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Offline Greenshields

Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« on: July 08, 2021, 09:40:48 am »
I have enjoyed this RR enormously and a trip like this remains on my bucket list but,unfortunately,I have to comment on some of the practices shown on this report.
The "dune"you guys were riding up with great enjoyment is not a sand dune,it is sand that has been blown from the valley over centuries by the prevailing winds and has accumulated against the surrounding mountains and koppies.As such,it is an extremely sensitive and delicate eco system that will take years to eradicate the tracks made.These tracks will cause serious erosion in heavy,abnormal rain.A dune field is not a static system and the crests are constantly moving and will quickly cover all tracks made.You were riding on a static sand plain bordered by mountains.
I went through that valley a couple of years ago with a convoy of 12 vehicles,all under strict instruction from the concession guide to not stray from the existing track.
Imagine if the 4x4 guys decided to tackle that sand field every time they came through that beautiful valley.
There is talk that the Namibian authorities are considering a ban on motorbikes in their sensitive conservancy areas,I am not surprised.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2021, 03:32:24 pm by Kamanya »
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Offline ETS

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Re: Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2021, 03:10:55 pm »
I have enjoyed this RR enormously and a trip like this remains on my bucket list but,unfortunately,I have to comment on some of the practices shown on this report.
The "dune"you guys were riding up with great enjoyment is not a sand dune,it is sand that has been blown from the valley over centuries by the prevailing winds and has accumulated against the surrounding mountains and koppies.As such,it is an extremely sensitive and delicate eco system that will take years to eradicate the tracks made.These tracks will cause serious erosion in heavy,abnormal rain.A dune field is not a static system and the crests are constantly moving and will quickly cover all tracks made.You were riding on a static sand plain bordered by mountains.
I went through that valley a couple of years ago with a convoy of 12 vehicles,all under strict instruction from the concession guide to not stray from the existing track.
Imagine if the 4x4 guys decided to tackle that sand field every time they came through that beautiful valley.
There is talk that the Namibian authorities are considering a ban on motorbikes in their sensitive conservancy areas,I am not surprised.

I understand what you say- This dune is at Purros with numerous vehicle tracks on and around it? We would be very very apologetic if it was the case as you state it? There are vehicle tracks all over all the plains and river beds as well. All that could work would be a total ban? I reckon bikes are very few and far between up there.
I for one, saw no other bike tracks on that dune and i know for a fact that bikes had been up there a month before.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2021, 03:32:53 pm by Kamanya »
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2021, 03:34:05 pm »
I have enjoyed this RR enormously and a trip like this remains on my bucket list but,unfortunately,I have to comment on some of the practices shown on this report.
The "dune"you guys were riding up with great enjoyment is not a sand dune,it is sand that has been blown from the valley over centuries by the prevailing winds and has accumulated against the surrounding mountains and koppies.As such,it is an extremely sensitive and delicate eco system that will take years to eradicate the tracks made.These tracks will cause serious erosion in heavy,abnormal rain.A dune field is not a static system and the crests are constantly moving and will quickly cover all tracks made.You were riding on a static sand plain bordered by mountains.
I went through that valley a couple of years ago with a convoy of 12 vehicles,all under strict instruction from the concession guide to not stray from the existing track.
Imagine if the 4x4 guys decided to tackle that sand field every time they came through that beautiful valley.
There is talk that the Namibian authorities are considering a ban on motorbikes in their sensitive conservancy areas,I am not surprised.

It;s those 12 vehicle convoys that's gotten vanZyls' so beaten up....... :pot: :pot:
 

Offline Kamanya

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Re: Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2021, 03:35:42 pm »
Ride Reports are just for that.

Discussions that are bound to cause debate are welcome to be started, just not in there.
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Offline Hardy de Kock

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Re: Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2021, 05:53:50 pm »
I have enjoyed this RR enormously and a trip like this remains on my bucket list but,unfortunately,I have to comment on some of the practices shown on this report.

The "dune"you guys were riding up with great enjoyment is not a sand dune,it is sand that has been blown from the valley over centuries by the prevailing winds and has accumulated against the surrounding mountains and koppies.
Please do me a favor and post the dune that you are referring to by way of a mapsource or basecamp map - Thank you in advance.

As such,it is an extremely sensitive and delicate eco system that will take years to eradicate the tracks made.These tracks will cause serious erosion in heavy,abnormal rain. A dune field is not a static system and the crests are constantly moving and will quickly cover all tracks made.You were riding on a static sand plain bordered by mountains.

I went through that valley a couple of years ago with a convoy of 12 vehicles,all under strict instruction from the concession guide  to not stray from the existing track.
Please post a track by way of a mapsource or basecamp map that indicate the track you were following & please supply the name of the "concession guide that you refer to. Thank you in advance

Imagine if the 4x4 guys decided to tackle that sand field every time they came through that beautiful valley. I can answer your question once I know that you actually refer to the dune mentioned in the ride report.

There is talk that the Namibian authorities are considering a ban on motorbikes in their sensitive conservancy areas,I am not surprised. Please post your source for this statement - Thank you in advance.

Again - Thank you in advance
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2021, 08:00:00 pm »
There is definitely movement afoot to ban motorcycles, but possible, from some areas, cars, from North Namibia.

Where i heard this, I cannot divulge, but the reason seems to be far from environmental. There are people seeking sole rights to take groups through this magnificent region.
 

Offline Hardy de Kock

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Re: Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2021, 08:25:41 pm »
There is definitely movement afoot to ban motorcycles, but possible, from some areas, cars, from North Namibia.

Where i heard this, I cannot divulge, but the reason seems to be far from environmental. There are people seeking sole rights to take groups through this magnificent region.

Had a meeting with Nam Tourism less than a month ago - Wilderness Safari's application for concession rights over the Puros Canyon and Ganias plains was declined in February. The motorcycle ban in the Crowther Trail has now also been lifted.
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Offline geopat

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Re: Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2021, 09:59:52 pm »
There is definitely movement afoot to ban motorcycles, but possible, from some areas, cars, from North Namibia.

Where i heard this, I cannot divulge, but the reason seems to be far from environmental. There are people seeking sole rights to take groups through this magnificent region.

Had a meeting with Nam Tourism less than a month ago - Wilderness Safari's application for concession rights over the Puros Canyon and Ganias plains was declined in February. The motorcycle ban in the Crowther Trail has now also been lifted.

Holy crap thats great news I will be adding that to my route
 

Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2021, 10:39:04 pm »
There is definitely movement afoot to ban motorcycles, but possible, from some areas, cars, from North Namibia.

Where i heard this, I cannot divulge, but the reason seems to be far from environmental. There are people seeking sole rights to take groups through this magnificent region.

Had a meeting with Nam Tourism less than a month ago - Wilderness Safari's application for concession rights over the Puros Canyon and Ganias plains was declined in February. The motorcycle ban in the Crowther Trail has now also been lifted.

 :thumleft: :thumleft:
 

Offline Greenshields

Re: Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2021, 08:28:32 am »
I have enjoyed this RR enormously and a trip like this remains on my bucket list but,unfortunately,I have to comment on some of the practices shown on this report.

The "dune"you guys were riding up with great enjoyment is not a sand dune,it is sand that has been blown from the valley over centuries by the prevailing winds and has accumulated against the surrounding mountains and koppies.
Please do me a favor and post the dune that you are referring to by way of a mapsource or basecamp map - Thank you in advance.

As such,it is an extremely sensitive and delicate eco system that will take years to eradicate the tracks made.These tracks will cause serious erosion in heavy,abnormal rain. A dune field is not a static system and the crests are constantly moving and will quickly cover all tracks made.You were riding on a static sand plain bordered by mountains.

I went through that valley a couple of years ago with a convoy of 12 vehicles,all under strict instruction from the concession guide  to not stray from the existing track.
Please post a track by way of a mapsource or basecamp map that indicate the track you were following & please supply the name of the "concession guide that you refer to. Thank you in advance

Imagine if the 4x4 guys decided to tackle that sand field every time they came through that beautiful valley. I can answer your question once I know that you actually refer to the dune mentioned in the ride report.

There is talk that the Namibian authorities are considering a ban on motorbikes in their sensitive conservancy areas,I am not surprised. Please post your source for this statement - Thank you in advance.

Again - Thank you in advance

Hi Hardy
I can only comment on photos posted by your group as to the location of the dune.
The location is not relevant,the photos clearly show the location and type of desert habitat.
We travelled from Kunene to Hartman's,Marble Camp and on to Puros with DesertMagic.The guides name was Bennie.
There were bikers in the group and we inquired as we traveled through the area as to accessibility with bikes and that is where we picked up on possible future resistance to bike travel.
I am not the referee as to whether you may ride on these areas or not,I am merely expressing an opinion on an open forum based on my travels in this area and other sensitive areas.
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Re: Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2021, 08:44:40 am »
Much as I prefer to do trips on my own, if the choice is between having this beautiful part of the world despoiled by "cowboys" driving/riding everywhere, and access tightly controlled through approved, responsible guiding outfits like Hardy's, then I'd vote for the latter.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2021, 08:45:33 am by roxenz »
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Offline 2StrokeDan

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Re: Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2021, 08:52:22 am »
Much as I prefer to do trips on my own, if the choice is between having this beautiful part of the world despoiled by "cowboys" driving/riding everywhere, and access tightly controlled through approved, responsible guiding outfits like Hardy's, then I'd vote for the latter.

Until a chinese mining outfit gets exploration rights in these pristine areas, and no one is around to sound the alarm......

Marble mine being a good example, where the chinese virus carriers went in, fucked up the area 6 luv, then decided that quality versus transport is not favourable, and left the scarred countryside as it is,

complete with chinese 3wheelers around.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2021, 08:54:24 am by 2StrokeDan »
 

Offline Sláinte Mhaith

Re: Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2021, 09:50:36 am »
I agree the bikes on the bottom of the image on the dune between the vegetation does not look right.  Is there a road/tracks or is this virgin ground.
Is this part of Hardy's group?
Was there not another thread about a similar issue?

 

Offline Hardy de Kock

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Re: Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« Reply #13 on: July 09, 2021, 09:57:28 am »
Greenshields - Thank you for your concern over an area that you seem to share my fondness for.
Here is my two cents.

Bennie (a South African) from Desert Magic is not a concession guide in the Puros Concervancy and only has tour rights in the south. By default through your post that would implicate him to have illegally operated in Damara or Kaokoland. Tour operators have it tough out there so let's leave that there...

I have conducted several 4x4 tours through that area, and obviously have a huge amount of bike tours behind me too. I am 100% convinced that 4x4's causes much more damage than motorcycles. We can go into that debate, but I am sure that you would be hesitant to.
In all my years as a foreign tour operator in Northern Namibia I have never come across any motorcycle rider that intentionally damaged anything in that area.
Yes, they do from time to time go off track when the track is overly corrugated, and yes they do ride Hells Gate (The name of the only dune that you are allowed to ride in Puros) but I can guarantee you that in my experience the riders always show a steadfast respect for the area and it's people.

I can guarantee you is that if bikes are ever banned, the people of Puros, Orupembe, Otjihende, Otjitanda will suffer. Ask any of the guys that were on this tour and they will tell you that the chief of the Marble Camp community came to talk to me while we were there. He asked me to take over the Marble Camp because of the following reasons:

They do not generate any income from 4x4 drivers. According to him the 4x4 owners purchase their liquor, food supplies, ice, wood etc from the towns and lug it around in the vehicles. He reckons that four 4x4's take up all four the available campsites at Marble Camp and that the total income for the community in such a situation is a lot less than the 20 bikers who between them only occupies 2 campsites. He claims that the motorcyclists is what they need more of and somehow believe that we could assist with this. It is a known fact that cars carry their fuel in jerry cans and that motorcyclists purchase at the camps, which in return creates much needed income opportunities for the community.

The debate about motorcycles vs cars and possible damage has been going on for years, and will continue to do so.
I do think that you need to believe me if I tell you that these guys pay a lot of money to go there - Not to wreck the place. but to enjoy it in the right way.

Cheers

 
« Last Edit: July 09, 2021, 11:54:32 am by Hardy de Kock »
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Offline Mev Vis Arend

Re: Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« Reply #14 on: July 09, 2021, 10:13:59 am »
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Offline Greenshields

Re: Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« Reply #15 on: July 09, 2021, 11:20:49 am »
Agree 100% with you Hardy,particularly on the damage potential from 4x4'ers.
I also would never doubt your bona fides as to responsible touring wherever you go.
Not everyone on an open forum will join an organised tour in Namibia and maybe my opinion will make a few guys think on where they are riding.
DesertMagic is authorised to take tours up the Skeleton Coast and through to the Hartman's Valley.From thereon I assume anyone can travel.
Bennie is an old SWA Defence Force Colonel,so we were told,don't think he is South African?
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Offline Hardy de Kock

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Re: Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« Reply #16 on: July 09, 2021, 11:53:10 am »
Agree 100% with you Hardy,particularly on the damage potential from 4x4'ers.
I also would never doubt your bona fides as to responsible touring wherever you go.
Not everyone on an open forum will join an organised tour in Namibia and maybe my opinion will make a few guys think on where they are riding.
DesertMagic is authorised to take tours up the Skeleton Coast and through to the Hartman's Valley.From thereon I assume anyone can travel.
Bennie is an old SWA Defence Force Colonel,so we were told,don't think he is South African?

According to Nam Tourism he is indeed a Saffer.
Thanks for your well intended mail.
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Offline Dorsland

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Re: Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2021, 12:36:02 pm »
I agree the bikes on the bottom of the image on the dune between the vegetation does not look right.  Is there a road/tracks or is this virgin ground.
Is this part of Hardy's group?
Was there not another thread about a similar issue?



This the one?

http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=257192.msg4627988#msg4627988
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Re: Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2021, 12:51:25 pm »
I stand by what I said in that thread. 

With all respect to the various tour operators on this forum who earn their living from trips to these erstwhile wilderness areas, the wilderness is being abused at an increasing rate. There are a number of threads on this forum of guys riding where they want, how they want.  If your livelihood depends on access to these areas, it stands to reason that you will justify the tours/access.

In a similar manner that the Amazon rainforest is open to logging, deforestation, westernisation, mining, hunting and the like due to roads being made and access improved, as soon as it becomes easier(and safer due to organised trips) for the man on the street to access an area, the wilderness is soon lost.

Thankfully I traveled large areas of Africa, particularly SWA, many years ago and got to experience true wilderness that already then was compromised. Reading the behaviour of bikers and 4WD overlanders in wilderness areas, I would not ruin the wonderful memories I have by visiting these once wild places now.

Loud music, breaking of trees for firewood, leaving your refuse there to be blown all over the veld, theft, poaching, assaults at supposedly wilderness campsites. Many examples of this all over the various forums.  A once good friend of mine is himself guilty of testing his 200 Series Cruiser's 4WD capabilities by driving up rockfaces at Brandberg, leaving rubber marks in his wake.  This is common behaviour.  The entitlement culture is everywhere.

I often ponder the effect this supposed support of remote communities has on those selfsame communities.  Where once they were limited in size due to the very nature of their remoteness and the limitations of their environment, tourism stimulates westernisation, promotes overpopulation, non-sustainable utilisation of natural resources and eventually destroys the very reason people were drawn to those places in the first place.

It seems to be the affliction of mankind; discover heaven on earth then develop it to resemble the city you just escaped from.  Rinse and repeat until there is nothing left.

I can't help thinking of men like Garth Owen-Smith whose very soul was part of Damaraland and contrasting his conservation ethic with that of the "everything that opens and closes" 4WD and biker groups purportedly promoting conservation and sustainable tourism in these and other areas.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2021, 12:56:26 pm by Dorsland »
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Re: Namibia Tour Dune Riding
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2021, 12:59:10 pm »
I stand by what I said in that thread. 

With all respect to the various tour operators on this forum who earn their living from trips to these erstwhile wilderness areas, the wilderness is being abused at an increasing rate. There are a number of threads on this forum of guys riding where they want, how they want.  If your livelihood depends on access to these areas, it stands to reason that you will justify the tours/access.

In a similar manner that the Amazon rainforest is open to logging, deforestation, westernisation, mining, hunting and the like due to roads being made and access improved, as soon as it becomes easier(and safer due to organised trips) for the man on the street to access an area, the wilderness is soon lost.

Thankfully I traveled large areas of Africa, particularly SWA, many years ago and got to experience true wilderness that already then was compromised. Reading the behaviour of bikers and 4WD overlanders in wilderness areas, I would not ruin the wonderful memories I have by visiting these once wild places now.

Loud music, breaking of trees for firewood, leaving your refuse there to be blown all over the veld, theft, poaching, assaults at supposedly wilderness campsites. Many examples of this all over the various forums.  A once good friend of mine is himself guilty of testing his 200 Series Cruiser's 4WD capabilities by driving up rockfaces at Brandberg, leaving rubber marks in his wake.  This is common behaviour.  The entitlement culture is everywhere.

I often ponder the effect this supposed support of remote communities has on those selfsame communities.  Where once they were limited in size due to the very nature of their remoteness and the limitations of their environment, tourism stimulates westernisation, promotes overpopulation, non-sustainable utilisation of natural resources and eventually destroys the very reason people were drawn to those places in the first place.

It seems to be the affliction of mankind; discover heaven on earth then develop it to resemble the city you just escaped from.  Rinse and repeat until there is nothing left.

I can't help thinking of men like Garth Owen-Smith whose very soul was part of Damaraland and contrasting his conservation ethic with that of the "everything that opens and closes" 4WD and biker groups purportedly promoting conservation and sustainable tourism in these and other areas.

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