Namibia is the perfect playground for 4×4 and biker enthusiasts. And to feed the need for excitement and speed, there are several 4×4 rallies to satisfy everyone.
The 32-year-old Namib Desert Run is a social, non-competitive fun trip requiring no special riding or driving skills or special vehicles. Jointly organised by Bike SA and Offroad & Adventure SA magazines, it starts in Kuruman in South Africa’s Northern Cape and runs to Swakopmund, where bikers stay for three days before turning back.
The oldest and biggest motorcycle rally in Namibia, is the Fish Eagle Rally, hosted by the Live To Ride Motorcycle Club in Walvis Bay. There are biker games, live music and the ever-popular drag races at the Walvis Bay circle. Throughout the year, proceeds from the Fish Eagle rally are ploughed back into the community. The same club organises an annual President’s Run, held in small towns around Namibia, the Toy Run, where the bikers collect and distribute toys and gifts to less privileged children over the Christmas period, and the annual Big Five Rally, which is Live to Ride’s largest event. The main objective of this rally is to generate funds to help individuals and charity organisations in need of financial assistance.
The annual Koës Rally comprises 150 km of off-road terrain, with obstacles such as dunes, sand, rocks and a big pan forming part of the challenge, using 4×4 vehicles or motorbikes and quad-bikes with 250cc or 500cc engines.
The annual Vasbyt 4×4 is another popular activity for off-road enthusiasts. The Vasbyt 4×4 takes place six times a year at different locations throughout Namibia and comprises ten obstacle courses that include tackling tyre and mud pits, dune slopes, and rocky landscapes. The first such competition was held in December 1989 and the event has since then become a popular spectator sport.
The Bank Windhoek Namibia Motorsport Federation Enduro Championship Series is another yearly 4×4 event that takes place in eight races across the country.
The Nampharm Foundation Trust hosts an annual adventure ride that starts in Windhoek and covers over 2 000 km in a week. In 2012, the riders travelled south, with stopovers in Solitaire, Aus, Ai-Ais, and Stampriet, before finishing back in Windhoek. The journey usually takes place in September. Proceeds go to children in need of facial reconstructive surgery.