Taking a flying leap: A personal account of paragliding in Cape Town

Driving up to Signal Hill the anticipation grew in my chest. The city below seemed incredibly far away as I looked out the car window. I walked up to the team of smiling faces, and their friendly greeting eased my nerves. After I signed a few forms, the team got to work securing my various harnesses and running me through the safety briefing. My instructor was a young adventure enthusiast named Tim who calmly talked me through my takeoff. The most important thing to remember, he told me, was to keep running until my feet no longer touched the ground.

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“Are you ready to fly?”, Tim asked from behind me.

Before I had a chance to answer, he started running and the sail fanned out behind us. The team shouted encouragement as we hurtled towards the edge of the hillside. Let me tell you, running off the side of a mountain does not come naturally. As my feet moved beneath me, I fought the urge to close my eyes, and marveled at the expansive city in front of me.

Before I know it, my feet were running through thin air, the sail caught wind and I was gliding towards Lion’s Head in a comfortable seated position. I was literally on top of the world. Seapoint and the Atlantic Ocean sprawled out beneath my dangling feet. I looked down and watched miniature cars manoeuvre through the busy streets and saw tiny figures jogging along the promenade. Tim pointed out the Greenpoint Stadium, and Robben Island as we floated high above the crowds. After living in the city for seven years, it felt incredible to experience everything from such a unique perspective.

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As we flew over the ocean, he talked me through the landing. Three deep swooping dives and we’d have our feet back on the ground. The first dive took my breath away as we hurtled towards the sea. Adrenalin filtered from the top of my head to the tips of my toes. By the time Tim was going in for the next dive, I was ready and laughed as the wind whipped against my face. After the final swoop I readied myself for the landing. Making sure not to touch down too early, our landing was flawless and I high-fived Tim, happy to be on the ground again but excited to tick this incredible activity off my bucket list!

Feeling adventurous? Book your Cape Town Paragliding flight with Shark Zone and see the city from another perspective. Alternatively, combine two of South Africa’s most daring activities for the ultimate adrenaline rush, and book a Shark Cage diving and Paragliding combo with us today! Email info@sharkzone.co.za or call +27 082 894 4979 for more information.

Anna, Cape Town