Safe and Sound – Paragliding over Cape Town

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When we started travelling full time 16 months ago one of my goals was to do more things outside of my comfort zone. Paragliding was one of those things.

Cape Town is the perfect place for paragliding. I booked with these guys a couple of days in advance and waited. Lissette kept asking me “Are you nervous? You don’t look nervous. Why aren’t you nervous?” I can’t explain it but I didn’t feel at all nervous in the days leading up to the flight.

In fact, the only time during the flight itself that I ever got nervous was when Sammi handed me the controls and let me fly. You can probably see me tighten up on the video. Overall however, it was a glorious experience with incredible views that I wish I could do again.

Tip for seeing the video: on the bottom right you’ll see the wheel-like Settings button. Click on it. You’ll see ‘Quality’. Click on that and chose 1080 p for optimal quality. Thanks Andrea

The song: ‘Safe and Sound’ by Capital Cities. Canadians will recognize it as the song used by CBC in its broadcast of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Entire song here.
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I really liked Sammi. He was enthusiastic from the moment I met him. Great energy and I laugh looking at the video because you see a smile on his face the whole time. He’s from Iceland and if he’s any indication of the people of Iceland we’ll have to go there one of these days.

A few photos.

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DCIM107GOPRO

 

Some information

– The company we used, Cape Town Tandem Paragliding, flies everyday from either Lion’s Head or Signal Hill depending on the winds. On this day we flew from Signal Hill down to Seapoint.
Cost: 1150R for a flight (that’s 82 USD), which can take anywhere between 7 and 20 minutes depending on the winds. I think my flight was probably in the 7-8 minute range. If you want photos and video as I did, you pay another 250 R (18 USD) and they’ll shoot it on a GoPro and give you the SD card afterwards. It wasn’t cheap considering the length of the flight but it was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that you have to do.
Meeting point: Either the Lion’s Head parking area or Signal Hill parking area. Both are on Signal Hill Drive.

Fantastic experience!

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So the question is: Will Spanky do it? She’s considering it. 

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Would you do it? What’s the most extreme thing you’ll ever done?

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Comments

  1. Killer video!! Loved the song as well – great choice. Furthermore, I’m incredibly impressed that you were able to hold the GoPro stick on your own. I could not have pulled that off! You’re next, Lissette!
    Andrea Leblang recently posted…Behind the Scenes: How to Save More Money Traveling The World Than Staying HomeMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thanks so much Andrea! My only regret is that it couldn’t have lasted longer. It really was a fantastic experience.

  2. Love this!!! What an incredible experience! Love the video ~ especially the end 😉 Lissette, I hope you do it, too!
    Sarah (Jetsetting Fools) recently posted…Sarajevo sights – What to seeMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      I screwed up at the end not standing up when I was supposed to…ended up on my knees and almost flat on my face in the grass 😉 . But by then we had come almost to a full stop and there was no impact at all. It’s something I’ll always remember and I love re-watching the video.
      Yes, I hope Lissette does it. She’s talking big but I’m not so sure…

  3. That is so awesome! Cape Town is so beautiful! I really wanted to try it here in Brazil but I’m afraid of heights. Just when I had finally talked myself into trying it, we met a Brazilian couple in Rio that told us a horrible story about their friend that went paragliding. Long story short they survived and are fine, but the story really freaked me out! But your video makes it look really fun and not tha scary at all! I hope Lissette tries it! I may gather up the courage at some point.
    Elizabeth Hampton recently posted…Three Weeks in Brazil With Dale LeeMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      “Horrible story” and “I hope Lissette tries it” isn’t really the greatest combination. Thank you so much Elizabeth. Yeah, thanks.
      The difference is that here in Cape Town it’s professional A+ and from talking to many people there are no bad stories out there. In Brazil – based on our experience there – well, I’ll leave that unsaid….

      • Ha ha! I didn’t mean that I hope something horrible happens to her! I just meant that I was all geared up and this couple freaked me out. I hope she tries it despite being scared because sometimes the things we fear are the most awesome experiences! I’m too big of a chicken right now but I know it would be worth it. I’m glad they are so professional in Cape Town. I worry about that in Brazil from time to time too, mainly when flying on Brazilian airlines in thunderstorms! eeeekkkkk!
        Elizabeth Hampton recently posted…Three Weeks in Brazil With Dale LeeMy Profile

        • Frank (bbqboy) says:

          I didn’t mean it that way Elizabeth. It was more like “I love elephants and one of the best things to do in Africa is going on a safari” 🙂 combined with “a friend of mine was stomped by an elephant and her mashed up remains eaten by a pride of lions”. 🙁 uhh, methinks I don’t go on safari now…
          Flying in thunderstorms – yeah, that’s scary
          Just teasing you Elizabeth 🙂

  4. Phenomenal Frank ! Fantastic trip – and video production … video captures the sensations in no way that photos can… and goes especially well with the perfectly appropriate music. When you are up on the Garden Route there are several great paragliding sites and outfits, one of the ‘easiest’ (not nearly as spectacular as CT though…) being up above the Wilderness (believe they are somewhat cheaper too) Would make a terrific Xmas present for Lissette ? Go Lissette Go !!!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpInN2A8jR0

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thanks so much Tony. Actually our new Icelandic friend Sammi mentioned paragliding in Wilderness and said that if interested I could take a 2-day paragliding course and get a certificate of some sort. I don’t think I’d do that. But if cheaper I would for sure do it again now that I’ve lost my virginity…

  5. I know everyone is pulling for Spanky to try it, so l will leave it at that. I come from a place where we try not to push our luck.. 🙂 , so l would never try anything like that, no matter how safe it is. I do understand going outside of your comfort zone, but l will stick to trying frog legs or something like that, l will leave this to braver souls like you 🙂 🙂 🙂 .
    Kemkem recently posted…Reverse culture shock back in the USA?My Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Hehe. I bet if they did a study they’d find that more people die chocking on frog legs then paragliding! What do you think of that huh? 🙂
      But thanks, it’s better than some other people telling us horror stories then finishing off with “I hope Spanky does it”.
      Spanky appreciates you looking out for her well-being. You guys would get along great.

  6. I actually paragliding off the back of a boat in Mexico. I landed on the beach and promptly threw up. I can’t believe I even did it because I have a wicked fear of heights, but I think being attached to the boat allowed me to somehow convince myself I could do it. Once was enough, thank you.
    Patti recently posted…On Being Thankful ~My Profile

  7. Wow, Frank, this looks great! Tried bungee jumping but never been paragliding. It’s on the list now….
    Barry recently posted…What’s in My Backpack – Episode 2 Lens and SunscreenMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Bungee Jumping something I don’t know if I could do. They have one of the highest in the world though not far away on the Garden Route. I’m almost tempted to at least go watch people do it.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment Barry! 🙂

  8. You did something most people only dream of doing. And its impressive how well your photo’s turned out while swinging around in the atmosphere. I’m thinking if you could do it so can I!
    Nancy recently posted…Viking River Christmas Markets Cruise NurembergMy Profile

  9. Nong Khai Silverback says:

    Okay, we’re changing your name to flyboy. You were neither safe nor or sound mind but you lived to tell about it. Way to go; I’ll have to try it one day soon. When you return to Nong Khai I’ll send you scuba diving in the Mekong River while I safely watch from dry ground. That proves how daring I am.

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      I’m not a water person at all – I’d have to say no to the scuba diving…somehow I don’t think I would see more than a foot in front of me in the Mekong.

  10. Good for you, Frank, for going hangliding! Though we’d be like Spanky – sitting out on this one :-). The views sure look amazing though…
    Sand In My Suitcase recently posted…The “Alila Purnama” in Indonesia: Sailing, diving and, oh my, Komodo dragons!My Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      I know not your style…you guys too busy lounging around and sipping on cocktails on luxury yachts 🙂 I think Spanky would rather be hanging out with you.

  11. i think the price isnt too bad. 18 bucks for the photos totally worth it though – they came up really well and capture an unforgettable experience brilliantly
    Andrew recently posted…Doctor Who Festival WrapMy Profile

  12. My jealousy grows! Wow, what an experience, so worth the money. And, of course, you have to purchase the video – very helpful when senior moments kick in… later in life 😉
    Paula recently posted…The Statue Of Liberty In Idaho? Who Knew!My Profile

  13. You certainly are escaping out of your comfort zone! Sounds like so much fun too, keep the posts coming!
    Jane recently posted…Prague with Kids -Top Things to See & DoMy Profile

  14. Tried sky diving and bungee. Sky diving is awesome.

  15. Aaah, this look so cool! I’d love to try paragliding one day. Everyone talks about sky diving or bungee jumping, but this looks far more relaxing (plus you actually get to enjoy the view). Your posts really made me want to visit South Africa – it looks amazing!
    Irene recently posted…Finding the Ideal Freelancer Apartment: Our Check ListMy Profile

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      Thanks Irene. South Africa is amazing and I’m already planning on coming back and seeing more of the rest of Africa as well.

  16. I actually would’ve thought that the cost would be more (not that it’s cheap, but I expected worse). You’re very brave. I’m afraid of heights so there’s no way I could’ve done it although it looks fun. With that said, I did go parasailing in Maui with my dad, so go figure. I guess I felt better being tied to a boat.

    • Frank (bbqboy) says:

      I’m not a water lover, actually makes me more nervous the idea of being pulled by a boat, especially when starting off…I guess we all have our fears 🙂

  17. If only I have the courage to do paragliding! that looks fun and the views are spectacular!

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