Since the first time I saw a picture of the pyramids, I knew I had to go there at some point. My time arrived and right now, I’m writing this article inside the Alitalia airplane on my way to Cairo, to go skydiving in Egypt. Since I was in school, I was addicted to Egypt. It was the only notebook I really put lots of effort into it. Actually, this is not the first time I’m traveling to Egypt. I’ve been here 3 times before. Curiously, Egypt was the first country I picked to travel to after quitting alcohol. Most people don’t drink there, so it was a great idea in my mind.
As you can imagine, I’m very excited to be just a few hours away from jumping from a C130 over the Pyramids of Giza. I must admit, this part of the trip is a little dull due to the Covid-19 restrictions, tests, and paperwork that I had to fulfil. Even though I understand the measures, it is way too many papers saying the same thing.
Very soon I’ll be arriving in Cairo. As you might know, I live in Empuriabrava (The Land of the Sky). To get to Egypt I have a few options, including a direct flight by Egyptian Air. However, the company reduced the number of flights because of the global Covid Pandemic. I had to fly to Rome – eat some pasta – to get to my destination.
Arriving in Cairo
I’m arriving in Cairo in the middle of the night (1:30 am), and the Sky Seekers team will be waiting for me at the baggage claim. The skydiving event team makes sure to welcome everyone at the airport and offer a shuttle to the hotel. I have to say that I’m pretty impressed with the hotel. I didn’t get there yet, but people who arrived in Cairo earlier posted some pictures at the pool on our private Facebook group. It looks like a very cool place to stay for a couple of days.
Airport and Visa
My flight arrived in Cairo on time and I walk fast to the immigration point. There I found a place that I can buy a visa to enter Egypt for USD $ 25.00. Getting a visa to Egypt is effortless. There is not much to say about it. However, I recommend walking fast from the plane to the Visa/Immigration point to avoid huge lines.
Americans, Europeans, and Brazilian citizens can obtain a renewable single-entry 30-day tourist visa on arrival at Egyptian airports. A multiple entry visa is also available. Even though this visa information didn’t change much in the last few years, please check the official websites before traveling to Egypt.
The process to get into the country was very smooth and thankfully I had no issues. Just being polite and answering one or two questions and voila, I am officially in Egypt.
Right after the immigration I went to the baggage claim. Mohamed, the guy who was there to pick me up, found me even before getting my bags. Super quickly we went through security and arrived at the van that took us to the Hilton Golf Club Hotel (45 min ride).
Skydiving over the pyramids
The first night at the hotel was quite hard to sleep; my roommate and I talked a lot about the jumps we were about to do. Excitement was super high as we couldn’t wait to see the Pyramids of Giza from above.
Eventually, we were able to go to sleep.
The more skydivers I was meeting, the more excited I became. However, I was a little scared because I didn’t know the landing area, plane, or all the people I was jumping with at the event. I wanted to go to the landing area and see the pyramids as soon as possible. But that was the plan for the second day of my skydiving trip to Egypt.
I always say that I’m a lucky guy, and this time was no different. The day I’m arriving in Cairo they will have a parade where the Egyptians move their Royal Mummies to their new house.
Cairo celebrates the opening of its National Museum of Egyptian Civilization with a procession of 22 ancient Egyptian royal mummies. Safely moving the millennia-old remains was a multimillion-dollar show that involved building special shock-absorbent vehicles and repaving the roads along the route to ensure a smooth ride. In addition, the mummies were put into oxygen-free nitrogen capsules for the duration of the parade.
Each car of the 18 kings and 4 queens was designed to look like the pharaonic boats used to transport ancient royals to their tombs and featuring the winged sun symbol used by the pharaohs.
Do you want to know more about this parade, check this news article about the Pharaohs’ Golden Parade.
On the second day we were all at the hotel. Skydivers from all over the world, together to experience jumping over the Pyramids in Egypt. The stoke was real. Jumping over the pyramids of Giza from a C-130 Hercules is a dream that most of the skydivers I know would like to realize.
Early in the morning I went to have my breakfast. Right after that we jump on the bus to check out our landing area and visit the Pyramids. I’ve been to Egypt two times before this one and still I get overwhelmed by the magnitude of the pyramids. We have few tours that we can select to explore or have some fun in Egypt. I decided to go inside the pyramids and to go back to the hotel after that. The other group went to explore Cairo with a tour guide.
Where is the most fantastic landing area on the planet? The answer is easy. It is right in front of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
It’s essential to say that the event has a very experienced canopy pilot and Alter Ego instructor responsible for landings and patterns that everyone should follow. His name is Tim Parrant, and along with Juan Mayer, he is one of the photographers of the event.
The terrain is not the best one for landing (but its not bad at all), it’s sand and it has some rocks on it. Some people can experience some weird things when approaching the landing area, but all are very manageable. I would recommend a canopy course for everyone with not much experience before going to the event (anyways, canopy courses are always good).
Safety and minimum requirements
The minimum jumps requirement for this event is 100 jumps. I didn’t see anyone getting hurt during the Sky Seekers Pyramids Boogie in April. Just in case, there is an ambulance all day long holding an the side of the packing tent. If you need anything, they are there to help.
If you don’t have a rig yet, make sure to rent or borrow someone’s rig. There is no rental gear at the event. This might change in the future; please talk with the organization about it.
You can find the entire event plan and requirements at the Alia Parachuting Skydiving. IUf you want to sign up for the event, don’t forget to use my discount code and mention my name on the form.
We are about to jump over one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The anxiety to live this moment is enormous. I remember chatting with my roommate about it the night before and we were both amazingly stoked.
We have had a detailed briefing the night before. They also introduced all the load organizers and the skydiver responsible for our spot, this time, it was Scott Latinis. However, the safety team at the airbase talked again about the landing pattern and wind conditions. As well as the primary safety things that we must keep in mind to have an awesome skydive.
In Egypt, the airbase is synonymous with “long waiting time.” So get ready few hours waiting to jump. Although, the event organizers try their best to create a great atmosphere. Honestly, we were about to jump over the pyramids, we can wait a little bit to make sure everything is perfect.
It’s also good to remind everyone that the Great Pyramid took 20 years to be built and more than 20.000 workers. If I think about it, I won’t mind waiting few hours to see all that from above.
My first jump
I never thought I would experience such a high level of joy in my life. When I say that, I mean it. It was one of the most incredible feelings I ever had in my life. The tension inside the airplane (first time jumping from a C-130 Hercules) and the curiosity of the unknown was the fuel that kept my heart beating at an incredible pace.
I was so excited that I didn’t even realize that we took off. When we reached 1000 feet, my audible altimeter started to beep and I thought something was wrong. I turned it off and on again, then I realized that we were flying already.
Once the airplane’s door open, fresh air and that unforgettable feeling that only skydivers know, and it was almost time to go. There is no time for separation in this kind of plane. You just see Scott giving his thumb up and one group after the other just exit the plane.
On my first jump I did a 3-way. I had the opportunity to jump with two friends, Gina and Mason. We held hands and walked towards the airplane ramp until the airplane was gone (lol). The wind pressure on our bodies made us release the grips and flip a few times. We managed to get in a belly formation, breath, and look down towards the pyramids. Smiles all over the place.
My first landing
I had no issues landing my parachute at the designed landing area. There are windsocks, wind blades, a substantial black carpet for the tandems to land on and a very lovely arrow pointing to the direction we must land.
Easy? Yes, relatively easy. However, I want to mention that the pyramids caught my attention. It was tough to stop looking at it. We need to consider this because we are jumping from a colossal airplane that can accommodate many skydivers at once. Even though the C-130 does 3 or 4 passes, there will be lots of canopies flying together. It’s not a huge deal, but we all need to think about safety before anything else.
A good thing to do if you want to fly around and look at the pyramids is a high pull, canopy flocking, or just tell the load organizer you want to pull higher.
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
The oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the only one that survives today is the Great Pyramid of Giza. it was constructed as a tomb for the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu. The precise details regarding the pyramid’s construction remain a mystery, as no written records have been found. Still, some estimates place its completion at some time between 2560 B.C. and 2540 B.C. The pyramid initially rose about 481 feet, making it the world’s tallest man-made structure for thousands of years until it was surpassed in the early 1300s by England’s Lincoln Cathedral. Due to erosion, the pyramid now stands around 455 feet tall.
Covering 13 acres, the massive monument was designed to align with the compass points and built with an estimated 2.3 million stones, each weighing a ton or more on average. The workforce is thought to have consisted of thousands of skilled tradesmen and paid laborers, as opposed to slaves, and estimates suggest the project took about two decades to complete. It’s been speculated that workers created ramps to move the stone building blocks into place on the pyramid.
In addition to Khufu’s pyramid, two other large pyramids for pharaohs were erected at the Giza site. His son Khafra (it originally stood 471 feet high) and the other for Khafra’s son Menkaure (initially 218 feet tall). Khafra’s pyramid complex is home to the famous Great Sphinx statue, which measures 241 feet long and about 66 feet high. Over the ages, all three pyramids have been targeted by grave robbers. Much of their exterior white limestone was stolen, possibly for use in other building projects.
Keep coming back
I wish I could take everyone to Egypt to experience this adventure with me. Unfortunately I can’t do that but what I can do is to invite you. I liked jumping over the Pyramids of Giza so much that I’m going back in October. I need to feel that again, and I talked with the event organizers to give me a discount on the group I’m bringing with me.
If you want to join many other amazing people and myself to enjoy a fabulous time jumping over the oldest of theSeven Wonders of the Ancient World, send me a message on Instagram, Facebook, or WhatsApp. You can find all the information on the flyer in this article.
If you like the article, please let me know, send me an email or a message on Instagram. I want to know about your experience and thoughts!
Follow me on Instagram: @augustobartelle
Like the Fan Page on Facebook!