History of Gliding

Gliding first started at Bloemfontein in 1930 when a group of enthusiasts acquired a Grunua A, and under the guidance of Reg Ashman they started to teach themselves to fly.

Operations at the club were suspended for the period of the war, when all aircraft, including gliders, were requisitioned by the South African Airforce. Reg Ashman, who was a Lawyer by profession joined the SAF and served as a pilot. He was eventually in put in charge of the SAF gliding training site at Quaqaport near Pretoria and at the end of the war was responsible for the reallocation of gliders back to gliding clubs.

The club restarted after the war and has been active ever since though it has operated from a number of different airfields before New Tempe. It currently has 20 active members, who are looking forward to sharing their excellent club facilities with our visitors.


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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more