ATWS 2013: A call out to NamibiansOctober 23, 2013
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Compiled Marita van Rooyen
Namibia is an adventure destination to be explored and conquered all year round. This year the wide range of adventures on offer will be highlighted at the annual Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) scheduled to be held in the coastal resort of Swakopmund from 26 to 31 October, hosted by the Adventure Travel Trade Association.
We cornered a few adventure activity operators and picked their brains to find out what they regarded as the best options to leave adventure-hungry travellers with a smile of contentment. And this is what Katja Dreyer, co-owner, Sandwich Harbour 4×4, told us.
Why do you think Namibia is the ultimate adventure destination?
For Sandwich Harbour: You’ll find very few spots in the world where dunes and ocean meet. Our beautiful sand dunes are up to 120 metres high, and where they drop into the ocean, you’ll encounter a scene you simply won’t find anywhere else. Namibia offers us the freedom to take our 4×4 vehicles to places where no one else has ever been.
For Kayaking: Pelican Point hosts a huge Cape fur seal colony. These friendly and inquisitive marine mammals are not at all scared of our kayaks and allow us to come very close to them. We are also lucky to have many dolphins around; they love to swim next to our kayaks. We are even known to have special visitors such as leatherback turtles, sunfish and whales. On our kayaks, we are in balance with the ocean.
What is the best place in Namibia to live the adventure?
Because we travel with three very small children, the Spitzkoppe is one of our favourite spots. The campsites are beautiful and offer many activities for the young ones. It’s easy to get there, and you are in the wild. We love to take little walks and to play around the rocks. That’s always a highlight!
From which countries do your most enthusiastic visitors hail?
Italians are our most enthusiastic dune riders, while our German guests ask the most questions and are highly interested in flora, fauna and history.
What is your advice for people who have never been here, as in where should they go and how should they plan their first Namibian adventure?
Come to Namibia in June – it’s low season, you’ll find space everywhere, and you can avoid the crowds. Do the main attractions (Etosha, Sossusvlei, the coast, Damaraland), but pick one or two extra destinations off the beaten track to experience the isolation and space that have made Namibia so famous. I would recommend half lodging and half camping to experience the best of both options.
On a scale of one to ten – one being a walk on the beach, and 10 climbing Kilimanjaro – where would you rate what you can do in Namibia?
Namibia serves everybody’s preferences: you can have everything done and prepared for you. On the one hand you can enjoy comfortable lodges and hotels, and luxury transport. At the other end of the spectrum you can do everything yourself, opting for activities such as hiking, biking, horseback riding, mountain climbing and kayaking.