Paramotor in Rwanda is becoming popular among travelers. It is – a form of paragliding – that has recently been introduced in Rwanda – the only place in East Africa offering this activity at this time. In Paramotoring, the pilot wears a helmet and a motor on their back to propel the glider along.
Powered paragliders usually fly between 15 and 50 mph (25 and 72 km/h) at altitudes from ‘foot-dragging on the water’ up to 24,000+ feet (7400 meters) although most flying is done under 500 feet (150 meters) Above Ground Level (AGL).
The paramotor which weighs between 20 to 40 kilograms is supported by the pilot during takeoff. After a brief run, the wing lifts the motor and it is harnessed piloting off the ground.
After takeoff, the pilot gets into the seat and sits suspended under the inflated paraglider wing like a weight. Control is available using brake toggles for roll and a hand-held throttle for pitch.
The most difficult aspect of paramotoring is controlling the wing (paraglider) on the ground during launch and upon landing. Initial training in becoming a paramotor pilot involves managing the wing in the air from the ground without the motor. This process, called kiting, is the most complicated and important step in the process. Once kiting the wing on the ground is mastered, the motor is added to the process to practice with the weight of the paramotor included. A typical paramotor weighs on average around 50 lb (23 kg)
This new adventure was introduced by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), along with the Rwanda Flying Club and the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority, and managed with the help of the Rwanda Flying Club.
Four sites host paramotoring: Huye District, the lakeside towns of Rubavu and Karongi, and the mountain rainforests of Nyungwe National Park.