Out Of Zuf­fen­hausen

Tour the mag­nif­i­cent nat­u­ral scenery of Namibia with Porsche Travel Club

Golf Asia (Malaysia) - - SCENE -

Agems­bok (large an­te­lope in the Oryx genus) leaps be­hind an enor­mous rock for­ma­tion af­ter turn­ing its head with an in­quis­i­tive look on its face. The sun­set has cast a golden glow on the stone, and the gen­tle wind blew up a few grains of sand. It was the per­fect pic­ture, es­pe­cially so for Ger­man physi­cian Hans-Joachim Baum­gartl (aged 54). This was Namibia, and Baum­gartl was one of the few on an ex­clu­sively trip with the Porsche Travel Club.

Namibia is more than twice the size of Ja­pan, and ap­prox­i­mately twenty Switzerland within its bor­ders. Only around 2.3 mil­lion peo­ple re­side here, along with hundreds over species of mam­mals, birds, rep­tiles and am­phib­ians. Less than a fifth of the roads are well paved and the dirt tracks sim­ply kick start a cou­ple miles out­side the cap­i­tal city of Wind­hoek – and

with it come ad­ven­tures. Bushes cling to the ground around an oc­ca­sional aca­cia or lush, green Mopani tree. Or there is sim­ply a view of end­less sandy flats.

Mem­bers are rid­ing the Cayenne S as it flies over dirt road. Dust swirls around the SUV’s tires, leav­ing a long trail float­ing in its wake. Ge­ol­o­gists es­ti­mated that this ex­panse of rocky de­bris on the far side of Swakop­mund is eighty mil­lion years old – one of the old­est deserts in the world. The ra­dio crack­les and Guide Frik Or­ban (aged 48) alerts the group to another Oryx on the other side of the road.

“I can hardly imag­ine a greater con­trast to my work,” he says. As his eyes gaze out over the dis­tance, he is find­ing new en­ergy, per­spec­tive, and peace of mind in Namibia. Baum­gartl is im­pressed by the per­fect or­ga­ni­za­tion of this trip, the small group, the fine ac­com­mo­da­tions—and the com­fort­able SUVs. “The most beau­ti­ful thing is the friend­li­ness of the peo­ple—along with the land­scape, which is spec­tac­u­lar,” he adds. This trip to Africa will surely not be his last. That much is cer­tain.

The Porsche Ad­ven­ture Tour of Namibia in­cludes the sand dunes of Sos­susvlei, which can reach heights of 1,250ft, the Namib-Nauk­luft Na­tional Park, Swakop­mund and Da­ma­r­a­land, Twlfel­fontein, and the Etosha Pan – a salt­pan with an ex­ten­sive ar­ray of wildlife. It will be a dream come true for Africa and wildlife lovers. “Com­pared to other African coun­tries, Namibia has far more open space, as well as greater se­cu­rity,” says Or­ban. An­i­mals are of­ten ob­served in their nat­u­ral habi­tats, which also pro­mote sus­tain­able tourism.

Tourist Gu­drun Sch­mer from Wup­per­tal-Sud­berg was look­ing for an ad­ven­ture of her life­time, and this tour was per­fect for her. A fan of Africa, she and her hus­band are trav­el­ling the south­ern park of the con­ti­nent for the first time. “This time we wanted to go on an or­ga­nized sa­fari, do some se­ri­ous photography, see a lot of an­i­mals and as much nat­u­ral scenery as pos­si­ble,” she says. So the cou­ple de­cided on a trip with the Travel Club. Af­ter all, they’ve both been driv­ing Porsches for over thirty years. “It’s very prac­ti­cal that ev­ery­thing is per­fectly planned,” she adds, “yet it also has char­ac­ter.”That char­ac­ter in­cludes not only the well-stocked cooler in the Cayenne, but also the unique lodges. They of­fer both com­fort­able tents, with open-air show­ers and a view of the horizon, and tra­di­tion­ally styled round huts for camp­ing. In the af­ter­noon, a gen­tle desert breeze blows across the sprawl­ing grass­lands. The ve­randa of the On­gava Lodge in the south­ern part of the Etosha Pan is an invit­ing place to have a drink and ob­serve wildlife.

Etosha trans­lates to “great white place”, and mea­sures around 1,850 square miles. Its in­hab­i­tants in­clude ele­phants, lions, chee­tahs, gi­raffes, rhi­nos and leop­ards. The usu­ally dry area fills oc­ca­sion­ally af­ter heavy rains, but other than that, is per­fect to spot wild an­i­mals in ac­tion – catch­ing preys, groom­ing each other, or sim­ply birthing.

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