Pilots seek thrill on paramotor in Kavango skies

17 Jun 2019 09:30am
By Sawi Hausiku
RUNDU, 17 JUN (NAMPA) – A team of 13 pilots from Namibia and South Africa went paramotor flying from just outside the Mahango National Park in Divundu in the Kavango East Region all the way to Katwitwi in the Kavango West Region over the weekend.
The Namibian-based chairperson of the team, Lafrens Eis told Nampa in an interview that paramotor flying or gliding, an extreme sport, is still very small in the country. Namibia has one paramotor flying club consisting of six pilots currently.
“Joining with South African counterparts, every year we organise two tours, one in Namibia and one in South Africa. Our first tour in Namibia took place in Henties Bay in 2016,” he said.
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 don’t have strong winds and unpredictable weather. The weather is great for flying especially during the morning hours,” noted 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 related.
For those interested in the sport Eis advised to do as much research on it as possible, also saying that paramotor flying is expensive and that some of the equipment is hard to find locally. Some parts can cost between N.dollars 70 000 to 200 000, though 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 (NDF) and the NDF sent us back to the police again but eventually, we got a permit,” he said.
Manie said for him paramotor flying in the Kavango regions was a great experience and that he was looking forward to coming back again.