Paragliding in Kenya is awesome

My friend Veit Kessen, a half Indian, half German expat in Nairobi, has been so kind to share valuable paragliding information for his country of choice: Kenya! The images and the video of the tours her organises are stunning, so without further ado let’s see what the founder and owner of Cloudbase Kenya has to say!

In Kenya paragliding is a relatively new sport. That’s why there are only a handful of paragliding spots that are frequently flown. The potential for exploration across Kenya and East Africa however is huge! Our local paragliding community holds only around 30 active pilots of which 90% are expats and 10% are native Kenyans. The Paragliding Association of Kenya (PAK) is self regulating the sport to enhance safety and to promote international competitions and paragliding tourism. 

I asked Veit of course about the risk of dangerous encounters with the famous African wildlife. He told me a story of how he once landed close to a rhino in Borana Conservancy, and in this German podcast it’s about elephants. Normally this only happens when flying in park zones. Outside of those the risk is minimal.

When to fly in Kenya?

Kenya is situated at the equator. Predominant winds are the Easterly trade winds blowing from the North from December through March (NE season) and from the South from May through October (SE season). Both wind seasons are flyable throughout. Expect high altitude takeoffs with somewhat stronger winds. Good reverse takeoff skills required.

NE Season: December – March – brings on stronger and dryer high base conditions with more consistent flying conditions, more suitable for experienced XC pilots

SE Season: May to October – brings on calmer winds with more wet and lower base conditions, a bit more inconsistent but more suitable for beginner/intermediate flying.

A very cruel fact is that the months of November and April are rainy seasons and mostly not suitable for flying. These are the only two months in the year that Austrian professional tandem pilots like us are fully free to travel haha.  

Cloudbase Kenya

Veit’s company was founded in 2016 to cater for the growing demand in the three categories:

  1. Bespoke Paragliding Tours for Foreign pilots
  2. Paragliding Training and Tandem Flights
  3. Paragliding Gear Distribution and Gear Rental

1. Bespoke Paragliding Tours:

If you like to go on a challenging XC flight across the Rift Valley flatlands close to Nairobi, or want to cross the legendary Kerio Valley, or like to camp or do hike&fly in remote places, Cloudbase Kenya organises tailor-made bespoke tours all across Kenya (also Tanzania) for all pilot skill levels.

2. Paragliding Training and Tandem Flight

Cloudbase Kenya offers a modular flight training package (P1 & P2 Level) which includes initial ground training (P1 Level) and then basic flight training (P2 Level) with a paraglider, teaching you the magical skill to takeoff, paraglide and land, to increase your safety and joy of the sport. Cloudbase Kenya follows the PAK Training Level curriculum, therefore all achieved training levels will be endorsed in your personal PAK Paragliding License.

Tandem Paragliding is mostly done from our homespot one and a half hours drive north of Nairobi, from a spot named Kijabe Hill

Cloudbase Kenya is partnered with the tandem company Mawingu Camp Kenya and assists with organising a great day our flying as a passenger.

3. Paragliding Gear Distribution and Gear Rental

Cloudbase Kenya is a proud distributor for the brands BGD, AirDesign, Swing, Kortel and Syride as you can see in their online shop. Usually internationally travelling paragliders bring their own equipment but rental is possible too. Cloudbase Kenya has this instagram page.

Last but not least let’s watch this awesome video of a paragliding tour that Cloudbase Kenya organised in January 2024.