School & Philosophy
At Cloudbase Paragliding we offer tandem flights, paragliding and powered paragliding tuition, licensing courses, accommodation, paragliding tours as well as equipment sales and rental. Our first interaction with our clients is often through the paragliding school, so let’s start there…
The Cloudbase Paragliding school was established in 1993 and is registered with SAHPA (South African Hang gliding & Paragliding Association). SAHPA is the only controlling body empowered by the Civil Aviation Authority to issue hang gliding and paragliding licenses in South Africa. All licenses issued are internationally recognised as SAHPA is FAI-affiliated through the Aeroclub of South Africa. We have also established international partnerships to facilitate the conversion of our foreign students SAHPA licenses to various national bodies.
The school is owned and run by full-time instructors Jan Minnaar (founder) and Khobi-Jane Bowden who apply their extensive local and internationally gained knowledge and experience to assist students in developing the skills required to fulfil their free flying dreams. Both are active and enthusiastic pilots who have represented South Africa in various global paragliding competitions including numerous World Championships and World Cup events.
All of our training equipment is certified EN/DHV, our training gliders are rated for student use and all our school training harnesses comply with SAHPA regulations with regard to foam back protection. During course each student is issued with a radio and helmet.
Tuition offered includes entry-level introductory flights, basic licence courses, upgrades to sports licence, safety courses and PPG conversions. You can skip straight to the individual course information here.
Training is both theoretical and practical, with theory lessons taking place indoors at the Cloudbase HQ and practical lessons taking place at various training sites located within an easy drive of our base. When you are on a course it is often easiest just to hop into the Cloudbase Paragliding van – it’s not only convenient but you’ll also get to interact with other enthusiastic pilots on the way to or from a flight.
To read more about the Cloudbase journey, that started all the way back in 1991, please visit “Our Story”
We have established a reputation within the free flying environment, in South Africa and abroad, that is based on honesty, integrity and service excellence. We are proud of this and our business philosophy supports all that we stand for. As our income is derived solely from paragliding, it is our duty to act responsibly and with a professional attitude.
- We believe each budding pilot deserves individual attention in line with their personal flying ambitions.
- We’re a flying family – once a Cloudbase student always a Cloudbase pilot.
- We believe that the free-flying learning curve will never end, for as long as one remains in the sport.
- We base all our relationships on trust and fairness.
- We have actively sought out, established and continue to nurture our relationships with European manufacturers who support our ability as a service provider to provide our clients with high-quality, well-engineered products that meet all the relevant safety standards.
- We import our equipment, based on the stringent European testing requirements.
- We represent a broad range of brands that include a comprehensive, value-for-money selection of products for all skills levels – our recommendations are based on what we feel is right for the pilot.
Reasons to join the Cloudbase Paragliding School alumni:
- We are one of the longest established schools in South Africa (1994).
- Our instructors are amongst the most experienced instructors and pilots in South Africa and where the first ‘A’ grade instructors I the country.
- Our instructors have represented South Africa as Protea team members at the World Championships in 1993, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019.
- We have a high instructor to student ratio, with three full time instructors.
- We offer state-of-the-art facilities as well as a large range of certified gliders and harnesses for all levels.
- All our equipment and training procedures comply with SAHPA’s operational and procedural regulations.
- We operate from the most picturesque and safest training sites in South Africa.
- We offer a school, shop and accommodation – all in the same facility.
- Our clean and friendly accommodation is set in the wonderful countryside and close to pristine beaches.
- We offer overseas and local training, for all skills levels.
- We offer overseas and local guided holidays, for all skills levels.
- We offer a large range of new and used equipment.
If you are considering taking up paragliding elsewhere, but aren’t sure what to look for, these are the kind of questions we’d suggest you consider asking, as part of your decision-making process:
- Are your instructors full-time, professional instructors, or part-time instructors with other careers?
- I’m concerned about my safety – do you train on “Training Certified” gliders only?
- Do you use SAHPA certified harnesses, that offer maximum pilot protection, on all training flights?
- Will you use a radio to communicate with me during all flights?
- Do you train at training sites that allow a gradual progression of skills example starting on a sand dune, moving to a hill launch in laminar winds, and then to a thermic site?
- Do you train at a beginner-friendly site i.e. is there a large launch area, with no rocks or tripping hazards?
- Do you train at a beginner friendly site with safe landing areas i.e. plenty of space with no obstacles?
- Is the school located along a beautiful piece of coast line that allows me to enjoy other activities during the day and evening?
- Do you have accommodation facilities that offer a fun and friendly learning atmosphere?
- Do you have a high ratio of flyable days, so as to avoid wasting time?
- Does the fee include absolutely everything I need to receive my license i.e. are there any hidden costs?