Different flying every day!
The highlands of Ethiopia are a world class cross-country playground. It's worth flying them over and over again, not only because of their endless variety but because of their unique elements - flatland style flying over big plateaus, hypoxic mountains, scenic views over volcano craters ... A real feast for the mind and the soul!
There are 3 main types of flying sites:
- Hills and mountains in the central part of high plateaus. They work like "heat low" with strong but smooth thermals and allow easy exploration of surrounding flatlands. In more humid conditions they become overcasted and overdeveloped earlier.
- Non active slopes of high plateaus and mountain ranges. These are mostly northern slopes in winter and the eastern part of main highlands which initiate the transformation of air masses from Arabian Sea. These areas are pleasant for soaring and local thermalling but you can hardly continue on cross-country from them.
- The active slopes of high plateaus and mountain ranges. These are usually the southern slopes which provide thermal connections between low and highlands. Of course there are exceptions like Lalibela, where local NW valley winds bring warm air to the ridges west of the main mountain range.
Flying conditions vary from place to place and day by day. The flatland flying inside high plateaus is smoothest with 2-4 m/s average climbs. Some mountain sites can be quite strong with 4-6 m/s average climbs and 10 m/s kicks. The main and local winds are usually light. Cloud bases often rise above 5000 m asl.
Paragliding in Ethiopia is available all year round due to the various terrain and climate zones. Still the best conditions are from November until March. December and January are probably the smoothest due to the weak sun activity.
SkyNomad offers guided cross-country paragliding tours in Ethiopia. It's not just following a list of places, but a flexible attempt to expand your experience with adequate weather forecasts, best flying site choice, flying tips and assistance, interactions with local people and culture...