Franschhoek Paragliding, Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve

Winelands Paragliding’s Franschhoek paragliding site is located in Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve at the top of Franschhoek pass, also demarcated as Lambrechts road or the R45. This stunningly picturesque take-off area offers stunning views over the Franschhoek Wine Valley.

Entrance to the Nature reserve requires paying a small conservation fee of around R50.

Getting there

The reserve is 83km or an hour and 10 minutes’ drive from Cape Town city centre and 40 minutes from Stellenbosch. The reserve is only 8km or 10 minutes’ drive out of the Franschhoek village.

There are several shuttle services that can take visitors up to the reserve if you do not have your own transport for between R100 and R200 for the ride.

The Weather

The Franschhoek Paragliding site is located in the saddle where the road also passes over the mountain towards Theewaterskloof dam and Villiersdorp and faces west towards the Franschhoek valley. We can fly in Franschhoek when the wind is blowing from a westerly direction.

The geography of the Franschhoek valley and the location of the take-off site the wind funnels over the saddle creating what we call a venturi. A venturi is an area where the wind excellerates due to a geographical constriction or narrowing. This makes it a great soaring site even when the wind is forecasted to be very light but that the wind can get too strong to paraglide much sooner in Franschhoek than some of our other flying sites in the Cape Winelands.

We recommend booking for the earlier morning slots, especially in summer. It also means that when we are able to fly there, there is often an opportunity to gain altitude and enjoy the glorious views from the glider for longer!

How it works

On the day of your booking please check in with us at least two hours before your booking time so we may confirm that the weather conditions are suitable to fly. Once confirmed we meet at the entrance to the Mont Rochelle Nature reserve 10 to 20 minutes before the confirmed time of your booking.
The launch area is less than a 100m walk from the entrance along the “Winelands” trail. The take-off area is kept as natural as possible next to the trail with a stunning view of the valley.
The flights from here can be anything from 10 minutes to 20 minutes when the conditions allow and we have several landing field options, often landing back at the launch area when the conditions are just perfect.

Alternatively we glide to the landing field in Franschhoek from where our recovery vehicle collects us and brings us back to the meeting point at Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve. Please remain on the demarcated trails at all times and leave ONLY FOOTPRINTS and good vibes!

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