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Jumping in Kenya

The Kenya Skydivers Club was founded by a few enthusiasts in  the early 1970's, at various times operating at Nakuru, Njoro, Nairobi-Wilson Airport, Malindi, Mombasa and Orly Airpark. Over the years, the Club has fluctuated from over twenty members down to less than a dozen, depending on expatriate postings, aircraft availability, air traffic control issues and the general economy. Skydiving is a very expensive sport and in Kenya the cost is even higher because of the high altitude of the country around the capital, Nairobi. It takes time for aircraft to climb to the necessary altitude, and aircraft are expensive. So is parachuting equipment.

The idea of skydiving is to jump out of an aeroplane as high as possible and make a long freefall before activating the parachute and gliding gently to the ground. In Kenya's highlands, which are usually over 5000 high, it is difficult to reach the altitudes that permit long freefalls. For that reason, many of the Kenya-based Skydivers prefer to pursue their hobby at sea level airports such as Mombasa, Malindi or Diani.

cool and the gangThe club members, most based at Nairobi, these days jump mainly on week-ends at Orly Airpark, 40 km south of Nairobi, but only from heights up to 7000 feet above ground level. To enjoy long freefalls, two weeks of the year, one in March and one in November, the Club members move to Diani Beach for the "Beach Boogies" at which fun jumps are made by the experienced members and  students are trained under the Club's "Accelerated Freefall Programme". At the "Boogies", the Club also offers "Tandem Jumps" - a low risk  way of giving interested persons the opportunity to experience a long Freefall, whilst safely strapped to an experienced instructor. A freefall and parachute descent over the scenic Kenyan Beaches is an event of unparalleled beauty, thrill and enjoyment. 

jumpersMost newcomers begin their skydiving careers with a Tandem Jump or two. If they like the experience, and it is pointed out here that the idea of jumping from a perfectly good aeroplane is not everybody's cup of tea, they may continue in the sport by taking the Club's Accelerated Freefall Course. This involves a series of ten parachute jumps in which the student is trained and assisted by two instructors who systematically guide the candidate through the concept of Freefall, ripcord pulls, control of body position in Freefall, steering the parachute once it is open, the landing and emergency procedures. 

Once the student has completed he course, he my continue his skydiving career unassisted and explore various other disciplines in the sport, such as accuracy landings, freefall speed manoeuvres, freefall formation skydiving, artistic skydiving, display jumping, etc. The Club's instructors are internationally qualified in all aspects of the sport and will continue to guide newcomers to a high level of competence, so that they can qualify for internationally-recognised parachuting licences. Needless to say, novices can hire equipment from the Club, so that they do not have to purchase new gear before they are certain they are in the right sport.

 

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