Soccer is a game that is known the world over. We were able to take a break from our safari excursions on the Chobi River to enjoy a game of soccer against the boys from the local middle school. It was a spirited effort from both teams, with the Old Dudes tying the score at 1 apiece on a dirt and sand field.
A MUST DO!
When you inevitably end up in Swakupmund, do the quad bike/sandboarding trip. A 1 hour fast quad bike ride over the enourmous sand dunes of the Namib Desert, then flying head first for 600 yards at upto 60 km/ph down the dunes is one of the best things I've ever done.
It's a new exercise (at least it's new in Taiwan.) It's just like ocean surfing but it hurt less when you fall. But it's really sandy. Don't wear too much or you'll be sand all around.
Equipment: Just ask sand boarding company, whcih cost R210.
Yes, strange as it may seem, I do have a sports tip for Namibia. On that morning we found ourselves ad Dead Vlei there was a cloud covering. It must have been about 1 km to cross the vlei to the dune at the end. All at once we noticed a group climbing on the dune, otherwise I'm not sure that we would have attempted it. We would certainly have thought twice if we'd realised we were looking at Big Daddy, at 1000 ft, one of the world's biggest dunes!
Fortunately there was some cloud cover that morning and it was still early - not even 9 am. So with that bravado that comes fom ignorance, off we set. I can honestly say that in all my life I have never done anything so tough... give me the Himalayas any day, at least they don't move beneath your feet...
What happens on the dunes is that for every 20cm you move up, you slide back 15 cm. All my hill-walking experience was useless here - no point in zig-zaging, it only prolonged the agony. No point in fixing you eye on any object, the few times I spied anything other than sand, it was either a beetle or lizard that would scuttle off, or it was a bit of grass that just slid back down the dune with the moving sands. Oh yes, as if all that was not enough, we had to stop quite regularly to empty our boots of around 2kg of sand that would just slip in there without so much as a by your leave! I felt I'd been volunteered as an extra for a remake of "Ice Cold In Alex"!
But 2 hours later, when we reached the summit, it was so worth it. Nothing but a vast expanse of dunes and more dunes and more dunes.
When we got back to the 4x4 stop we were surrounded by the drivers who congratulated us - they had been watching our progress every time they went to the dunes to drop a party off.
Equipment: Water, lots of it. In fact before setting of your shouls drink water until you are absolutely full. Aside from the normal heat, you are sweating as if you were in a sauna.
Sunhat - I am not a great fan of hats, but I wore mine that day - protect head and neck.
Closed shoes - the sand is too hot for open sandals. If possible though ensure they are easy to remove to get rid of all that sand.
Do not attempt this unless you are fit, and you arrive early in the morning. It's a long walk back to where the bus is, and you have to cross a very hot and parched basin to get back (the walk back was the longest walk of my life!)
Sandboarding down the sand dunes. It is so much fun and falling over is the best part about it.
There are also lots of other sand based sports such as quad biking and sand skiing.
Equipment: You have to wear closed toe shoes, but apart from this all other specialised equipment is provided.
Here's the path down to the river where the longish hike starts. Only attempt it if you're really fit n strong.
I just took it by plane...
A few years ago some crazy guys thought themselves adventurous by racing down on scooter's. The wrecks are still there to be seen for a long time as nothing really rots in this climate.
Equipment: Sturdy boots, plenty of water, camping equipment if you want to do some distance of it. 2nd longest Canyon in the world.
This was an exhilerating experience. The quad bikes were very easy to handle and it was just alot of fun zooming up and down the sand dunes.
We only stayed for one night sadly, as on our return to Windhoek we travelled on to a game farm. But...more
If you want a good campsite at Sossusvlei (Sesriem campsite) you need to book in Windhoek and/or...more
the hotel was well located and the rooms that I had to pass by on the way to mine looked good. Mine...more
More Regions in Namibia