KINAPA promotes paragliding on Kilimanjaro
Following on from last week’s bulletin about cycling on Kilimanjaro, the park authorities, KINAPA, also announced that they have made plans to allow and promote paragliding on Kilimanjaro.
Like all these special activities, it’s not particularly cheap. For the princely sum of US$500, paragliders can jump from various points on the Northern Circuit. Moir Huts Campsite, on the Alternative Lemosho Route/Northern Circuit, is one such place.
They have chosen the Northern Circuit as their launchpad because there is supposed to be less cloud on this side of Kili. The theory about the weather on Kilimanjaro certainly backs this up. There are certainly fewer crowds on this side, which can only help.
How much does it cost?
For their US$500, paragliders are allowed to jump several times during their time on the mountain. But note that paragliders must still pay the normal park fees in addition to the paragliding fee.
As with the cycling we discussed in the last post, this is not an activity that’s entirely without precedent on Kilimanjaro. Indeed, you can find various videos on youtube of people flinging themselves off Kili’s southern slopes. But KINAPA is particularly keen on promoting these activities now. Presumably, by promoting them, the participants will put the videos of their exploits on the mountain on social media. And thus the mountain is, by extension, promoted too.
If you want to have a look at paragliding on Kilimanjaro, one of the better videos is the Wings of Kilimanjaro charity ‘jump’. This ‘mega jump’ took place in 2013, when a total of 95 gliders launched themselves into the sky over southern Kenya. (You can watch their paragliding video here.)
But this jump was very much a one-off. But now KINAPA is looking to actively promote paragliding on Kili. So perhaps you can expect more spectacular videos in the near future.
Our thoughts on paragliding on Kilimanjaro
No doubt there will be those that resent the presence of paragliders on Kili. But as long as there aren’t hundreds of paragliders launching every day, I don’t have a problem. There is, after all, something fairly beautiful, and quite mesmerising, watching paragliders in the sky in the UK. When I’m walking on the South Downs, it’s hard not to stop and smile when one glides by.
So why should it be any different in East Africa?