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Winter thermalling and XC flying – South Africa

Is it for you?

Do you want to spend the end of January in the South African sunshine? Do you want to build up your airtime and confidence in reliable summer conditions? Do you want to soar next to the sea spotting dolphins playing in the surf? Do you want to chase kilometres in South Africa’s prime XC destination?

The answer is obviously yes!

This trip is open to pilots who have completed an SIV and started to learn to thermal.


About the trip

We’ve explored all over the world for the perfect winter destination and we’ve found nowhere as reliable as South Africa. The Garden Route where we spend the first week is perfect for dusting off the cobwebs and honing your thermalling and ground-handling skills, so you’re ready to make the most of the stronger conditions in Porterville.

We’ll be based in Wilderness for the first week, which is home to both soaring and thermalling sites with friendly launches and landing zones, a reliable climate and plenty to do on the rare non-flyable days.

After that, we’ll move inland to Porterville, South Africa’s flying Mecca. The hot, dry climate gives us reliable XC conditions most days. Porterville is suitable for your first XC flights and most pilots leave a week here with at least a couple of 20km+ flights under their belts. While longer flights are possible, 50-80km flights are most common.


Trip schedule

  • Arrival at George airport.
  • Flying around Wilderness and Sedgefield. We usually have a briefingafter breakfast before heading out to fly. We regularly fly a couple of different sites in a day. Once we’ve had enough, we head back to the accommodation for a sunset drink before heading out for dinner.
  • Travel to Porterville, usually with a wine tasting or something similar on the way.
  • XC flying in Porterville.
  • Return to Cape Town airport. We recommend you take an evening flight

home so you can join us for some lunch and activities in the winelands on the way.





You can fly to either Cape Town or Johannesburg airports. There are direct flights to both these airports from Heathrow with British Airways and Virgin. There are also great value flights with Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa and other airlines with a change along the way.

You’ll need to get an internal connection to George. There are several local airlines flying these routes. We’ll be dropping you back to Cape Town so you can fly directly home from there.

It’s also worth considering adding some extra days onto your trip to experience some of South Africa’s many tourist attractions.



For the first week we’ll be staying in a newly renovated guest house right next to the beach between Wilderness and Sedgefield, with a launch at the end of the road.

In Porterville we’ll be staying at a dedicated flyers lodge complete with air con and en-suite bathrooms.

Rooms are usually shared with one other pilot.

Breakfast is included.



TBC (Please email for details)


The trip cost includes

  • Bed and breakfast accommodation, based on two sharing
  • Airport transfers
  • Transport to take-off and all retrieves
  • Coaching and guiding.

Single rooms may be possible subject to availability, and a supplement.




Contact us to book. Your place will only be confirmed once we have confirmed we have a space available and received your deposit of £350. The balance is due eight weeks before the trip.

More info TBC

Contact us for more information or to book

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