By Donna Collins
THERE are plenty of Namib Desert 4×4 tours out there, as well as day tripping enthusiasts who want to soak up the scenery and try their hand at shifting into low gear, and climbing a steep dune with all the torque your engine can muster. But topping the pack at the moment must be the Jeep Club Namibia, whose active members are stepping up their game with regular 4×4 outings and jaunts into the dunes, as well as off road trails around Windhoek which are earning the club a reputation far and wide. The latest excursion saw a group of over 20 people from South Africa booked by a travel agent for a dune driving expedition, of which 16 were ladies. The excursion involved the participation of a large convoy of privately owned Jeep Wranglers belonging to club members in Windhoek and the coast who showed them the sights. There is a growing interest from overseas and neighboring countries to explore the beautiful desert with smaller 4×4 groups, and taking home memories of action-packed spins over the dunes. Of course experience behind the wheel of a 4×4 when ploughing through deep sand and hot footing it up 300 metre high sand dunes is a priority. The go-to man in this regard and honorary member of the Jeep Club Namibia is Werner Schaap, also known as the ‘Wrangler Guru’. He’s a dune driving maestro from Swakopmund who for the past few years has trail blazed many desert tours and day trips, and owns a business which has pimped some of the “hottest” looking Wranglers this side of the Zambezi. If he isn’t driving around celebrities, corporate groups or adventure seekers through the desert, then he’s hosting the popular ‘Battle of the Dunes’ television series which he started four years ago. He has even teamed up with an international Dakar Rally team, to show them the tricks of dune driving. Schaap also organised a bunch of Jeeps for the occasion recently, and led the party to Dune 7 and surrounding areas, with lunchtime camel rides and sundowners at Langstrand rounding off the experience. Meanwhile, Don Mumbone, the Chairperson Jeep Club Namibia, told the Confidente that he gave the green light for the dune trip to become a club activity, and agreed to host the South African adventurers, with about a half a dozen Jeeps going down from Windhoek to team up with those at the coast. “We really try and organise as many events in the year as people can fit into their calander, and the next outing the Jeep Club Namibia is holding is on 1 September, with a 4×4 Day trip held at Midgard,” he said. “Here the guys and girls will “attack” some 4×4 trails and socialise with their friends and families,” he said. “We also want to welcome in the warmer weather and I would like to invite all Jeep owners to join in, even if they are not club members,” Mumbone concluded. Jeep Club Namibia has grown to around 150 club members around the country.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015