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our story

Flying Fox was created in 2007 by our founder and managing director Jono Walter and his business partner Richard McCallum. Here Jono tells the Flying Fox story:

“I have loved adventure and the great outdoors ever since my dad took me hiking in the British Lake District when I was 8 years old. Those early days scrambling up the rocks of Striding Edge, Crinkle Crags and Scafell Pike filled me with a passion for high places which has never left me.

The great English mountaineer and writer Frank Smythe – who visited India in the 1930s, made the first ascent of the 25,000ft peak Kamet in the Garhwal Himalayas and then “discovered” the famous Valley of the Flowers on his way down – put it perfectly when he wrote: “height is something precious, something that quickens life to a nobler rhythm.”

That feeling of your heart beating quicker, the thrill of being on high places, the sense of endless possibilities with the blue sky above and the view laid out below – that is what I love about climbing hills and mountains.

But let’s face it, the path down is a bore. Looking down at the track to avoid tripping, bone-shattering descents down slippery rocks, the sense of anticlimax. It’s not much fun. But if – instead of walking down – you could just fly off the top of the hill on a zip-line, how awesome would that be?

“But what exactly is it that you want to do?” asked Aman. “I want to fly you over your fort like a vulture”, I replied. “No, no”, said Aman, “I don’t want to fly like a vulture, I want to fly like a god!”.

This is what I felt when I found myself standing on the top of the Aravelli hills overlooking Neemrana Fort-Palace in the blistering heat of late May 1999. I was on honeymoon with my brand new gorgeous wife Charlotte and for some crazy reason I’d decided that Rajasthan in high summer would be fun…. I had a lot to learn about India! We had hiked up the hill to look at the fort on top. The hotel staff looked worried when I had suggested hiking up there. No-one did it. There was barely a path so we followed goat tracks. No-one was at the top except for a shepherd. But the view was so magnificent it stuck in my head.

Years later, we moved to India to live. I was working with the international Red Cross at the time and we arrived in Delhi just before the tsunami hit southern India and the region. The following year a massive earthquake hit Kashmir. I was kept pretty busy for a few years working on those disasters. But when the dust settled I decided it was time for a change in career. Something adventurous, something outdoors, something thrilling. But what?

I was inspired by a friend of mine who’d started Go Ape in Britain – a treetop adventure course with high-level crossings and zip lines – and he’d made a great success of it. I teamed up with Richard McCallum and Flying Fox was born. We’d been scouting around for months for the ideal location, when one morning I took a walk with Pradip Krishen to explore Mangarbani, a very beautiful and little known wooded valley at the south end of Delhi Ridge.

On that walk I met Aman Nath, owner of Neemrana Hotels. We had met back in 1999 on my honeymoon and we instantly renewed our friendship. I told Aman what I was thinking of doing but explained that I couldn’t find any suitable forests to do it in. He suggested I check out Neemrana, in case his hills held the potential for a different kind of adventure. “But what exactly is it that you want to do?” asked Aman. “I want to fly you over your fort like a vulture”, I replied. “No, no”, said Aman, “I don’t want to fly like a vulture, I want to fly like a god!”.

And so the Flying Fox dream became reality.

Flying Fox Neemrana grand opening, Jan 2009

Story pic 1
Our first office. We've now upgraded to a structure that doesn't fly away in high winds..

Jono on his first ever zip!

Story pic 1
Aman Nath, getting focused before flying like a god!.
Jonathan Walter

Managing Director & Founder

Jono has lived and worked in Asia since 1993, settling in India in 2004. He served in Borneo, Hong Kong and Nepal as an officer in the British Army’s Brigade of Gurkhas. Before co-founding Flying Fox, Jonathan specialized in reporting for the International Red Cross, the United Nations and other NGOs on humanitarian crises across the globe.

Raymond Wasser

Commercial Director

Raymond Wasser shifted in 1993 from a career in IT (Financial & Business Software) in Holland to working as an entrepreneur in India.

With a long life passion for outdoor sports & activities he joined Flying Fox in 2013 as Commercial Director. Like all Dutch he has a direct approach and number crunching is still a favorite pastime.

Alistair Scott

Operations Director

Displaying his 15 years experience in the outdoor industry we have seen him rise from Site Manager to Operations Director. Alistair, known as "Scotty", has been kayaking rivers and climbing mountains since childhood, and has now worked & explored his way across South America, Africa, and now India.

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We're always on the look out for new locations. If you'd like to partner with us, please email scotty@flyingfox.asia

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