Sand Boarding and Quad-Biking In Namibia’s Desert Dunes

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Finally, I get to share my pictures from the sand boarding and quad-biking in the Namibian coastal dunes.  One of the main reasons for heading to this part of Namibia having visited Windhoek, the capital, was to visit the little German town that is Swapkomund.  In addition to that, I had been dreaming about sand boarding in the dunes for a long time now, so it was my goal to make it happen while visiting an area with the tallest dunes in the world! Well if you are going to do something crazy why not go the whole nine yards, right?

We rented a little Chalet in the desert, about 15 kilometers outside the town. The owners of the chalet arranged the sand boarding for us with Desert Explorers, a local company that also runs a few other activities. They picked us up from where we were staying and drove to their office and back to our chalet. I only had eyes for two of their activities and that was the quad-biking and sand boarding. Just to mention, we were going to go for normal boards but because I have never in the life of me do any boarding, whether on snow or sand or road, alla skate boarding. We opted for the flat board instead. This is a meter-long piece of hardboard which is waxed first so that you have better traction on the sand. You have to lie face down and bend the board just a little on the front to avoid getting sand all over your face as you basically get pushed off the cliff.
Where to stay:  We stayed in a Chalet in the desert which I reviewed and linked above but for a full list of places available check out this list of hotels and guesthouses in Swakopmund.
You don’t realise just how steep the dunes are until you have got to the top after weezing through and circling on yourselves on quad bikes. When we got to the top I nearly had second thoughts about heading down face first on the board but after watching my brother and my boyfriend go down at ridiculous speed in total excitement, I climbed on the board and had the guide give me a little push – OFF THE CLIFF! Let’s just say that I can now understand why they call these the “ultimate speed machines”! The flat board can reach phenomenal speeds of 80km/h in these steep coastal dunes. In order to control your speed have use your feet to dig into the sand a little, but as I was with two speed junkies breaking speed was certainly not in their vocabulary that day as I watched them head down face first on full throttle a full-size person to them looking like tiny ants when they got to the bottom. Hopefully, the pictures below give you an idea of just how high up in the dunes we were. Scary when you start but it is such an adrenaline kick that you want to go again almost immediately after you get down. There are many ways to experience Namibia and this is by far a cool way to see the and experience the dunes, albeit in a rather extreme sports kind of way.
Check out the picture overload below for our time in the dunes, before we headed back to base to check out the within the offices of Desert Explorers.  If you are not into boarding they also do sky diving(next on my list), kayaking, fishing, ballooning, camel rides and more.
I have looked everywhere for the video I took of the sand boarding and cannot find them although I have found all the pictures from the trip. If and when I do be sure to follow me on Instagram to see the action.
Tip: You might be tempted to go with shorts or sleeveless clothes so take a light jumper or scarf, bear in mind that the temperature in the desert drops suddenly when the sun goes go while during the day it’s scorching! You can tell just how hot it was by all the blackened bits of sand in the pictures below.
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  1. May 21, 2015 / 2:36 am

    Now this looks like an adventure. I've always wanted to go sandboarding – looks like you had a lot of fun!

    • May 22, 2015 / 12:40 pm

      It certainly was! You definitely need to try it.

  2. May 21, 2015 / 9:21 am

    I have two thoughts: 1) I want to go to Namibia. In fact, I was chatting with a friend yesterday and we said we should make it our goal for 2016. 2) I did sandboarding twice, once in Peru (Huacachina) and once in Chile (Atacama). In Atacama, we did proper sandboarding, with boots and all. It was FUN and I even have a video of it 🙂

    • May 22, 2015 / 12:40 pm

      I will have to check out your video. Chile has been on my list for too long.

  3. May 21, 2015 / 6:08 pm

    This looks like so much fun! The closest I've come to this experience is sliding down the dunes in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina (USA) but this looks like much more of a thrill!

  4. May 22, 2015 / 10:48 am

    What an amazing time you must have had! I've heard of dune quad biking but I wasn't aware of sandboarding. Your photos are fabulous

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    • May 22, 2015 / 12:42 pm

      Oh yes! That was by far the crazy and most fun part about the whole experience.

  5. May 25, 2015 / 2:47 am

    Looks like awesome fun – some incredible vistas with the sand dunes meeting the sky. We're off to Peru shortly which has some sandboarding – you experience has made me more excited!

  6. June 23, 2016 / 2:48 am

    This looks like so much fun! The closest I've come to this experience is sliding down the dunes in Kitty Hawk also.

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