Monday, 21 September 2015

PENETRATING HEART AND SOUL: NAMIBIA FOR ALL


PENETRATING HEART AND SOUL: NAMIBIA FOR ALLIt is no wonder that Namibia - given the complete spectacular environment has a diversity in landscapes, comparatively cheap and safe travel for tourists, and a growing trend in the adventure tourism that is enough to give any adventure tourist an electrifying ride. The elegance of its desert decor, wildlife and national parks tends to stop most people in their tracks. Nonetheless, for those who aren’t inclined to stop and stare, there is no scarcity of exciting activities to relish while taking in the surprising surroundings. The still splendor of its landscapes can certainly penetrate one’s heart and soul.


Behind a hot, dry and sparsely populated lies a treasure trove of wildlife, geological wonders, cultural diversity and legendarily pretty sceneries Namibia retains some of the most spectacular landscapes in Africa, and a trip through the country is one of the great road adventures.

Natural miracles such Namib- Naukluft National Park, Sossusvlei, Skeleton Coast National Park, Fish River Canyon and the wildlife utopia of Etosha National Park gives an impression as a coffee-table book has come to life as sand dunes in the world’s oldest desert meet the crashing rollers along the wild Atlantic coast. Among all this is a German inheritance apparent in the cuisine and art nouveau architecture, and in festivals such as Windhoek’s legendary Oktoberfest. Namibia is also the headquarters of adventure activities in the region, so whether you’re a dreamer or love hearing the crunch of earth under your boots, travel in Namibia will stay with you long after the desert panoramas diminish. Rockclimbing at Spitzkoppe The curvy granite peak of Spitzkoppe towers 700m over the Namib plains of southern Damaraland like an illusion on the horizon - it’s no wonder that it has been enticing rock climbers for three quarters of a century.

The main summit, first reached in 1946, has seven different ascent routes that range in grades from 17 to 24 (AUS). The immediate area of Spitzkoppe has another 200 or so climbing routes of varying difficulties. Climbers need to be selfsufficient and carry their own ropes and equipment (there are no guides or suitable equipment to hire on site).

There is an amazingly picturesque campground at Spitzkoppe. Skydiving over the Atlantic Ocean and Namib Desert Seeing the large swells of the cold southern Atlantic Ocean crashing into the delicate-looking dunes of the world’s oldest desert is enthralling from wherever you are standing. Seeing it while falling towards earth at 220km/h is mind blowing. And the amazing aerial sights of the desert landscape and ocean during the 25-minute flight up to the jump zone in a tiny Cessna aircraft is reason enough for the trip (and price tag). The noisily thrilling free fall from 3000m lasts for around 30 seconds, before your parachute (and silence) takes over at 1500m. Ground Rush Adventures is grounded out of Swakopmund.

It offers tandem jumps for beginners, as well as static-line courses and jumps, and accelerated free-fall courses. Sandboarding in the Namib Desert The steep sides of the Namib’s dunes are more than just an attractive face to look at - they are challenging slopes to carve down on deeply waxed snowboards. If you’ve surfed or snowboarded before, the transition is generally a quick one. If not, fear not - crashes encompass rather soft landings. And if speed is the eventual persuader, rather than elegant turns, try the lie-down selection on a greased-up sheet of Masonite. Much like tobogganing, participants zoom straight down the dune faces at up to 80km/h.

If that doesn’t get the heart pumping, the climb back to the top surely will. Kitesurfing and Landboarding at Swakopmund Connecting the supremacy of the winds along the Atlantic coast with a large kite is an electrifying challenge, whether on land or water. Beginners can first learn the ropes (literally) with powerkiting lessons, while those with the skills can take on kitesurfing courses (international levels 1-3) in the Atlantic or basic landboarding lessons on the Namib’s sands. Hot Air Ballooning over Namib-Naukluft National Park The 23,000 sq km Namib-Naukluft National Park is home to some of the most enormous dunes on the planet, primarily in the area around Sossusvlei.

Here, the winds have molded the bright orangey-red sands into graceful parabolic shapes hundreds of metres high. Watching this exclusive desert landscape from the air is a mesmerizing experience and early morning balloon rides are possible. Namib Sky Balloon Safaris operate the trips every morning at sunrise, weather permitting (trips don't run 15 January to 15 February due to heat). Read More...

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