Quad biking in Swakopmund
We know: quad biking is not really helping the environment. But that is why the government of Namibia has assigned dedicated areas where it is allowed to go quad biking, in the hope to protect most of the natural beauty of the country.
From Swakopmund, you drive in about 15 minutes to the location south of Swakopmund where you can go quad biking.
First, you receive a brief instruction about how to operate a quad bike and specifically what not to do. We left with five quads: one guide and four tourists. First, we needed to get used to the quad bikes: how much throttle can you give and how does the brake work. But in fact, operating a quad bike is plain simple. The guide therefore quickly gained some speed. It was a thrill to travel so fast through the high sand dunes. When the guide stopped at a steep incline, he said 'What even you do, do not touch your brakes!' and off he went. Ok, so now we have to follow him. Slowly, we moved our quad bike towards the edge of the dune: you couldn't even see the slope, it was so god damned steep. We gave some more throttle, just enough to get the bike rolling and off we went as well. Without touching the brakes, we gained speed quickly. Wow, what an experience!
The guide was waiting for us: 'Have some of you been in a rollercoaster?' Of course everybody had. 'Well, not this one!' The plan was to ride back up the steep slope we just came down. When the bike almost stops, you make a turn and drive back down again. Hmmm..., sounds easy, right? The guide showed us how to do the 'rollercoaster' and indeed, it looked fairly simple. Now it was our turn. The first person accelerates towards the dune, the second person drives off and then it is our turn. With full throttle we drive up the steep slope. Suddenly, we see the quad bike in front of us turn left. Huh, he said turn right, not left. In a blink of an eye, we see the quad bike turnover and roll down the slope with the driver still on it. Oh dear... But we don't really have time to worry about it, as we still have to complete the rollercoaster ourselves and make sure we don't roll-over. We successfully ride down the slope. What a great experience. But immediately, we see a quad laying in the sand and realize that that is the quad that tumbled down the dune. However, we don't see the driver. With full speed, we drive towards the quad. At the same time as the guide, we arrive at the quad. Luckily, the driver is ok. A sore leg, and a face covered with sand. But if that is all, she might be very lucky. However, the quad is in a worse shape: flat tire, broken fender, bended steer. 'Right, that is not how you ride a rollercoaster!' the guide says. He stepped on his quad and drove off to make the rollercoaster one more time. We all did and had great fun, but some of us were pretty scared.
When we had enough fun riding the rollercoaster, the guide stepped on the broken quad bike. We drove off to see the sun set from one of the dunes. However, because of the low clouds, we couldn't see the sun. Unfortunately, no sun set for us this time. The guide brought some drinks. Despite, we didn't see the sun set, we had some time to relax in a beautiful setting. After a while, the guide suggested to head back. 'Well, some of us have had alcohol, is that ok?' we asked. 'Ah, what the hack, there is no police around, so just drive...' Hmmm, ok. We drove off towards the rental location. Because it was already getting dark, employees of the rental company were getting worried where we were and organised a search party. Half way towards the rental location, we were therefore met by a number of quads. In one large group, we drove off the last dune and returned our quads.
Quad biking in Namibia was an experience we will not likely forget!