I am just back from a trip to Pokhara, Nepal where I went Parahawking! It is a paragliding flight with a trained bird of prey and turned out to be one of the most amazing things I have done on any of my many travels.
I flew with Kevin, an Egyptian vulture, well and my tandem pilot, Scott, of course. After a ride in the Frontiers Paragliding jeep up to the top of Sarankot I am strapped into the harness of the tandem paraglider, handed a leather glove and a pouch of raw buffalo meat... and we take off. Once we are airborne the views are simply amazing, looking below I see Fewa Lake glimmering and behind us the peaks of the Annapurna mountains are visibly shimmering in the sunlight. Right in front of us is Kevin, our bird guide, and the feeling of seeing the world as the birds see it is overwhelming. The pilot blows a whistle calling Kevin in for a reward. I extend my arm and hold out a piece of raw meat, in less than a second Kevin is there, he flares his wings, grips my leather glove with his talons and takes the piece of meat before he is off again. After following Kevin into a few more thermals we head out over the lake where the pilot even has time to take some pictures of us in the air with the bird before we land at Maya Devi, the home of Himalayan Raptor Rescue, and conveniently enough also a rather lovely restaurant.
To get to interact so closely with birds of prey was a dream come true for me and should in my opinion be on anyone’s list of things to do while in Nepal, which is the only place in the world where you can get to experience this.
To see some incredible movies and pictures of parahawking in action simply google parahawking.