Looking for the ultimate driving thrill? Don’t bother joining a supercar club, or going to a track. The ultimate in driving fun can be found in the dunes of Namibia.
Over the years, we’ve been behind the wheel of various vehicles on various kinds of surfaces. Highlights include driving through Chobe, the vast nothingness of the Tankwa Karoo and hammering a few Ferraris around the old Kyalami circuit.
As such, we’re suitably qualified to state that none of these driving activities comes anywhere close to dune driving in Namibia. It is, hand on heart, the most fun you can have in a vehicle. It’s such a rush when you get it right and even more of a rush when you mess it up.
It is, however, fairly dangerous and definitely not something you should attempt on your own. For proof, turn to YouTube and search for the various videos of dune fails. Some are funny, but others showcase the serious damage one can do to a vehicle and its occupants simply by making a wrong turn, or braking/accelerating at the wrong moment.
Dune driving is something that should never by done alone, as the only possible outcome is being left stranded in the desert, which will likely kill you within a few short hours. It is that serious.
Luckily the Battle of the Dunes exists. It’s a Namibian adventure that will stick with you for the rest of your days. It’s a competition at heart, but one can tag along simply to check the big dogs strut their stuff. The organisers actively search for the biggest dunes they can find, but if it seems too daunting, nobody’s going to mind should you decide to sit it out. If, however, you feel confident enough in your driving skills, you might want to attempt it too…
The trip starts with a quick dune drive, just so competitors can get a feel for the dunes. The second day is spent entirely on training, which includes techniques, advice and safety. Over the next few days the size of the dunes and the scale of the challenges build slowly until on day five, you arrive at the infamous Longdrop, where everything you’ve learnt in the preceding days will be put to the test.
Successfully completing this obstacle gives you an unrivalled sense of accomplishment and ultimate bragging rights next to the braai when you get back home.
In addition to the dune-driving masterclass, you’ll also make new friends during the evening sundowners, while listening to various campfire stories.
The cost is R8 500 per person, which includes five days’ accommodation, three meals a day, concession permits, complimentary refreshments and guaranteed epic adventures.
To make the experience even better, it’s worth taking a mate along. Not only will he provide navigation and DJ services on the road down, but he’ll also be able to take epic photographs of the driver powering his vehicle through the dunes.
Just imagine what a conversations starter a photo like that would be…
Plan your adventure
You can follow Battle of the Dunes on their Facebook page, or you can visit www.battleofthedunes.com for upcoming dates.
There you’ll also find all the rules and regulations and the all-important registration forms.
Werner: +264 81 569 5876
Armand: 083 226 1902
Email: [email protected]
Text: Gerhard Horn
Photographs: Chris Litschka