Facts to Knows About Kwahu Easter Paragliding Festival in Ghana

Facts to Knows About Kwahu Easter Paragliding Festival in Ghana
February 20, 2024

Ghana Paragliding Festival is an annual event held during Easter (usually in April). Seasoned Pilots from around the world are invited to fly hundreds of people during the 3-4 day event at Kwahu Atibie. The event has over the years flown thousands of people and given them memorable experiences. The 2024 edition promises to be great with tours, hiking and more adventure options.

The Ghana Paragliding Festival is an amazing event. Here are a few unique facts about paragliding to get you even more excited:

  • Paragliding is considered one of the safest extreme sports. With a fatality rate much lower than other activities like skydiving or BASE jumping, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.
  • Birds have been paragliding for millions of years! They use thermals to stay aloft and cover long distances, just like human paragliders do today.
  • The first successful human paraglide was made in 1978 by Frenchman Dominique Jacquot. He launched himself from a mountain in the French Alps, and the rest is history!
  • Paragliders can reach speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. And experienced pilots can stay airborne for several hours, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the view.
  • Paragliding is a great way to experience the beauty of the world from a unique perspective. Soaring above the clouds, you’ll get to see landscapes in a whole new way.
  • It’s an activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and fitness levels. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or just looking for a peaceful way to enjoy the outdoors, paragliding is a great option.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About The Ghana Paragliding Festival

How safe is paragliding?

All adventure sports carry risks. To operate safely in any kind of aviation environment one must strive at all times to minimise those risks. The most important pre-requisites to safe flying are pilot & passenger attitude, competent instruction, and safe equipment. The modern paraglider is a sophisticated aircraft that has been computer-designed, flight-tested, and certified to an international standard. Ongoing research, testing, and development ensures that paragliders are sophisticated in design and very safe.

How do they fly and stay up?

The wing maintains its aerodynamic form with internal pressure resulting from forward flight. Paragliders can stay aloft when the rising air currents are greater than the descent rate of the wing and have performance similar to some hang gliders.

Do you jump off a cliff?

Paragliders are usually launched by running off of moderate slopes with the glider inflated until you are lifted off your feet.

Is there any height or weight restrictions?

We use an adjustable harness and different sized wings to cater for nearly every shape and size. As a general rule, we can easily cope with someone from 40 kg to about 90kg and a height of 120 cm to 180 cm. If you are near to or outside the extremes of these ranges please advise us and we will endeavour to accommodate your size.

Is it possible to suffer from dizziness or nausea during the flight?

Vertigo or the feeling of losing one’s balance from a great height disappears once you are comfortably seated and moving in the air. In very rare cases it is possible to suffer from motion sickness so we advise you not to take in excess food and drinks (especially alcoholic beverages) before your flight.

Are there any age limits?

No, but you need to be in good health; we can fly at all ages, you just need to alert us so we prepare. It is not a particularly physically demanding sport. However for minors, parental consent is required.

What do I wear and bring on the day?

Wearing clothes and shoes suitable for some physical activity is required: Sturdy non-slippery shoes or trekking sandals that you would run, jog or play the sport in. Preferably with a closed toe to better protect your feet.
A top you can run in. Even if the day is hot it is cooler when flying up in the sky. On a cold day it can be very chilly, so dress appropriately.
Mid-thigh shorts, long pants (trouser) or tights are best as you are secured by harness straps that pass between your legs.
Spectacles or sunglasses are fine. If they are lose you may want to secure them before the flight.
Sunscreen, hat and water – sometimes we have to patiently wait for the conditions to be just right.

Do I have to be physically fit to have tandem?

Being a passenger is not physically demanding. While flying you sit back and relax. During the launch phase, you may be asked to run a few steps at take-off and/or landing. Typically if someone can walk up and down a flight of stairs or climb a small ladder they are able to be a tandem passenger. If you have a past or existing injury or weakness that may be aggravated by a sudden change of pace or direction while walking or jogging then paragliding is best avoided. As with most physical activity if you have a joint or muscular problem it may be aggravated by a tandem flight.

What about a person with a disability?

There are many types of physical and mental disabilities and many people challenged with a disability can still enjoy the freedom of a tandem flight experience. It really depends on the nature of the disability. We are keen to share our passion for flight with anyone who feels likewise. Usually, the person with the disability and/or their caregiver will know if a tandem flight is possible and we are happy to chat through the possibilities.

What if I am afraid of heights?

There are many levels of being ‘scared of heights’. There is a big difference between a healthy caution of heights and a true fear of heights. If you exhibit obvious and severe physical symptoms, such as sweating, dizziness, nausea when close to an edge, in a glass elevator, or even just thinking about being high, then paragliding is not going to be so enjoyable. If you simply feel a bit anxious and/or excited about your tandem flight then you are normal.

Do I have to do tricks or scary stuff?

No, the intention is not to scare you. We will not perform any acrobatics or high-risk maneuvers during a tandem flight experience. We are very responsive to how you feel in the air – after all, it is your flight – so we listen to you during the flight and tailor the experience to suit you. Some people want to gently cruise around and admire the scenery; others are thirsty for knowledge and want to know all the details about equipment, wind, etc; others are adventurous and want to be thrilled in the air by turns and dives. Of course, if at any stage you are feeling uncomfortable we will take you straight to landing. Safety is our first priority.

What if I feel sick during the flight?

It is not common but it is possible that you may feel nauseous. About one in every fifty people feel a little bit sick when flying but usually only if we do fast turns. We minimise the possibility of you feeling sick by checking how you are feeling during a flight and before we do any fast turns. If you are not feeling well we slow things down and just cruise around to allow you to recover and enjoy. We estimate only one person in every thousand are actually sick while in the air. Of course, we land as quickly and gently as possible when someone is truly feeling sick.

How many people can a tandem take?

Like the name implies a tandem paraglider can only take two people, one is a qualified pilot and the other you, the passenger. The pilot will be in control the entire flight however if the conditions are suitable and the passenger is willing they will be given the opportunity to co-pilot the paraglider when soaring.

What about small groups, do we fly together?

For small groups of two or more passengers, each will be flown in a separate tandem either simultaneously or consecutively. Depending on pilot availability you can choose to either fly simultaneously (the same time) or consecutively (one after the other). Some passengers want to fly in the air at the same time, e.g. to wave at each other and/or take video/photography in the air, others prefer to fly consecutively, e.g. to take video/photography from the ground, look after children/pets, etc. Whenever possible we let you make the choice.

What if the weather is not good on the booking day?

Paragliding requires a certain strength and direction of the wind to enjoy a safe flight. Of course, we must fly during daylight and we cannot fly in the rain. We make every effort to forecast weather in advance so that you and your pilot only travel to launch if there is a good chance of flying. However, the weather is unpredictable and full of surprises. If the booked time is not suitable for flying we simply make arrangements for another day that does suit. Many people are lucky and their preferred day is rewarded with a great flight. Others may require two or three different booking times to finally get airborne. We will communicate with each other the day before and/or the morning of the flight to confirm the weather and the likelihood of flying.

Which is the best location to fly?

Odweanoma Mountain (Kwahu Paragliding site), though a very technical Take-off Point has been regarded as one of the best places for flight experience.

How do they fly and stay up?

The wing maintains its aerodynamic form with internal pressure resulting from forward flight. Paragliders can stay aloft when the rising air currents are greater than the descent rate of the wing and have performance similar to some hang gliders.

Can paragliders go places?

Yes! A flight can go as far as possible but due to time, landing site and demand constraints, there is a limitation on travel distance.

Part of The Article “FAQs” first appeared on Visit Ghana

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