Fun Ventures Paragliding School

Suppliers of Paragliding Instruction, Tandem flights and Adventure Tours
P O Box 8587 Edenglen 1613 - Tel & Fax (011) 609-1678 - Cell 082-678-1392

Coming in to land Introduction
Flying is fun and exhilarating.

That is why we and most people want to fly. It is a thrill to look down on earth, and even occasionally fly with the birds high above ground.

Our Wings
Our chosen method of achieving flight like a bird is with a paraglider. A paraglider is a wing looking a bit like a square parachute, but with far better aerodynamic capabilities. It utilises an aerofoil, air and gravity in order to fly, and can stay aloft for long periods by finding rising air such as thermals and ridge lift. Paraglider pilots have stayed up for many hours and flown record distances of over 400km.

The advantage of a paraglider is that it is relatively quick to learn to fly, small to store and easy to transport, and can be carried in a carrybag on the pilot’s back.

A paraglider is not to be confused with a parasail that is a round unit pulled behind a boat, nor a parachute for jumping out of aeroplanes (skydiving).

Paragliding is an aviation sport. It is important that one realises that all aviation sports have inherent risks (actually, all sports have certain risks). It is important that one learns to fly in a safe environment, with a competent instructor, and uses safe equipment. Fun Ventures provides all of these.

It is not safe to teach oneself. There is more to the sport than just being able to take off and land. One must have knowledge of many other things, such as glider control, weather, and safety procedures. Accidents happen more often to those lacking in these fields, or flying too advanced equipment for their skill levels.

It is a legal requirement to have a licence in order to fly. The South African Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association (SAHPA) is the only organisation allowed to issue a paragliding licence in South Africa, through dispensation from the Civil Aviation Authority.

Licences can only be obtained through SAHPA approved schools with SAHPA rated instructors. Fun Ventures Paragliding School is such an approved school.

Learning to fly is not easy. Even though paragliding is one of the easiest aviation sports to master, prospective pilots must realise that to succeed takes a lot of very hard work, determination and a real will to fly in order to become a competent and safe pilot. There are often psychological obstacles to overcome, such as family pressure, or work commitments, fear of heights, etc.

Remember, every qualified pilot who makes it look so easy, has been through the same slog. Paragliding is a fantastic sport, and after the hard work is done, it is very rewarding.

Winch launching Mountain vs Winch training
There are two different training methods used in paragliding:

Both have been used successfully the world over, as well as here in South Africa.

The instructors in Fun Ventures are fully qualified to use both methods of training. Since 1996 we have used winching to give our students the best advantage of quick learning with the least hassle. All the students are also trained to fly from mountains. Therefore they are getting the best of both worlds.

The reasons we use winching are:

About Fun Ventures

Fun Ventures is a SAHPA-approved paragliding School that has been in existence since 1995. The chief instructor and owner is Laura Nelson, who has been instructing paragliding since 1989. The School makes use of trained instructors and assistants as well as tandem pilots, as and when required.

The School prides itself on its quality instruction, and the standard of the pilots that qualify.

Training Information

Training procedures
Late afternoon first flight Our mission is to equip a new pilot with all the skills required to make him or her enjoy the flying and be able to deal safely with the vagaries of the air.

The course starts off with an intro theory lecture, that is later reinforced with more advanced lectures. Knowledge and understanding are very important factors in flying.

Students are first taught the ground handling of the paraglider. This on average takes about 5 - 10 hours (one to two days), although some people may take longer to fully learn the controls. Once the technique has been mastered, the student is introduced to the flying. The first flights are done on the winch with a low tension and are very controlled. The student is instructed on the radio continuously and lifted to a low height, from where he flies down to an easy landing, still under radio instruction.

It is a very comfortable way to learn to fly in this manner. There are no rocks or obstacles to impede the progress of the student, although winching has its own problems, and there are other difficulties the student may encounter. The instructors follow strict safety procedures at all times to ensure an enjoyable and safe experience for the beginner.

Students are taught on a very personal basis, although they may start in a group. That means that every student gets a lot of direct attention. For the ground handling, we also offer late afternoon classes on a sports field, when possible, in order to accelerate the learning curve.

Details of the Intro Training Course

Intro Theory
Intro Practical

Training Courses offered

Course 1: Intro Course
For the pilot who is unsure whether paragliding is what he/she really wants to do.

The course includes:
Course 2: Completion of Basic licence
For the pilot who has completed the Intro Course and would like to get his licence.

The course includes:
At least one weekend will be spent at a mountain site to familiarise the student with the take off techniques used on mountains, ridge soaring, and the rules for flying with other pilots on the ridge, as well as understanding mountain weather. There is a fly-away daily fee that the student has to pay. The costs for transport, accommodation and meals will be for the student (see Terms and Conditions).

When the student has reached the total of 40 flights, but has not yet completed all the requirements for the Basic licence or reached the desired standard of proficiency, he has to pay an additional per flight until such time as he receives his licence.

Course 3: Winch conversion course

This course is for the pilot who learnt to fly on mountains, but would like to become familiar with winching in a safe and controlled manner.

The pilot must have a current Basic Licence, or permission from his instructor, and must have his own equipment. (Those without own equipment will be charged an additional fee for the use of the school’s equipment.)

The course includes:
The course is available for licensed pilots, and for students from other schools. (SAHPA memberships or temporary memberships must be in place.)

Course 4: Tandem flight
Experience flight! Have a tandem flight with an experienced tandem rated pilot. Get the feeling with at least 15 minutes of airtime without any hard work!

Course 5: Paragliding taster
Want to do a bit more than just a tandem flight but not ready or do not have the time for a full course? Here is a fun way - use a day getting to know a paraglider, how to control it, how it works. Float through the sky with an experienced instructor to show you more. Includes basic theory and learning groundhandling and controls with the school equipment.

What to bring along to training

Additional services

SMS service
The school offers a SMS service to inform all students and interested pilots of the predicted weather at Dunnottar or other sites the school may be visiting. It will give the weather predicted for the day and the time the instructors will be at the venue or meeting place. If the weather is bad, that will be stated. SMSs are sent out on a daily basis over weekends and arranged weekday training, usually around 6h30-7h00 am.

Notification by e-mail
More news and notification of events are sent out on e-mail. The school has a mailing list to which all students, prospective students and qualified pilots who would like to remain in contact with the school, can subscribe. Send a blank e-mail by clicking here and send. You will receive a request to confirm that you are who you are by just clicking on “Reply” and sending. (The emailed notice is posted by snailmail to those without e-mail.)

Getting your own equipment
It is not advisable to buy equipment until one is sure that one would like to continue with the exciting sport of paragliding. Wait until you have completed the Intro Course, as at that point you will have more information about what gliders are suitable. Never buy anything without consulting your instructor. Be wary of adverts in Junk Mail and other newspapers (although it is possible to get real bargains, you may also lose money unnecessarily by buying unsuitable gear).

When you have decided that you enjoy this sport, the School will assist you in getting the right equipment, suitable for your weight and size, and purse, through its associated business Funwings CC. Funwings has a wide range of new gliders it offers, as well as good second-hand gear and accessories.

Flying with the School after qualifying
When a pilot has achieved his Basic Licence, the School will help with honing his skills at no extra charge. He is welcome to keep flying with the School and go on fly-aways with it. We will assist him with meeting with other pilots to fly at alternative sites. We will introduce him to different clubs where he can join to make contact with more pilots, and grow in his flying career.

Current Basic Licence requirements

The World is my oyster when I have a licence!

More Information

If you would like to have more information on the paragliding training, or require the costs for the courses, or the "Terms and Conditions for Training", or directions to the site, please send an email for Additional info or call (011) 609-1678 or 082-678-1392.


To book a tandem flight or a training course, please go to the Booking Form.

Selection List