The wild wild Naukluft ... who is going next?

Adelius Tjikukutu & Uzepa Kambo
Every year a group of boys from different school ‘s are lucky enough for a life changing experience. It’s a journey to a very special place in the wild the Naukluft. These journey to self discovery is organised by wilderness therapy Namibia it’s a charity organisation that helps young man understand themselves and to find out who they are to connect with themselves to ask the question “who am I" and they find that answer during the eight day hike in the Namib Naukluft park. The boys each have a day to be the leader on the eight day hiking trail. The last group that went from Augustineam named themselves the Dynamic Hikers and they went in March 2017 at the beginning of the year. Every group of boys that go have the chance to name themselves what they want. The first day when they boys and the facilitators arrive at the camp side of Naukluft they get ready for Day 1 of the hiking trail and while they are there they get to see huge mountains a waterfall and river. When the Dynamic Hiker asked said that the Namib Naukluft Park cannot be compared to any place in the world. For the first time in their life’s Dynamic Hikers saw a rhino on day 3, describe that moment as unforgettable. On the first day of their arrival they also get their hiking bags and food for eight days and every the basic needs they then packed their bags. The facilitators then start to explain to the boys what to do in case of an emergency. The facilitators are very friendly said the Dynamic Hikers “the first day we spend together speaking the facilitators it felt like we have known each other for a long time”. Rudy was one of the facilitators and the Dynamic Hikers stated that he was very helpful to all of them.

For the last years where limited from this type of experience and they have started asking question why they cannot go like the boys. When we asked wilderness therapy Namibia why? Their spokes person Pekkie Hoffman said that the Naukluft is too tough for girls to hike she said, “for one to hike the Naukluft they must be physically strong”. And that type of strength is normally found in boys. Pekkie Hoffman also said that girls will go to places that are less physically challenging. So that they can have a gender equality. They have started with the process and in September 2017 girls from Augustineum will go to the fish river canyon they are super excited and cannot wait fortheir journey.

We arrived at the Naukfluf main campsite on the 01 March 2017. Hiking is limited to the period between the 01 March and 31 October, because of excessively high temperatures. The eight day hike covered 120 km of undisturbed nature over a variety of terrain. The lowest point on the rail is at 1950 meters with the highest at 1950 meters above sea level. The eight day train in the Naukluft is one of the toughest hiking trail in Africa says the officials at the main campsite. As we arrived at the main campsite we received our eight day food and our hiking bags later on we received
the rules that we have to follow as we hike. One of the great rule is in the Namib Naukfluf is “take only photographs and leave only foot prints”. Meaning to always keep the undisturbed nature the way it always has been. Evening came and we ate dinner and in placed our sleeping sheet on the ground with our sleeping bags and went to sleep. Morning came it was the 2 March 2017 everyone was looking forward on the hike. We woke up had a cup of coffee, we had a worm up from the main campsite to the starting point of the hiking trail. We left all our phone and watches in car at the starting point one of the first sign of leaving civilization and getting use to the wilderness .

We arrived at our first check point that was the commitment rock we had to pledge on finishing our 120 kilometre hike. We hiked for about 5 hours and arrived at the shelter before sunset. At was again the time to hike it was the second day of the hike our leader for the day was Uzepa Kambo who woke us up at the break of down and lead us for the 17 kilometres in the rocky mountains. With our persistence and determination we arrived at the shelter before sunset. It was time to hike for the third day the leader for the day was Adelius Tjikukutu who lead us for the 12 kilometres in the mountains and brought us at the shelter very early. Before sunset we got a surprise visit from two rhinos. After all seven days it was day eight our last day of our hike which we came to an end. The Dynamic Hikers said that the hike was a life changing experience and for one to complete it they have to be strong and to have indurated of hardship. They said the Naukluft was tough but life is tougher.

Adelius Tjikukutu & Uzepa Kambo