet from the landing pad. I am just shouting as I am feeling all hyped up with adrenaline giving mearushtothehead.Welanded smoothly and extremely slowly as compared to my last skydiv- ing experience. For someone coming from Botswana where extreme sports are not heard of, Cape Town gets a special place Paraglidingin my heart.

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