Top Landing at the Map of Africa in Wilderness
The Map of Africa is one of our main paragliding sites for training and tandem flights in the Garden Route of South Africa. Because this site is sloped, top landings are not easy for the novice and student pilot. We usually don't allow students to top land here as one needs to have first experience gained already. For a pilot with some experience and confidence, top landings would be possible. It is important though that you familiarize yourself with this and any site first before attempting top landings. Don't force top landings if you struggle to come down.
The below pictures with added drawings will give you an idea on how to land at the Map of Africa and where the dangers are.
This coastal paragliding site is often flown in light South East or East wind conditions, allowing the pilots to soar at take-off height or below. The flight path on the picture below shows you the best route to land if you have to land at the bottom part of the grass field. Remember that this landing field is sloped down in a angle. This means that if you approach the field parallel to the power lines, you fly almost downwind. You have to turn high enough into wind because of the wind drift. We see often Pilots who do not turn at all or to late, which leads to a hard landing (impact) due to high ground speed and landing angle. If you have turned to early into wind, finding yourself to high, then fly out again and attempt the landing approach again. This is always better than landing hard.
The ARROWS indicate power lines. Be aware of them and keep always enough distance. Do not fly behind the power lines!!
If you have gained more heights, then you can land a bit higher up in the field. Landing approach and turning into the wind is almost the same. Again, make sure you turn early and high enough into wind.
If the wind is stronger then you can soar well above the take-off field. In this case you can possibly land right on top of grass field. Often, if the wind is very strong, you can see pilots trying to figure eight obove the actual take-off area. This is difficult as it this area creates a strong lift band due to the angle of the field. It is usually better to land futher up behind the take off area. This field is straight, creating a head wind component instead of lift. Be aware of the power line and do not fly behind it in any case. There is also a telephone line which runs along the along this field. Familiarize yourself with everything before you attempt a landing right at the top. You can always ask one of the tandem pilots or instructors for advise.
You can always contact us should you have questions!