Monday, 25 August 2008

Gariep Gliding Centre

Gariep Gliding Centre is situated in Xhariep in the Free State, South Africa. Every year, almost 200 Local and International Glider Pilots descend on Gariep from the beginning of November to the end of February.

Conditions for soaring in this part of the country are excellent and over the years several National and World Records have been set for distance flying. Flights of over 1000km in a day are common at Gariep.

An added bonus is that the airspace around Gariep is largely uncontrolled (up to FL 195), allowing Glider Pilots to set tasks without factoring in air space restrictions - the norm when gliding in Europe and most parts of the States.

Visiting pilots pack their gliders in containers and ship them over for the season and those without gliders can rent a glider from the Gliding Centre. The near by town and resort offer a range of facilities for the pilots and their families and Bloemfontein, the capital of the Free State, is only an hour away.

If you are in this part of the world, or are driving down to Cape Town, stop off at the airfield (just off the highway) and see if you can bag a ride - this will be one adventure activity you will never forget.

No comments: