Para-hawking is the new eccentric sensation created by Scott Mason in 2001, in Nepal, after falling in love with falconry and para-gliding.
Para-hawking is essentially para-gliding with a bird of prey. These birds of prey accompany the para-glider and show them where the thermals are, an essential part of para-gliding as the hot air raises the para-glider further into the air.
It also allows para-gliders a unique experience as they will be flying next to a bird of prey in their natural environment, a truly special experience.
Scott Mason has been a falconer since he was 10 years old, and has won numerous awards for his achievements and progression through the sport.
It seems like a strange amalgamation of sports, but birds of prey use thermals to conserve their energy when flying, just as para-gliders need the thermals to stay aloft. Whilst it may seem strange, it is a symbiotic relationship that defines the sport.
As if para-gliding wasn't enough of an adrenaline rush, nor the concept of following a bird of prey as it swoops through the sky and leads you to the very thing keeping you in the air, para-gliders also have to feed the bird whilst in the air to reward it for leading them to the thermals.
The flights last anywhere between twenty to thirty minutes, and costs €125, or roughly 166 dollars (at current exchange rates).
Para-gliders are also allowed to film the experience with either their own camera or one provided by the Para-hawking organisation, allowing them to capture the entire flight and keep the special memory.
The company is also highly devoted to the conservation of vultures, and has created Maya Devi village, a safe spot for injured or sick birds. They also donate 10 euros from every para-hawk to vulture conservation projects.