19 June 2019

Namibia: Thrill Seekers Hover Over Kavango

A team of 13 pilots from Namibia and South Africa went paramotor flying from just outside the Mahango National Park at Divundu in the Kavango East region, all the way to Katwitwi in Kavango West over the weekend.

Paramotor flying or gliding, an extreme sport, is still very understated in the country, team chairperson Lafrens Eis told Nampa in an interview. Namibia currently has one paramotor flying club, consisting of six pilots.

"Joining South African counterparts, every year we organise two tours, one in Namibia and one in South Africa. Our first tour in Namibia took place at Henties Bay in 2016," he explained.

This year, the team decided to go on a long trip from Mahango to Katwitwi as winter time is the best time to fly.

"In cold weather, you do not have strong winds and unpredictable weather. The weather is great for flying, especially during the mornings," added Eis.

He said the team experienced some trouble with the weather in the afternoon as it started changing on their way to Katwitwi.

"Because of the winds, we fell short with just 60 kilometres before Katwitwi village. All in all, we flew 400 kilometres from Mahango," he said.

Eis advised those interested in the sport to do as much research on it as possible, adding that paramotor flying is expensive, and that some of the equipment is hard to find locally. Some parts cost between N$70 000 to N$200 000, although can last for years if maintained very well.

Another pilot from South Africa, Nico Manie, said it was amazing flying in the Kavango regions for the first time - although getting a permit to fly in the area was not easy.

Manie said various government offices, including the Namibian Police, could not tell them where to go in order to get a permit.

"The police sent us to the Namibian Defence Force, and they sent us back to the police. But eventually, we got the permit," he added.

Manie said paramotor flying in the Kavango regions was a great experience, and that he was looking forward to going back there. - Nampa

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