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Medical Considerations

It goes without saying that pilots should be in good shape. The mean ground level in the interior of South Africa is 4500ft above sea level and it is quite normal for visitors to feel a little tired for the first few days until you acclimatise to this altitude.

Cloud bases of 12 to 15 thousand feet are common and on some days they may be even higher. The combination of heat, height and excitement will drain your energy reserves, good nutrition and rest are essential to maintain your alertness and concentration. Oxygen is available in all the gliders and should be used.

Gliding in South Africa

The average cloud base is in the range 11,000 to 14,000ft AMSl, with the ground elevation being 4,500ft. The mean thermal strengths of 2.5 to 3m/sec. One third of the days are likely to be blue, particularly at the beginning of the season. On above average days, the cloud base may be as high as 18 or 19 thousand feet with rates of climb that exceed 5m/sec.

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The flying area is vast, and varied with few restricted areas. We have to fly west to clear the Bloemfontein TMA, there after we can fly south and south west into the dry areas of the northern Karoo or north west right up to South Africa's border with Botswana or we can fly east to the Maluti Mountains and the northern Drakensburg.

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Soaring Safaris is based at New Tempe airfield Bloemfontein for their summer camp from November to February. We have a shade net hangar to accommodate 9 gliders with a convenient water ballasting system, and a conventional hangar for 4 15m wing span gliders.

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Gliders are generally hired by the week Sunday to Saturday inclusive, but we can tailor packages to suit your travel arrangements dependant on other bookings. All Soaring Safaris gliders are equipped with parachute, basic instruments, electric vario, final glide computer, an IGC approved GPS Flight Recorder, Flarm, a map of the area and oxygen. Please note that because they are so fragile we do not provide PDA's.

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