What to Bring and Wear

The day time weather in Bloemfontein will be hot and sunny (temperatures of 30º to 35º C are not uncommon), the evenings will be cooler and there may be the occasional thunderstorm. You need to bring summer clothes, sun hats, a light anorak in case of rain showers, a jersey for the evenings and sun screen.

The sun burn indices are high and you will burn badly if you do not protect your selves. It is also important to keep yourself well hydrated, the dryness of the climate disguises the “sweat rate” and you need to drink at least two litres of water a day and have a litre while you are flying.

If you have a camel pack we suggest that you bring it with you. South Africa has high quality tap water that can be drank without risk, though we also have a large variety of bottled mineral water.

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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