By Cyril NDEGEYA
Tourism opportunities in Rwanda are upgrading day to day with professionals in the industry bringing or proposing new products and diversification to satisfy tourists.On June 11,a team of three determined hikers confronted the unconquerable mount of Sabyinyo which happens to be the harshest volcanoe in the whole chain due to to its uncountable deadly clifs, but the team managed to get to the highest point in two days!
Secretly, something then softer was also on preparation for this Monday June 25,2018 and that is not other that the famous paramotoring sports which is very known in many Western and European countries.
This was an official demonstration through a partnership between The Rwanda Development Board(RDB) and the Rwanda Flying Sports Club, organised to create awareness about the new adventure tourism product in Rwanda.
The main geek behind this great flying sports is Mr Houben Sebastien a Belgian whose more that two of his family generations was born in Rwanda.Together with his friend and Belgian Instructor Alain Gillet, they had an idea of founding the “Rwanda Flying Sports Club” which will also offer trainings to those aspiring to become licensed paragliders pilots.
“Having spent a long time travelling in the whole country of Rwanda with its beautiful hills and scenic view, and having seen how the country is putting a lot of energy in the tourism promotion, it triggered an idea of bringing this flying sports here as a new product because we believe it will boost and diversify the tourism opportunities in the country” Mr Houben said.
“Its a sports discipline like all others, and everyone should have the courage to come and get trained for piloting this”. added Alain Gillet the future instructor.
According to Mr Gillet, these machines can fly up to 60km/hr (32 knots) or even be pushed up to 100km/h(54 knots)with good wind conditions. A full tank of 16 Liters can guarantee an autonomy of three to four hours of flight.
The Rwanda Flying Sports Club has acquired a piece of land near Lake Muhazi in the East which will serve as a base camp for our club.
“At the moment we are expecting to receive soon the necessary authorisations from the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority but since it’s a new product in Rwanda it has to take some time but once we are approved by the CAA, we are ready to receive Rwandans for a flying training or even for touristic flights as we are also planning to bring to Rwanda two seater paramotors for taking a passenger in the air” noted Mr Houben.
According to the instructor, the training will be covered in two phases with the first one covering the the first 20 hours focusing on what is usually called the ground school in Aviation, where a trainee will learn theoretically different parts of the whole system plus three flights.
The second phase will be full of practices covered in 27 flights in total after which the instructor will send a report to the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority which will letter issue a piloting license to the new pilot.