Paragliding Travelling and Tours in Namibia
Namibia is a vast and beautiful country with some of best scenery in the World. It is also known for its pure Wilderness areas where one can drive for a day without seeing a fellow travller. For paragliding it is a country with massive potential for the very serious big XC flights in Summer where one can foot launch or winch to the fun dune flying on the vast and arid coastline dunes. There is also the adventure flying where one just hikes up remote mountains, hills and dunes and flies off them.
The challenge when flying in remote areas is being so far away from the nearest hospitals and even for Air Casevac that one can't push the envelope too much with regards to risk. Risk must be managed properly and strictly and if one is attempting any serous flights it would be wise to have the following:
Full medical kit with backboard, doctor or nurse on standby or with crew, numbers of relevant authorities, sattelite phone, GPS and a clear reaction plan.
If flying even a short XC flight, pilots should carry a whistle and torch to aid rescuers if they get lost or land in remote areas. The other challenge that can be present is the wildlife. Lions, elephants and rhinos are roaming free and one must keep this in mind when landing or walking out in an area where these animals abide; they generally pose a small risk overall but one must not be caught unaware.
The Dunes from Walvis Bay and Swakopmund are very well known Dunes. One can fly most days in Summer or Winter with the sea breeze. There are some big mountains like Brandberg which is flyable most wind directions if you have 4x4 and are willing to hike. This mountain is a thermal monster in summer and it will be wild. I flew in an area known as Puros and it;s part inland dune with mountain and was easy ridge soaring with some thermals. We flew in late August and it was suitable for young pilots as well. The Summer inland in general can be exciting and if you are looking to just have fun adventure flying then avoid Summer and go between April and August. The days are mostly blue skies with the odd cumulus now and again but very little or no rain. There are many campsites throughout the wilderness areas and one also camp in river beds. Beware of driving or walking near Desert elephants especially in canyons as they will charge if they feel threatened.
One can find plenty of take off sites in the North of Namibia as there are many mountains that are easy to drive to and then hike up and launch. Some look inviting and grassy but can be quite rocky and rough. I climbed a few we could not get a safe area to launch from. If you can, take a ground sheet to throw over the rocks and gnarly bushes if present. In the very arid regions don't drive over pristine areas as the tracks will remain there for years to come. Remember you are a guest in a wonderful land with interesting tribes and cultures. Respect and immerse yourself in this enviroment. Don't litter, take your cigarette butts, beer cans and other rubbish with and take it back to a town to dispose of. Overall I love Namibia. It's a land of contrast and nature where one have an adventure game drive while flying now and again.