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BLUE SKY PARAGLIDING

Blue Sky Paralgiding are our partners in Nepal. Nepali/Swiss owned, they are one of the longest running established paragliding companies in Pokhara. 
Blue Sky offer: • Regular Tandem Flights  • Beginner & Advanced course  • Expeditions  • Instructor/Tandem Courses
Please go to: www.blue-sky-paragliding.com for more information.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Parahawking is paragliding with a trained bird of prey. It was pioneered in Pokhara, Nepal by renowned bird trainer and paraglider, Scott Mason. Rescued and rehabilitated raptors such as Egyptian Vultures are trained as part of an award winning enrichment program, to fly with paragliders and, by using their incredible ability to conserve energy, can guide the paragliders to the best thermals. They will then land on the passengers gloved hand for an inflight reward. Parahawking is a perfect mix of adventure, eco-tourism and conservation. A Parahawking Tandem Experience is more than just a paragliding flight with a trained bird, it's an education into vultures and the problems they face in the wild. Proceeds from Parahawking tandem flights go directly towards vulture conservation projects in Nepal.
Birds of prey have a natural instinct to conserve energy wherever and whenever possible. During a flight, a bird will burn more energy than it would if it was just sitting in a tree, this means it has to eat to replace the used energy. Sometimes birds will travel long distances to find food. To conserve energy whilst flying, birds of prey use thermals. Thermals are rising currents of warm air that are created by the sun heating the ground. Birds can gain height and travel long distances without flapping their wings by using thermals. Paragliders also use thermals when they are flying and will often use wild birds to guide them to where the thermals are. Our trained birds are no different, they will find the thermals in order to stay aloft and conserve energy whilst flying. We as paragliders harness their ability to conserve energy by following them as we fly.

Our birds need to be rewarded for guiding us into the thermals. During the flight the passenger will place small morsels of meat onto his gloved hand, the birds will come and gently land on the hand to take the food, and then gracefully fly away to find the next thermal. A perfect symbiotic relationship.

All Paraglider wings have an upper and lower weight range, when the upper weight range is exceeded, it can make the glider difficult to fly in some situatons and conditions. Parahawking tandem flights are different from regular tandem flights, our weight limit for passengers is 90 kg/198 lb. The only other requirement is that you are able to run a few steps for the take off and landing. You do not have to be a qualified pilot, you will be a passenger attached to a qualified tandem pilot. We reserve the right to refuse to fly any passenger that does not meet our requirements. 
In Nepal, the Parahawking season runs from around the middle of October through to the around mid April April. We cannot guarantee a fixed date on when we will start and finish, this depends on a number of factors, as explained in detail here:

1. As we approach Spring, the wild Egyptian Vultures and other birds of prey in our flying area start to breed. They can become very territorial so out of respect for the wild birds, we choose to not fly our birds and not disturb them at this time.

2. Typically all birds start to moult in April, ie begin the process of replacing their feathers. This process can take up to 6 months. It's important that to complete a successful moult with good strong healthy feathers, we feed them a higher than normal nutritious diet. You may not notice but our birds are always in perfect feather condition throughout the entire year, this is why.

3. The weather starts to change in April, the regular afternoon pre monsoon storms means we can't fly as often as we would need to maintain the birds fitness. We would not want to force our birds to fly if they are not fit enough so it's best to just stop completely.

4. By the end of September, the birds have finished moulting, the rainy season is almost over and the wild birds are no longer breeding. We can then begin the training process to get our bird fit and ready for the flying season. We normally start slowly, building the birds fitness and stamina, this can take 3-4 weeks before we feel they are ready to fly with the Paragliders for a 20-30 min flight.

You can do Parahawking in Pokhara, Nepal only.
Asia's vultures are in serious decline, in the last 15 years the numbers have dropped by a staggering 99.9% which equates to a loss of approx 40 million birds. This catastrophic decline is due to a veterinary drug called Diclofenac. This anti inflammatory drug is routinely administered to sick and dying livestock including cows and buffalo and has proven to be very effective in reducing pain and suffering. However, when the animal dies with Diclofenac still in it's system, the vultures that feed from the animal carcass will ingest remnants of the drug which is poisonous to them and kills them within 24 hours.

Vultures are important in our society, they play a vital role in our ecosystem by cleaning up all of the dead animals that would otherwise be left to rot. Millions of tonnes of animal carcasses are disposed of each year across Asia, which if not cleaned up, would pose a real risk to human health. Asia's vultures are declining faster than the Dodo and could be extinct in the next 5-10 years, unfortunately not enough people know about the problem. Vultures are considered to be quite unsavory creatures because of this, these prehistoric looking birds are difficult to empathize with. We want to change that!

Parahawking provides a unique opportunity to see vultures in a different light, to understand about the importance of them in our society and to learn about their behavior in the wild. Parahawking is our mission to raise more public awareness to the plight of Asia's vultures and in doing so halt the decline and prevent their extinction.

We support vital Vulture conservation projects in Nepal, We donate approx 1000 rupees from every Parahawking flight to Vulture conservations projects. We have recently been appointed Patrons of the Ghochowk Vulture Restaurant project.

For more detailed information go to:

Vulture Rescue - www.vulturerescue.org Himalayan Raptor Rescue - www.himalayanraptorrescue.org

Ask yourself, when was the last time you marveled at the image of a bird of prey in flight? You probably had your feet firmly on the ground whilst gazing up at the bird in the sky. Parahawking gives you the unique opportunity to interact with these birds and see the world through their eyes while you share the sky with them. Paragliding is an exciting adventure activity on own but this takes Paragliding to a whole different dimension.
Ideally you should book your Parahawking activity directly with us via this website to gaurantee the best chance of a spot. Alternatively you can book at the Blue Sky Paragliding office in Lakeside, Pokhara
A Parahawking Tandem Experience costs: £125
Parahawking flights are not based on time in the air but the overall experience of sharing the sky with a trained bird of prey. The weather can determine the length of the flight as can many other factors, especially when working with birds. We make no guarantees about flight times however we always try our best to stay in the air for around 20 to 30 minutes.
We do not currently offer Parahawking courses. If you're not already a pilot and you want to learn to paraglide then there is no better place to learn to fly than in Nepal. Blue Sky Paragliding - www.blue-sky-paragliding.com - offer 15 day beginner courses. If you want to learn more about the birds then you can take a Falconry lesson with us. You can do a 2 hour session. See the Falconry Lessons tab for more details and prices.
We use Egyptian Vultures for Parahawking in Nepal.
In Nepal, all of our birds are rescue birds. This means that our birds came to us because they were found injured, orphaned or sometimes kept as pets in small cages. As part of the Himalayan Raptor Rescue project, we rescue many birds each year which we can successfully rehabilitate and return to the wild. Birds that are brought to us when they are very young have to reared by us which means they become imprinted on humans. This makes it very difficult to return these birds back to the wild. These are the birds we train for Parahawking. Parahawking is an award winning project, it was voted Best Enrichment Behaviour by the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators (IAATE) in 2011
Paragliding and Parahawking is an adventure activity but it is not dangerous. We use only the best pilots for Parahawking. All of our pilots are internationally licensed and insured.
All you need to bring are a pair of training shoes or boots and a sweatshirt or jacket depending on the time of year.
Yes, you can bring your own camera but at your own risk or we can take inflight pictures and movie from our onboard cameras, at a small additional cost.
Yes, we have beautiful lodges right on site at the Parahawking centre. There is no better way to immerse yourself in the activity than waking up with the birds. Check out our Parahawking and accommodation Packages.
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