This September I am heading out to Namibia to embark on the first ever solo cycle across the world’s oldest desert, the Namib. I’ll be facing extreme temperatures, and challenging terrain, on a personal voyage of discovery into one of the least populated places on earth.
I will have exclusive access into Namibia’s ‘forbidden zone’ – the Sperrgebiet, also known as Diamond Area 1. Covering of 26,000 km2 (10,000 sq mi) in the south of the country, it has been unseen and restricted to the public for over a century.
Untouched by humans for a century, I will have exclusive access to explore areas of the Sperrgebiet or ‘Forbidden zone’. This is one of the world’s top biodiversity hotspots filled with endangered but often deadly animals from snakes to scorpions jackals. Passing ghost towns, and ancient mines I’ll see the beauty and uniqueness of this country from land, sea and air.
In the oldest desert in the world, at least 55 million years old, I will experience why Namibia is called ‘the land God made in anger’. Dust storms, extreme temperatures and tall dunes will all be hugely challenging. As I head to the ocean and north I will pass some of the 1,000 shipwrecks that litter the coast, having fallen victim to the treacherous currents of the Atlantic. It is here that I will be faced with
the notorious thick Namib fog that envelops the desert from the Atlantic.
I will have to take minimal kit with me to make space for supplies, especially water, as I fatbike through the desert. My bike will be fitted with custom bag storage to carry all the essentials for the journey, but still allow for flexibility when tackling the steep 200-300 meter dunes of the Namib. I will be taking kit which can stand up to the extreme change in temperature, as daytime heat soars and night-time drops to near zero.
Across the desert I will be assisted by an expert paramotor pilot who will meet me at set points, checking I am hitting my water caches and discussing vital weather conditions and challenges of the next leg of the journey.