The 2011 challenge

Here you can find detailed information about:

1. The Itinerary
2. Accommodation and Food in Namibia
3. A Risk Assessment to help ensure your safety during the challenge
4. Key dates and payments

 


1. The Itinerary

Namibia SunsetNamibia is known for its awe inspiring natural beauty, an ancient landscape untouched by the modern world. The 2011 Namibia Desert Challenge takes place in the Namib desert, the oldest desert in the world. The start is at the base of the Brandberg granite massif which at 2573m is the highest mountain in Namibia. The route maintains a westerly direction along ephemeral river beds, across endless gravel plains where the gravel contains semi precious stones and over ancient rock formations to finally arrive in the desolate coastal sandy plains aptly named the Skeleton Coast.This coast line is one of the harshest in the world, as is borne out by the proliferation of ship wrecks scattered along its treacherous surf lines. The combination of rocky reefs and sand dunes that stretch into the sea and strong cross currents with dense fogs, make the Skeleton Coast one of the most treacherous coastlines in the world. At the end of each day's trek is the welcoming sight of our camp, each one set up in a different location with changing settings as we trek through the Namib desert. Sit around the camp fire under the amazing star-filled skies and experience the true Africa.
 

Day 1 Friday Travel: Depart Heathrow Airport for an overnight flight to Johannesburg and then a short flight to Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia.
 
 
Day 2 Saturday Transfer to camp: Arrival at Windhoek International Airport in the morning. Transfer by coach will take us north past Okahandja then west through Omaruru and Uis to Brandberg with a final transfer by 4*4 and other vehicles into our first camp in the mouth of the Numas Gorge.  
  
 
Day 3 Sunday Trek to Goboboseb Mountains (23km):   The first day of the trek and after breakfast we trek west along the Numas valley past the rhino windmill and exit onto the Brandberg foothills. Brandberg translates as the Fire Mountain, named because of the effect of the sun setting on its western slopes. Lunch will be provided en route before we continue our trek to skim north around the Goboboseb range. Camp for the evening will give us stunning views of the Ugab river valley to the north. Campsite
 Day 4 Monday

Trek to Granite Plains (20km): After breakfast we leave camp in a westerly direction crossing the defunct Brandberg West Mine service road across the vast granite plains, dropping down into a tributary valley that eventually leads towards the Ugab River. Camp is amongst low grassy hills where oryx, springbuck and ostrich may be seen.

 

 
 Day 5 Tuesday Trek to Ugab River (24km): Today’s walk takes us through dry water courses, running through a myriad of dark turbites and schists that look like they have been turned on their sides. These rocks are part of the Damara Sequence, which were deposited by large inland rivers as many layers of sedimentary mud deep into an early ocean about 900 to 700 million years ago. With the subsequent collision of the continents some 100 million years later, these deep sea muds became folded and compressed. Our camp is amongst these unusual formations.
     
Day 6 Wednesday Trek to Coastal Plains (25km): Our last full day takes us northerly towards the dry Ugab River where the landscape shows evidence of granite intrusion into the turbites, which due to chemical and physical weathering has resulted in hollow ghostlike structures. We finally swing back west and reach our camp on the barren coastal plains, with a rocky overhang to shelter our camp fire against the south-westerly breeze.
 
 Day 7 Thursday Trek to Winston Shipwreck (10km):  We have a half day of trekking as we head directly towards the sound of the surf breaking on the beach at Durissa Bay where the wreck of the Winston lies on the beach. The Winston was a fishing vessel of 167 tons sailing under the South African flag when it became stranded in December 1970. The tides have washed it out onto the beach over the four decades since then.
 
 
  After lunch the coaches will transfer us to our hotel for the night -  Okahandja Lodge. Located in the centre of Namibia, Okahandja is known as the "Garden Town of Namibia" . Here we will get the luxury of a shower and the chance to get dressed up for the celebratory dinner, African style.
     
Day 8 Friday Transfer to Airport: After a late breakfast we will board our coach for the transfer back to the airport. En route we will visit the traditional wood market and time allowing, take a two hour game drive through the Okapuka Private Game Reserve.  

back to the top


2. Accommodation and food

The first 5 nights will be camping in domed tents. The tents are provided by Kaurimbi Expeditions who will be taking care of all the logistics in Namibia. The tents will be pitched by staff ready for you when you arrive back after a day’s trek. The Camp set up will include a dining tent where food is prepared and served, a camp fire to keep you warm in the evening, and long-drop toilets and hand washing facilities slightly away from the sleeping area. Due to short water supply there will be no shower facilities during the Challenge. 

Food served is fresh and high quality comprising typical Namibian cuisine such as salads, pasta, meats, fruit and vegetables. Breakfast and evening meals will be served at camp and lunch may be a packed lunch or provided en-route if vehicle access allows.  During the trek you will be burning off a lot of calories so we recommend you bring a supply of energy snacks (seeds, cereal bars, sweets etc) to keep you going during the day. 

A bar will be available selling beer, wine and soft drinks in the evening. The bar is run on a tab basis and you will need to settle your bill at the end of the trip. Please don’t bring any other alcohol with you. 

The final evening will be spent in a Lodge Hotel in Okahandja where we will have a gala meal in the evening to celebrate our achievement. 

If you have any specific dietary requirements please let us know as soon as possible.

back to the top


3. Risk Assessment

From the moment of your arrival at Windhoek Airport the Challenge will be operated by an experienced Namibian adventure travel company, who have also organised a number of Charity Challenges - Kaurimbi Expeditions. By definition adventurous travel involves an element of risk. However with adequate planning, preparation and awareness the risks can be identified and necessary equipment and procedures put in place to minimise any danger.

The following have been identified as the potential risks to you during this event:

  • Sunburn and heat exhaustion – you must protect yourself from sunburn and heat exhaustion.
    • The most severe heat-induced illnesses are heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Symptoms include: headaches, dizziness or light headedness, weakness, confusion/inability to think straight, upset stomach, vomiting, fainting or passing out, pale or clammy skin.
    • To help avoid heat exhaustion  you need to:
      • Drink plenty of cool, purified water
      • Wear light, loose fitting, breathable clothes in fabrics that wick away moisture and dry quickly
      • Wear a hat in the sun to protect your head and face
      • Take frequent breaks in cool, shaded areas
      • Avoid eating large meals when exerting yourself in the heat
      • Avoid alcohol and caffeine which make the body lose water and increase risk of heat illness
  • Dehydration – drink plenty of water and be aware of signs of dehydration
    • Watch out for signs of dehydration. Fluid output is as important as fluid input. You may be drinking a lot but not passing water regularly so could be dehydrated. Check the colour of your urine which should ideally be champagne coloured – dark-yellow urine is a warning sign of dehydration.
    • Other signs of dehydration could be: dry or sticky mucus membranes in the mouth, dizziness, confusion, fatigue, heartburn or stomach ache, headache, recurring or chronic pain, lower back pain, mental irritation or depression, sunken eyes, water retention, lack of skin elasticity.
       
  • Injuries – Kaurimbi Expeditions guides will be on hand with medical supplies, a back up vehicle will be available to collect you if you’re unable to continue the trek. A qualified doctor will travel with us.
     
  • Twisted ankles – some sections involve rough terrain – wear good trekking shoes with ankle support, use walking poles when climbing and be careful where you step.
     
  • Hygiene and water purification – Water will be supplied but you will be responsible for purifying your own water. You will carry your own water in your day pack so a CamelBak/Platypus style water bottle with capacity for 2-3 litres of water is recommended.  You need to bring Iodine tablets/drops (and optional neutraliser) sufficient for 30 litres of water for the entire Challenge.
     
  • Tummy bugs  - water needs to be purified. You must be strict about hygiene, washing hands after using the bathroom and before eating. Bring alcohol gel and use it frequently!
     
  • Vaccinations and precautions against malaria - you should check with your GP before the Challenge to verify your current vaccination status. Vaccination recommendations are subject to change so confirm the requirements for Namibia at least 6 weeks before travelling, either with your GP or a travel clinic such as British Airways Travel clinics on 01276 685040 or visit www.direct.gov.uk

back to the top


4. Key dates and payments

Please be aware of the following important deadlines:

Medical form to Fredericks Foundation asap after registration
Pay £300 registration fee Either on line at registration or by cheque or BACS asap after registration
Personal travel insurance to be taken out asap after registration (to cover you for cancellation)
Pay balance of cost of Challenge (£1,400) By 15th July 2011 latest * - either on line or by cheque/BACS
Pay sponsorship money to Fredericks Foundation By 31st October 2011

* This date has been set to align with when we have to pay final balances to the safari company and the airline so please help us by ensuring your payments are cleared by this date

back to the top