Trip to Namibia

October 27th, 2010 Posted in Uncategorized

George Steyn, Marious Schonken and myself Barry, drove from Cape Town to Namibia Windhoek, then into the caprivi strip to Katemamlema, then back to Windhoek and after collecting the Quad bikes drove to Swakopmund, after a fantastic time back to Windhoek then to Cape Town a round trip of 9 days.

Events, driving, motor flying, game viewing, quad biking, motor flying and more driving.

Sunset flight Caprivi

We left CT about 5am and headed for Windhoek first stop at Klawer for fuel and a burger stomach lining, we were three drivers so driving was easy, fuel stop and go, the boarder post was surprisingly easy and quick to go through, no hazels. Trip to Windhoek first leg took us about 15 hours, were we slept the night in a very nice guest house. The next morning we had a good breakfast George had to do a bit of work in his office in Windhoek, we collected supplies and headed for Katemamalema, Namoshasha Lodge, where we camped for a few days. Arriving at the camp site in the dark we set up camp we could hear the lion’s grunting in the distance, what a welcome to this wild area. Sitting around the fire having a few beers, our plan was to get up when we woke up and go for a PPG flight, early morning no wind, we-waited until we could feel a little breeze around 10am, all around us was thick thorny bush not very friendly. we unpacked on the white gravel road I got ready for launch in a light thermic cycle, glider came above me very easily, but then danced around to the left to the right, with small collapse, this happening on the ground, I was thinking some small rotor off the trees and bush in front of me. I tried again and eventually stabilized the wing enough to accelerated to run along the road to launch feeling very confident gained altitude to above the tree height, what a view, still climbing approx 50 meters above the tree height all hell broke loose, it was so thermic the worst air I had ever flown in, even on my paraglider in thermic air. I was tossed to the right then big sink then big thermic lift now no where to land as I was over the thorny tree area, really flying very active keeping good pressure in the wing looking for a good landing area, the road was difficult to land on, but managed to find a sandy soccer field few 100 meters away, its was good to be on the ground. motor flying in thermic air not for me.

Sunset flight CapriviSunset flight Caprivi

We tried again half hour before sunset but it was still very bumpy, and again the next morning just after sun rise, surprisingly already as active and thermic, I was not about to go height to see if it was smoother higher up. We tried again when the sun was just off the horizon, a bit bumpy but I stayed up there and climbed higher to roughly 3 to 400meters as the sun went down the air became completely smooth just the orange/red glow around, but i was still experiencing a stronger wind, I flew around for about 40minutes trying absorb this vast untouched wild area, the glow of the sun set linger around giving enough light to to see and land safely, what a flight.

Next day we pack up camp and headed for Swakopmund, only stopping at Windhoek to pick up the Quad bikes and on the road again, driving the whole day.We stay on the beach in Lang-strand between Walvis bay and Swakopmund. Next morning we were up early, walked out of cottage onto the beach laid out and took off in very light winds, with a light misty sea air and smooth as butter, we had about 2 hour flight, landed and had a big breakfast then flew again. This time the sea breeze had picked up and launch was easy, we could now fly from the sea onto the big Dunes that run parallel to the coast line, we play on them motor soaring it was fantastic, views over the dunes were just something else, another wonder of the world, why just there, these massive dunes were a fantastic play ground for us and the quoad bikers.

Quod biking Swakopmund dunesimg_9005.JPG

We had three day of such flying, flying 2/3 times a day, flying all the way to Walvis bay and back then onto the dunes again, this why we drove thousands of kilometer. When the wind picked up in the afternoon we went quad biking, for Marious and myself this really the fist time, the power of the bikes and the size of these dunes. George thought us how to ride the dunes on the smaller ones before taking us the the big daddies. This is something to experience, ones heart is racing as you power up, flying over the sand heading for the wall of these massive dunes, climbing up the dunes with speed one has to keep the accelerator open to keep the speed up so you can ride in the bowl as you are climbing. Feeling going though you nervous, excitement, danger, what the hell just go for it. Everyday after flying we rode the dunes for a few hours going deeper and challenging ourselves with bigger dunes.

Swakopmund Dunes

End of the holiday, now the big drive home, Swakopmund to Windhoek, sleep, then Windhoek to Cape Town, a round trip of 6500km in 9days. What a experience. A big thanks to George Styne for arranging this, and inviting us to come along.