ParaglidingThe site has been used for more than 30-years, initially by hanggliders, but since 1991, predominantly by the paragliding fraternity.
Adults (16+) :
Children (13-15) :
Children (7-12) :
Pensioners (65+) :
University Students :
Group discount & concessions on request
Barberton is a town in the Mpumalanga province of South Africa, which has its origin in the 1880s gold rush in the region. It is situated in the De Kaap Valley and is fringed by the Makhonjwa Mountains : 43 km south of Nelspruit and 360 km to the east of Johannesburg.
The mountains around Barberton are amongst the oldest in the world dating back 3.5 billion years, and these mountains include some of the oldest exposed rocks on the planet. Volcanic rocks, which scientists call the Barberton Greenstone Belt, have given up direct evidence of conditions of life on the surface of the very early earth.
The site is used exclusively for winter flying, where thermal strengths can vary from less than 1m/s to approximate 5m/s, with an average around 2-3m/s. The flying day usually starts around 12pm, although flying from 10am is not uncommon. This is a summer rainfall region, so rain is not anticipated, with temperatures varying from around 10 degrees C in the mornings to 28 degrees C in early afternoon.
The site has been used for more than 30 years, initially by hanggliders, but since 1991, predominantly by the paragliding fraternity. During the last couple of years, the site has delivered an average of 5 successful tasks per competition, with the other days often flyable, but not “taskable”. The best flying takes place between about 12:30 am and 3:30 pm, with tasks usually set to start at about 1 pm. Task distances usually vary from 40 to 60km. While the site does not hold any South African records, flights of more than 100km have taken place to the west.
The site takes a northerly and northeastly wind, with take-off a trigger on the mountain. Cold fronts bring southerly wind and makes take-off impossible.
Berg winds from the west are usually our only concern, although these are forecast beforehand. Post frontal days usually result in the base lifting to greater than 3000m ASL, i.e. more than 2000 m above the valley floor.
A popular launch site is Lone Tree Hill (GPS: 25°48’06.66″S-31°03’21.70″E) (Elevation: 1285M), just outside of Barberton Town (3km), and actually overlooks the town. After soaring, landing is at the local Golf Course (3,5km from lone tree hill) which in turn is close to all amenities and accommodation. Thermal conditions allow for perfect flying in mainly winter, when a north easterly is the prevailing wind. The annual competition takes place in June and is an event enjoyed by over a hundred pilots. The record distance flown by a pilot (Jack Coetzee) from Barberton is Carolina. Not a beginner’s site! A gate key is required to get access to Lone Tree Hill. It is obtained from the Information Centre and a deposit is charged for the key. The deposit is refunded when the key is returned. Our Information Centre is located at Market Square, Crown Street, next to the Victorian tea Garden. (GPS: 25°47’26.30″S-31°03’19.16″E). The turn off to Lone Tree from Crown Street (GPS: 25°47’51.47″S-31°02’10.84″E) is onto a gravel road as indicated by SAPPI (LEFPA) forestry and Berghuis signs.
Take off Lone Tree Hill – 1290 m ASL (-25.8016725, 31.0557441) Winds NE and NW. Access to the site is via gravel road, and transport to take-off will be provided by 10-seater busses. Take-off comprises a grassy knoll, with the ability to layout up to eight gliders, depending on the wind direction. Top landing is possible for experienced pilots but is not recommended for low air-time pilots.
Only a limited number of private vehicles will be given access to the mounting owing to constraints imposed on us by the land owner.
- A warm jacket
- Proper landing gear for example tekkies (high heels will not do the job!)
- If you are prone to get air sick please make sure you take the necessary medication prior to the flight