Namibia: Night and day adventures

2012-10-16 09:21

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It's no secret Namibia is an adventure paradise. If you've ever wanted to experience this desert phenomenon with a difference, the Desert Knights Mountain Biking Tour might just be what you've been looking for...

Mountain bikers with adventurous spirits and keenly competitive streaks are gearing up and heading to Namibia’s /Ai-/Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Reserve for the event to be held from 28 October to 1 November 2012. This five-day, multi-stage race is completed during the late afternoon and evening rather than during daylight hours.

The race continues to surprise, as it even includes a spot of canoeing, with a 34.5km stretch of paddling down the Orange River required as part of the event, while the distance covered in the cycling leg is 275km during the five-day journey.

Namibia: more adventure than you bargained for...

Adventure regions are spread far and wide across this desolate landscape, from canoeing in the Caprivi, cave diving in the Arnhem Caves, to rock climbing challenges in the famous Spitzkoppe region. Yet there is one little coastal town that remains the most famous of all and to which all adrenalin junkies head, namely Swakopmund.

Situated on Namibia’s west coast, Swakopmund remains a much loved Namibia treasure, famous for its laidback nature and easygoing charm, while simultaneously offering a break from the interior’s continuous heat and humidity. It offers travellers a wide variety of accommodation and activities, especially for those with a sense of adventure and is seen as one of Namibia’s top destinations for both local and international travellers.

The ancient mountain beauty of the famous Spitzkoppe region. Photo: Shutterstock

Known as the Namibia’s adventure playground, Swakopmund provides the backdrop for many adventure activities in which guests can indulge and amuse themselves, such as quad biking, skydiving, dune boarding, sand skiing, paragliding, surfing, windsurfing, yachting and angling. There are even motocross and 4x4 rally facilities on the outskirts of town for enthusiasts to enjoy.

Following in Swakopmund’s footsteps and probably not far behind in terms of popularity with adventure seekers, is Walvis Bay. Its tall dunes provide the perfect setting for adventure activities such as sand boarding, quad biking and parasailing. Very popular with visitors to the region are the whale and dolphin cruises held in Walvis Bay harbour and surrounding waters.

A must-visit while exploring Walvis Bay is Dune 7, on the outskirts of town. It is the highest dune in the area and while energetic members of the group may try their luck and reach the top, other members can enjoy the braai facilities and day camp site, which are perfect for a family outing.

Water adventures along the Caprivi. Photo: Shutterstock

Other towns and areas well worth a visit on the way to or from these two coastal adventure playgrounds include:

The Fish River Canyon – Hiking with Mules
The famous Canyon Fish Eagle Trail (5 days / 4 nights) and the Canyon Klipspringer Trail (4 days / 3 nights) offer adventurers the opportunity of hiking through this famous canyon without having to carry heavy gear.

Khomas Hochland

Situated near Windhoek and well known for its rolling hills, the Khomas Hocholand is the perfect setting for mountain bike enthusiasts.

With generally cloudless skies, a little or no air and light pollution, the town of Gamsberg is seen as many as one of the top destination at which to view the southern constellations and is favoured by professional and amateur astronomers.

The Orange, Kunene Rivers and Okavango Rivers
Canoeing and rafting are popular activities in which to partake whilst in Namibia. From calm warm waters to cascading rapids and thundering white water, this is certainly not for the faint hearted!

Described as a magic carpet ride, hot air ballooning is the pinnacle of activities within Namibia, with the tranquil flight allowing passengers uninterrupted views of some of the most beautiful dunes on earth.

Kolmanskop: Desert(ed) Ghost Town
Otherwise those seeking a more relaxed and artistically inspired escape can check out Kolmanskop, located on the B4 that runs between Keetmanshoop and Lüderitz. Possibly one of the most beautifully desolate places you will ever come across on your travels and its lunar landscape is a firm favourite with artists and photographers.

Whether you are a huge adrenalin junkie in search of your next fix or maybe just an average Joe looking for a bit of adventure, Namibia’s playground will have you begging for more, no matter which region of the country you visit! Be prepared to rid yourself of your inhibitions…and perhaps your reputation as a tough guy!

Desert Knights Mountain Biking Tour info

The cyclist’s participation costs for the event is R5 000 and includes six nights camping, meals and snacks en-route and water stations as well as the cost of the canoe hire during the race. For non-cycling adults the costs are R3 750 each while children aged 6-12 years pay R2500.  Participants wishing to upgrade to accommodation may do so at an additional cost, at /Ai-/Ais and at Sendelingsdrift (subject to availability). To celebrate the event, Namibia Wildlife Resorts is also offering a 50% discount on accommodation at all of their facilities for participants who wish to extend their stay in Namibia, subject to terms and conditions.

Registration forms are available on Namibia Wildlife Resorts , Ministry of Environment & TourismSouth African Department of Environmental Affairs, SANParks and PPF.

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