Parahawking, For Real?
Extreme Sports Adventures and More
What is Parahawking, and is it real?
Yes, it is real and Egyptian vultures are the Birds of Prey used in flight. I have to admit when I first saw the illustration/photograph, I thought it was a joke. It was a pleasant surprise to learn otherwise. Logically speaking, why not enlist the assistance of a bird of prey, since that’s what they do all day…fly with a purpose in mind! No birds are ever taken from the wild.
This blog presentation is one of my favorites due to the incredible insight to develop such a natural aid of falconry, for assisting humans in flight. Scott Mason had spent three decades working with falcons, training them for their debut in Nepal. His name is one to remember as the one that made this new extreme sport, Parahawking possible. This extreme sport with the hawks has been ongoing for 16 years in Nepal, providing the flights with hawks and vultures. His goal was to educate the citizens so that they would learn about these birds. While working with local communities to promote vulture protection and conservation, this sport has become known around the world.
Pokhara, Nepal is where it all began, when Scott Mason, started his around the world travel. Nepal is where many birds of prey such as the griffon vulture, steppe eagle, and black kite, can be found.
Parahawking is a lot like Paragliding but comes with an unusual benefit. What better way to see the world at large than to see it through the eyes of a bird? But not only do they ride along but guide you to the warm thermals. As a paraglider, from a distance, you see mountains, lakes, valleys, temples, and other exquisite scenery. But with parahawking, you get all of that plus more. A trained hawk will land on your gloved hand, guiding you through the sky as you glide, and showing you the way. The hawk will also lead you to thermals. Nepal is the perfect location for paragliding due to the wind and a variety of sites to view.
It is a perfect mixture, so why not set off on an escapade with another set of eyes that have seen this path thousands of times, but now making the experience one you will never forget! Pokhara is currently the only location offering this bonus feature, in Nepal.
Where are Parahawking flights offered in Nepal?
The most famous adventure sport is in Nepal and Sarankot, near Pokhara in the Annapurna region, is one of the famous parahawking spots in the world. But, the outstanding part is where the birds fly. Mason rescued them when they were abandoned. It seems that now there is controversy over the possibility of shutting down the flights with the Birds-of-Prey, but Mason says if he is shut down, the birds will die.
“He now operates in Algodanales and offers tandem paragliding flights with trained vultures, as well as offering falconry courses and the opportunity to interact with birds of prey.”
What does it cost to enjoy Parahawking in Nepal?
There are many packages available, with some lasting up to 2 to 3 days which extends to 2 to 3 nights which runs between $204.12 and $272.16 USD, per person. This sport is the most famous sport adventure in Nepal.
Why not train birds to fly alongside the gliders?
ScottMason learned of two black kite chicks that had been removed from a dismantled nest. He had planned to leave the country but his heart for these abandoned birds convinced him to stay, increasing his paragliding to learn ways to teach these birds how to fly with him. He worked tirelessly for four years when he offered the first commercial tandem parahawking flights, in Pokhara, Nepal. This sport skyrocketed. By the year 2005, the organization Mason had founded, had taken 16 tandem flights and by 2011, the organization had exploded and over 400 flights! Mason stated that these flights were the only way to learn about these birds and appreciate what nature can truly add to human pleasure.
Showcased in these photographs are the birds used for parahawking. I encourage you to research on your own more about this bird-of-prey. Most of us have heard negative reports and seen them in films portrayed in ways that routinely repulse us. But the enjoyment and familiarity you can experience with these rescued birds will warm your hearts.
What do you wear Parahawking?
It is recommended to wear long pants and closed shoes. NO sandals and NO Shorts.
It is also advised that you leave your jewelry locked up at the hotel safe.
What time of year is best for Parahawking?
The best time for Parahawking is November through March. Temperatures in November hover around 59 degrees, while in March temperatures get much warmer. March is the first of Spring. However, for your safety, long pants are required.
Are there Restrictions?
Weight must be less than 220 pounds and you must be able to run a few steps for take-off and landing.
Extras: Inflight pictures and movie –approximately $24 USD.