Paragliding might not be in everyone’s budget. That being said, if it’s something you want to try at some point in your life, Pokhara is the perfect place to do it. Looking back, most likely you won’t regret it.
There are 19 paragliding companies operating commercial tandem flights in Pokhara, and there seems to be a fixed price (which includes transport and insurance) no matter which one you choose.
Tandf there is a sudden change in wind.
Make sure the company you choose has insurance coverage; some might say they have it even if they don’t. Best is to go with a reputable company. The government of Nepal has no system in place for regulating paragliding. Out of the 100 Nepali paragliding pilots in Nepal, not a single one holds a Nepalese paragliding license because there isn’t one.
Pilots are, however, internationally certified, which means international paragliding schools, like FAI, APPI and BHPA, have come to Pokhara to run 15-day pilot training programs . Upon completion, pilots are certified to fly anywhere in the world on their own. It then takes around 2 years of experience before they become a commercial tandem pilot. They have to prove themselves by paragliding in different locations, in different weather conditions, with different instructors and by performing different exercises such as practising using their reserve chute. After that, they have to pass a tandem exam with an APPI instructor.
The standard paragliding flight takes off from Sarangkot (30 min. by jeep from Pokhara), floats above Sarangkot for a while, then heads over Pokhara before performing spiralling acrobatics FAI, APPI and BHPA, have come to Pokhara to run 15-day pilot training programs . Upon completion, pilots are certified to fly anywhere in the world on their own. It then takes around 2 years of experience before they become a commercial tandem pilot. They have to prove themselves by paragliding in different locations, in different weather conditions, with different instructors and by performing different exercises such as practising using their reserve chute. After that, they have to pass a tandem exam with an APPI instructor.
The standard paragliding flight takes off from Sarangkot (30 min. by jeep from Pokhara), floats above Sarangkot for a while, then heads over Pokhara before performing spiralling acrobatics (optional) on descent to Phewa Tal next to Lakeside.
Paragliding companies offer 3 flights a day, 7 days a week: 10:30 AM, 12 PM and 2 PM.
For best conditions, the suns needs to have been out long enough to heat the earth and create the thermals necessary for lift. The early morning flights tends to be a bit less than 30 minutes as the thermals haven’t developed yet. If you’re looking for a clam, less turbulent flight, this is the best time.
By 11:30 AM, the thermals have become active and the best conditions for paragliding are in place. If you want to get your money’s worth, this is the best time to fly.
You can go paragliding in Pokhara year-round as long as it’s not raining and the thermals are active.
The peak season for bookings matches the normal tourist season in Nepal – September/October/November and February/March. The fall months are the clearest where thermals develop quickly with easy, high flying of up to 3000 m.
The best time for flying, however, might be if you catch a lucky window of clear skies during the monsoon season of July and August when the vegetation is lush and the rivers are thundering.
You should book a flight at least 1 day in advance so companies can plan ahead. To confirm your booking, you will be required to make a deposit of Rs. 1000-2000. You can book by phone, email or in person a day before your flight.
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