Namib Desert Sky-Adventure

Photo: Chloe Durr

Namib Desert Sky-Adventure

12 April 2021 | Tourism

The Namib Desert is a hotspot (pardon the pun) for travellers from the world over. They flock to its desolate planes and colossal sand dunes in an attempt to detach from civilization and in order to experience its unbridled sense of peace.

There are various ways to experience the Namib and the mysterious wonders it holds, from exploring the desert on foot and climbing the world’s tallest sand dunes, to galloping along the expansive planes on horseback, to self-drive adventuring or enjoying dune-buggy safaris. No matter which form of transport you choose, it is impossible to truly comprehend the sheer scale of the Namib Desert. You may though attempt to gain a better perspective of the Namib Desert by chartering a flight with Namib Sky Balloon Safaris in Sesriem.

Desert Awakening

Few experiences in life can compare to the spell-binding sense of serenity experienced while weightlessly floating in a hot air balloon over the ancient Namib. Witnessing the daybreak through the thick Atlantic fog belt and cloudbank on the horizon, watching the mountain shadows stretch and etch the crevices of the Namib Rand, lighting the dunes around the area of Sossusvlei in a glaze of fire-light, and revealing the curious Fairy Circles that dot the unique landscape.

As a photographer I am seldom able to put my camera down and absorb the moment with my eyes rather than through my lens, but for the first time in my life, here I found myself so entirely raptured by the moment, that I often forgot to use my camera! Suffice to say that it was the most awe-inspiring adventure I have experienced and attests to this flight’s quality in terms of meditative healing by floating in near silence with the cinematically exquisite desert views commandeering one’s entire being. The intermittent burst of the balloon flame is the only jolt back to reality and necessary to keep one alert to the mechanics of life while suspended in thin air.

At first, the idea of relinquishing control and subjecting my life to the elements of fire and air in order to sail 200 metres above the Namib Desert in a wicker basket suspended from a balloon, was daunting to say the least. Once we had been briefed by Dennis Hesemans - owner of Namib Sky and a balloon pilot with 25 years of experience at this pioneering ballooning company - and seated in the Spanish-made wicker basket, I felt completely at ease. Every aspect of the Namib Sky-experience was perfectly managed. We enjoyed lift-off before dawn and enjoyed an almost wobble-free flight over this impressive environment with its age-old Camelthorn trees, watching Ostrich, Giraffe and Oryx, until we landed seemingly effortlessly on the back of a stationary trailer. Do not hesitate to book and enjoy this flight made of dreams.

At the mercy of Mother Nature

The beauty of ballooning lies in the adventure and unpredictability of being at the mercy of Mother Nature. Departure points and flight times depend entirely on the wind speed and direction of the moody Namib Desert - no two trips are the same. All of this adds to the exclusivity of this very personal experience.

Beautifully laid tables with white tablecloths and a scrumptious homemade breakfast with champagne elegantly lie in waiting on the desert floor for you to eventually toast the adventure. To venture beyond one’s personal limits, is to venture into paradise.

There is truth in the saying that “Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer” and a balloon safari with Namib Sky certainly is such a valuable experience.

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