Monday, April 22, 2013
How would you feel? If you are flying hundreds of meters above in the sky, just to witness the
magnificent birds Black Kites and Egyptian Vultures. Insane or crazy or adventurous whatever you
might say but for bird lovers, it is a treat. To be precise, Parahawking is an art of training birds of prey
to fly with paragliders; it was developed and pioneered in Pokhara by combining paragliding with the
ancient art of falconry. Parahawking provides a unique insight into these birds in-flight behavior from a
completely unique perspective as well as giving an experience of adrenaline. You can imagine yourself
flying like a bird with the attention and focus of another giant bird.
Especially being recognized as one of the number 1 adventure activity in Pokhara, by BBC, Nat Geo,
Discovery Channel and recommended by the Lonely Planet, the Parahawking Tandem has been taken
seriously by adventure enthusiast.
Parahawking was developed by British falconer Scott Mason in 2001. Mason is a common name in the
Nepal rescue and rehabilitation of birds’ conservation society. With Parahawking, birds of prey are
trained to fly with paragliders, guiding them to thermals for in-flight rewards and performing aerobatic
maneuvers. During the flight the pilot or passenger will place small morsels of meat onto their gloved
hand, the birds will come and gently land on the hand to take the food, and then gracefully fly away to
find the next thermal.
On average Parahawking costs around 130 pounds where is feasible from October to mid April. Training
and flying birds are done during the dry season between September and March. Parahawking supports
Vulture conservation by donating 10 Euros from every Parahawking activity in Nepal. The Parahawking
project not only supports the Vulture conservation but during the spare time its volunteers are actively
seen in saving and raising awareness about the project of these big giant birds.
The concept of Parahawking began when Mason was on a round-the-world trip in Pokhara, Nepal,
where he was studying about birds behavior specifically griffon vulture, steppe eagle and black kite.
During one of his research session, while taking a tandem paragliding flight with British paraglider Adam
Hill, he had the opportunity to see raptors in flight, and realized that he could combine the sports of
paragliding and falconry. He figured out it was interesting as well as exciting as people were unaware
about the giant birds and people had many question regarding their in flight behavior.
The team started by training two black kites, but have since added 2 Egyptian vulture. With a lot of
restrict and limitations Parahawking has been fight against legal grounds with the wild life protection
act. Adapting the norms and regulation only rescued birds are used none of the birds have been taken
from the wild as the wild life protection act of Nepal Prohibits the use of any wildlife in any commercial
Still struggling with controversy, Parahawking is an amazing experience where the bird guides you
through the skies. The experience is totally unique and unforgettable where you get to learn a lot about
these gentle beasts. On one hand surfing in the sky with the giant birds, you have the fun of a lifetime
where as on the other you play an important part in saving the bird by donating a certain amount for the Jatayu Restaurant.