Trip News

Below please find trip reports and news from the expedition as and when it is received from staff members on the trip.

Ready for the off ~ 08 July 08

08 July 08 ~ 18.20hrs GMT~ Phone call from Esther McCall

The gates are now open and the team are just about to board.

She wanted, however, to pass on heartfelt thanks to Sue Kite who very kindly made an emergency dash to Heathrow to deliver the 'bungee nets' (which will be used to secure rucksacks etc. on the top of the landrovers). Apparently these were supposed to have been packed into some of the boy's bags, but had inadvertently been left behind at school. A slight hiccup but, thanks to Sue, "all's well that ends well".

08 July 08 ~ 19.35hrs GMT ~ Bon Voyage

15 minutes later than scheduled flight SA235 departed Heathrow Terminal 1 for Johannesburg at 19.15hrs. After all the months of planning and preparation the team are finally on their way! With an estimated flight time of 11 hours and 10 mins they are currently still due to land at 07.10hrs tomorrow morning.

09 July 08 ~ 06.23hrs GMT

A little earlier than anticipated, flight SA235 landed in Johannesburg at 06.52hrs (local time +1hr GMT). The team now have a few hours to stretch their legs before boarding their onward flight to Windhoek which is due to depart at 10.55hrs (local time).

09 July 08 ~ 10.20hrs GMT

Pupils and staff have now embarked on the final leg of their outward journey. SA74 departed on time for Windhoek at 10.55 hrs (local time). The flight is only two hours duration, so not long now before their adventure really begins! The latest weather forecast for today is 64°F/18°C with temperatures dropping to 30°F/-1°C tonight.

Please note that once in Namibia the team will be on GMT e.g. no time differences to contend with and their eta of 11.58hrs will be the same as here in the UK.

09 July 08 ~ 12.05hrs

They're there! SA74 landed at noon today in Windhoek where, following the collection of their bags, they will be met by Alan and Oriel.

09 July 08 ~ 13.30hrs ~ Phone call from Esther McCall

Flights were uneventful, with most describing the airline food as good. Many students didn't sleep much however... so some will undoubtedly be very tired this evening.

All but one bag arrived at Windhoek and this has already been located and will follow on the next flight due into Windhoek at 14.20hrs this afternoon. This will then be personally delivered to the campsite courtesy of the airline.

Apparently a sleeping bag and mat was seen moving around the airport carousel unattended. When asked, everyone said that it didn't belong to them. Given that overnight temperatures have been reported as having been as low as -6°C in recent days... let's just hope this is the case otherwise someone is going to be "very" cold tonight! Of course, that won't be allowed to happen.

Everybody is currently loading up the vehicles and the plan is to head straight to Arebbusch to pitch camp. Later on this afternoon they hope to go back into Windhoek to stock up on water, sweets etc. before heading back to cook the evening meal and get an early night.

The team are in good form and spirits are high.

10 July 08 ~ 08.30hrs ~ Phone call from Esther McCall

Having got up this morning at 05.45hrs, the team were all sitting down for a hearty breakfast at 06.15.

Without exception all the students have commented on how cold it was during the night. They didn’t realise it would be “this cold”. Given the freezing temperatures experienced, most ended up donning three layers of clothing and at least two pairs of socks in order to keep warm. That said the sun is up and many are shedding clothes and are now stood in shirt sleeves.

It is perhaps appropriate to mention that the discarded sleeping bag mentioned yesterday DID actually belong to the group. Fortunately Mr. Threadgold had the presence of mind to pick it up and take it with him to the campsite where it was reunited with the grateful owner.

The team will shortly depart for the Waterburg Plateau Park where they will establish Wilderness Camp for the next three nights.

Bear in mind that it is not always easy to get a signal for the phone, so new updates may be a little more sporadic as a result. On this basis we are unlikely to get any more news from the team over the next few days.

As and when any new message is received, rest assured, it will be reported here immediately.