Namibian waves - A promising African Adventure

Photograph by Clement Melki

Namibian waves - A promising African Adventure

Make yourself at home at Salty Jackal

15 March 2021 | Tourism

Over the past 4 years Ollie Pieters has created a surfer’s paradise and an atmosphere that is yet to be captured in words

By Iréne-Mari van der Walt

“I just got the longest barrel of my life!” writes Aaron Errol, a surfer from Cape Town in the Salty Jackal (Backpacker & Surf Camp) guestbook.

The guestbook tells tales of legendary waves at Donkey Bay, but also of families who enjoyed the kindness and companionship the Salty Jackal has to offer over a serving of Pieters’s amazing cooking. This book is the shorthand of everything the Salty Jackal stands for: surfing, sustainable living and extraordinary food.

The Namibian coastline is notorious for the incredible waves found along the Skeleton Coast and often attracts surfers from all over the world. “Surfers come from all over the world to ride Namibian waves. When the waves are good, people will take leave from work for roughly a week and fly in for a few days of surfing,” says Oliver Pieters, the owner of Salty Jackal.

These include surfers of all ages and skill-levels. If you are not one of the pros, the Salty Jackal surf school is always ready to turn you into the best surfer you can be.

The Salty Jackal surf school is a Namibia Tourism Board registered activity provider that can get even true beginner surfers riding out the barrels at Donkey Bay. However, Pieters says that surfers never truly stop learning.

“The thing about surfing is that you can always improve. With many other things you can only go up to a certain point and often your skills plateau out, but with surfing there is always something to improve on,” says Pieters.

There is much to learn from surfing, he says. “I often say that surfing is an addiction but it’s a healthy addiction. You get in touch with your body, your mind and with nature,” he says.

The addiction to surfing lead the Salty Jackal to establish a community project, the Namib Sustainable Waves (NSW), that aims to teach youth from disadvantaged backgrounds, to surf.

“Surfing takes your mind off things and is a positive way to spend your time, but NSW is more than teaching kids to surf. It includes mentorship and teaching the kids about sustainable living and opening them up to the options they have available to them”, he says.

Salty Jackal hopes to accommodate youth in the form of surf camps. Youngsters can enjoy surf training and the famous Namibian waves and after a long, adventurous day, unwind at the Salty Jackal. Contrary to intuition, the majority of guests accommodated at the Salty Jackal are not surfers when they walk in, but often are drawn to the sport during their stay.

Pieters picked up his love for surfing as an engineering student in Stellenbosch. His passion for sustainable living would follow a few years later while studying a year-long course in sustainable development. “I had been looking for a way to integrate surfing into my life.

I knew that I didn’t want to be stuck in an office,” says

Pieters who founded the Salty Jackal in 2017. Nearly 4 years later the Salty Jackal boasts with a home away from home atmosphere. Although Pieters is often credited as a notably friendly host, jackal doppelganger, Signa, the dog, is a strong contender as the Salty Jackal’s friendliest host. The search for the perfect words to describe the Salty Jackal lives forth.

If you want to try your luck, the Salty Jackal guestbook awaits you on the coffee table at the Salty Jackal in Swakopmund.

If you want to get salty in the Atlantic ocean with Salty

Jackal:

www.saltyjackal.com

[email protected]

+264 81 222 9865

For Namib Sustainable Waves:

[email protected]

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