African Voices

Adrenaline junkies: Book your flight to this place

Published 18th June 2015
(CNN) — What happens when you take a winter sport and drop it in the desert?
Well, thanks to some resourceful locals, a new adventure sport was born: Sandboarding. In recent years, the activity has grown to the point that tourists now flock to Namibia to surf the dunes with local operators.
Raymond Ichibad has always loved the desert. Raised in Western Namibia, his tribe hails from the northwest in Tamaraland. So when the opportunity arose to combine his pride for his homeland and sports, it was a no-brainer.
He became one of his country's first sandboarders and now he makes a living teaching others his passion.
"I couldn't even explain to my mom what sandboarding was," Ichibad recalls. "I was a guinea pig for everything -- they built sandboarding around me."
Sandboarding has also become a passport for Ichibad, who has traveled the world to compete. He made it to the World Sandboarding Championships three times, even getting as far as the semifinals. But his most memorable moment remains the first time he ever snowboarded on real snow.
"I think it is the coldest I have ever been in my life," he recalls.
"Snowboarding is excellent -- I love it when I get the opportunity to do it. But sandboarding I can do all the time."
Now retired from the competitive side of the sport, Ichibad remains eager to share sandboarding with vacationers and has no plans to quit anytime soon.
"Sandboarding 'til I'm 70 years old! As long as I can climb the hills, I will probably still go out. Even if I stop I will probably still go out to the dunes because I have been going there for the last 18 years. It's like a second home -- very peaceful."
To see how Ichibad snowboards without the snow, watch the video below.
One of Namibia's first sand boarders, Raymond Inixab is finding ways to have fun using the natural landscapes of Africa.