Aerial Adventures in Africa: 7 Best Hidden Gems for Paragliding


Eager to soar like a bird and enjoy the breathtaking views that Africa has to offer? Aerial adventures in Africa allow you to do just that.  

Adrenaline-filled activities like paragliding take your adventure vacation to the next level. It is the perfect blend of thrill and tranquility, allowing you to glide silently over picturesque landscapes.

For the adventurous traveler, discovering hidden destinations for this activity is in itself thrilling. Lesser-known locations hold a high level of mystique and plenty of visual treasures.

Here are some of the best African paragliding destinations to visit off the beaten path:

Lesser-Known Destinations for Aerial Adventures in Africa

Kpalime, Togo

Kpalime is one of the best destinations for aerial adventure thanks to its hilly terrain. Paragliders often take off from one of the surrounding hills or plateaus. As you glide through the air, you will enjoy a bird’s perspective on the lush forests and rolling hills surrounding the area.

In addition to the enchanting landscapes, the location has great conditions for the perfect adventure. The take-off point is more than 980 meters above sea level. Depending on wind conditions, you will likely enjoy views of tropical forests and green plateaus. You are also likely to spot waterfalls.

The highest point of appeal for this destination is the fact that it is completely off the beaten path. That open up an opportunity for new experiences in a new setting. The best time to go there is during the dry season between October and April.

Kerio Valley, Kenya

Situated on the Great Rift Valley, Kerio Valley is part of the high-altitude town of Iten, Kenya. Iten is best known as the training ground some of the world’s best athletes. Kerio Valley has become one of Africa’s favorite destinations for aerial adventures in Africa.

A flight here takes you over the Elgeyo Escarpment, which forms part of the Rift Valley’s wall. The Kerio is an 80-kilometers long valley located about 1,000 meters below this escarpment. This landscape provides the ideal flying ridge.

It is a serene environment with calm conditions for paragliding. Rising thermal currents present along the escarpment provide the lift needed for long flights. Though the local high season runs between November and February, conditions are mostly suitable throughout the year.

In addition to the dramatic drop into the Kerio Valley, top attractions here include the Torok Waterfall and Lake Kamnarok Game Reserve.

Aerial Adventures in Africa for Beginners

Bulwer, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

If you would love to learn how to paraglide so you can enjoy this adventure, this is one of the best places to start.

The flying conditions here are ideal for beginners, with varying soaring conditions for different pilots. These include conditions for thermal soaring as well as conditions for ridge soaring.  There are at least 10 take-off sites in the area. Each of these face different wind directions providing much needed flexibility for beginners.

Not surprisingly, the town is home to a paragliding school. Lessons typically begin with tandem flights that you take with an experienced pilot. These usually last between 15 and 20 minutes.

Usambara Mountains, Tanzania

The gentle airflows and high altitude of Usambara Mountains in Tanzania make this a great destination for aerial adventures in Africa. The setting is ideal for novices as well as experienced pilots.

Taking off here will see you glide over dense, tropical rainforest areas. Numerous waterfalls cascade down the mountainside providing a captivating visual feast. One of the most spectacular of these is Soni Falls. You also get an opportunity to take in great views of the plains beyond the mountains and rolling hills in the distance.

The best time for your trip would be during the dry period running between June and October. Conditions are relatively stable with low chances of rainfall and clear skies.

Agadir, Morocco


Agadir is located along the coastline to the south of Morocco. It therefore offers the rare experience of soaring over a coastal region. The landscape below features the deep blue Atlantic Ocean and beautiful, golden beaches. From the air, you can also view the expansive Moroccan Desert. If you opt for a late afternoon take-off, you might also get incredible sunset views over the ocean.

Just like Bulwer, this destination has various paragliding schools for beginners. These take advantage of accessible take-off points on coastal hills, cliffs and sand dunes. If you are a complete novice, you will likely enjoy flying above the sand dunes and then executing a beach landing.

Agadir enjoys a calm, Mediterranean climate that supports this adventure throughout the year.

Aerial Adventure Destinations for Experienced Flyers

Blyde River Canyon, Mpumalanga South Africa

South Africa is one of the world’s top aerial adventure destinations. While the areas around Cape Town are extremely popular, our adventure takes us further inward to the Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga. As one of the most dramatic canyons on the planet, this location provides the best scenery for a nature lover.

The river winds its way in the depths of the valley, whose towering cliffs consist of red sandstone. Your flight is likely to take off on the edge of this canyon, providing a breathtaking view of the features below. The area is known for its variety of birds and other wildlife. Some of the great sites here include Long Tom Pass and God’s Window.

While the area is a popular training area for beginners, it is best to stick to tandem flights if you do not have sufficient experience. Conditions here can change drastically with sudden winds and gusts creating difficult flying conditions. Notably too, the rugged terrain is not ideal for beginners who might collide with cliff faces.

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania


While this is among the best paragliding spots on the continent, it requires considerable experience. The Kilimanjaro National Park requires at least five years’ experience and 200 registered flights before attempting a flight here. Kilimanjaro is the tallest, free-standing mountain worldwide at about 5,000 meters high.

It offers the highest overall top to bottom free flight anywhere on the planet. These often take off at the famed Uhuru Peak and traverse the Serengeti plains for great wildlife views. The adventure often begins with a tough mountain hike to this peak, a journey that is not for the faint-hearted.

On the bright side, the mountain’s location close to the equator means ideal flight conditions almost all year round. Furthermore, the high-altitude take-off ensures that no obstacles stand in your way as you soar. Gliding all the way down takes about one and a half hours.

Additional Aerial Adventures to Help You Face Your Fears

There are plenty of other ways to enjoy a view of Africa from the air. Consider a few additional ideas:


Gliding involves soaring through the air in a sailplane of glider. These are unpowered aircraft that rely on natural forces such as thermal drafts and wind to gain altitude and maintain it. They are lightweight by design and since they have no motor, offer a silent ride. They either launch using a winch on the ground or are towed by normal, powered aircraft. Pilots then look for thermals to rise to desired altitudes and extend the flight time. This activity requires training and certification.

Some popular gliding sites include:

  • Magaliesburg, South Africa
  • Gariep Dam, South Africa
  • Lake Manyara, Tanzania


Combine your love for aerial adventures with the thrill of water adventures. Parasailing involves soaring over a water body while attached to a boat or parasail vessel. The parasail inflates and takes off as the boat gathers speed, lifting you high into the air. Aside from the thrill factor, it is also a great way to enjoy amazing views of coastline and ocean landscapes. It is relatively flexible and can accommodate most ages.

Popular parasailing spots in Africa include:

  • Zanzibar, Tanzania
  • Diani Beach, Kenya
  • Cape Town, South Africa

Enjoy the Ultimate Adventure Vacation in the African Skies

No matter what your idea of an aerial adventure is, there is an opportunity to indulge your fantasy in Africa. For the thrill lovers, paragliding offers a variety of experiences for different landscapes and experience levels. But if you would rather skip the extreme stuff, you might consider parasailing or gliding, for a moderate adrenaline rush.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *