The past 7 years has seen the Ghana Paragliding Festival become an integral part of the annual Kwahu Easter Festivities. The event rekindled the hither-to dying Kwahu Easter festival and tranformed Easter celebration in Ghana into an international event.
The history of the festival goes back to March 2003 when, as the new Minister of Tourism and Modernization of the capitol city Accra, Mr. Jake Tonka Obetsebi-Lamptey visited the Kwahu ridge as part of his familiarization tour of the country, and by chance crossed paths with the festival's organizer, Walter Neser.
The first Ghana Paragliding Festival, in 2005, was launched by H.E. Alhaji Aliu Mahama, Vice President of the Republic of Ghana.
The festival was recristined the Kwahu Easter Festival in 2010 through the leadership of the Chief Executive of the Ghana Tourism Authority (Julius Debrah) in partnership with Adom fm (a local fm station and member of the Multimedia Group) and has thence incorporated numerous activities includeing hiking the Odweanoma mountain, walk race (walkerton), telescope viewing from the Mt. Odweanoma Observatory, Jams, Dubar of Chiefs and People of Kwahu, Music Album lunches etc.
Kwahu Paragliding festival attracts both Ghanaians and foreigners alike for 4 days of spectacular aerial fun, ceremony and music. For the last 5 years, tandem paraglider pilots have gathered from around the world to fly local Ghanaian spectators and foreign visitors. The festival is open to solo pilots as well; and boasts consistent flying conditions that begin around mid morning and remain soarable until late in the day. The thermals are consistently large and mild and offer a fantastic opportunity for both newer pilots to gain valuable experience and airtime as well as for seasoned pilots who want to enjoy hours of "stress free" flying..
There are many reasons to attend the Annual Ghana Paragliding Festival, as either a participating tandem pilot, a solo pilot or a non-flying guest:
1. The Festival exposes hundreds of Ghanaians, as well as a large number of tourists, to the magic of free fight. Remember how beautiful and mind-altering your first flight was? Well, the festival is a remarkable opportunity for many Africans, who struggle on a daily basis just to secure consistent meals, to experience something that otherwise they would never have access to.
2. The Festival brings together the international flying community, by providing a well-organized opportunity to visit Africa. It can be a challenge to travel in Africa; especially flying sites, which are usually off of the beaten tourist paths. But the superb organization of the festival makes it fun and easy for tandem and solo pilots to show-up and enjoy a fully catered trip; complete with arranged hotel accommodation, transportation, meals and cultural immersion via local day trips. Some pilots also coordinate their itineraries to stay longer, beyond the festival dates, in order to travel together and experience more of the beauty that Ghana has to offer.
3. The Ghana Paragliding Festival is a chance to annually raise donation funds to help charity causes local to the event's flying sight. Each year's group of participating tandem pilots will have the chance to research and vote on the cause to which they would like their donations to go towards. 100% of these donations are channeled through The Cloudbase Foundation, which is a 501 (c) 3 Not for Profit organization that raises money to benefit projects that help children in the various countries where pilots are fortunate enough to travel to. (All donations are tax deductible.) Check out the Cloudbase Foundation website for more info: http://thecloudbasefoundation.org/
4. The festival strengthens the local economy by creating opportunities for local business proprietors (such as taxi drivers, hotel owners, food vendors and souvenir sellers) to earn much needed income.