Paragliding Comes to Uganda
Exploring Uganda’s varied Landscapes By Tandem Paragliding
Fly Mami Afrika is the first renowned firm in the adventure business to launch Tandem Paragliding flights in Uganda. Managing director Adam Robinson found time in his hectic schedule to talk to the Uganda Tourist about his company’s latest activity on Uganda’s adventure itinerary. “Exploration is the spice of life”
After paragliding in 13 different countries, the search was on for a new location to introduce paragliding. So far there have only been a handful of people to fly in Uganda over the years.
Uganda has many varied landscapes, this makes for interesting flight characteristics. Beautiful wildlife is abundant, the vistas awe inspiring. We fell in love!
When looking for a viable location for Tandem Paragliding, many factors play a part. Like baking a cake, without the proper recipe and ingredients, the result will be lackluster. Mt Wanale (visible upon entering Mbale 2hrs East of Jinja) is the logical first site for Tandem Paragliding.
Highways between Iganga and Mbale are some of the best in the country, and there are passable roads to the summit. The flying has great distance potential, with elevation gains equal to cloud level on a good day.
Paragliding has evolved immensely in terms of passive safety and performance since it’s conception in the 1960s.
Unlike parasailing, a paraglider is not a parachute pulled up behind a boat. A paraglider doesn’t have a rigid frame like a hang glider. An aerodynamic airfoil creates lift using the same principles as an airplane.
A paraglider uses soaring and thermal techniques identical to a large bird to gain elevation while flying. Soaring is a reference to air blowing at a mountain ridge and jumping off the top like a skateboarding ramp. We fly along the edge of the ridge where that air compresses. Thermals refer to air heated by the sun that releases vertically due to variable topographical features (ie trees, rocks, water, even buildings). When a stork ascends making circles, it’s found a thermal.
Imagine no mobile phones, or work deadlines, and no traffic! Just woven kevlar lines, industry ripstop nylon and mylar in the canopy, safety parachute, a harness that reclines into a chair, the feeling of weightlessness, and wind in your hair. This is paragliding!
Our pilots have CPR/First Aid training, Wilderness First Responder certifications, and the U.S. Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association’s T3 Tandem Instructor, Instructor, and P4 ratings.
Fly Mami Afrika is currently offering combination packages including 2-3 night stay at the Sipi River Lodge after the tandem excursion in Mbale. FMA intends to expand by offering tandem flights in other locations throughout Uganda, individual paragliding instruction, and guided paragliding tours for established pilots.