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
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
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
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.