Makgadikgadi Epic 2019-Skydiving Boogie
The Magadikgadi Epic once again took place with some of Africa’s finest scenery along the salt pans of Sowa,which lies in the Central District of Botswana. The event consisted of a number of skydivers from across the world sharing their knowledge with one another and using jumping platforms from both the Botswana Defence force and a lonely South African based Atlas Angel.
The Sua Pan or Sowa Pan is a large natural topographic depression within the Makgadikgadi region of Botswana. It is located near the village of Sowa, whose name means salt in the language of the San. The Sua salt pan is one of three large pans within the Makgadikgadi, the other two being Nxai Pan and Nwetwe Pan.
A lot of our questions we get is what is skydiving, another word for skydiving known as Parachuting is a method of transiting from a high point to Earth with the aid of gravity, involving the control of speed during the descent with the use of a parachute or parachutes. If you enjoy skydiving the Sua pan is the best place to view from the sky.
We had a early start, leaving Pretoria in the premature hours of Thursday 11 July 2019. Arriving back at the pans after visiting last year, we were greeted by members of the Botswana Parachute Association and old friends from Botswana. The evening we were briefed for the upcoming days activities. Before going to bed, one could admire the beautiful galaxy the pans bring out with the absence of city lights and other concerning noises one would hear while trying to get some sleep.
Our accommodation was made up tents with comfortable beds, added with warm blankets and pillows for the chilly nights. With the wildlife in Botswana we were spoiled to see many types around the area, including Wildebeest, Zebra, Kudu and many more!
The following morning saw the first jump with a quick briefing at manifest (meeting area) before making our way with the shuttles to Sowa airport, just a few kilometers away from the pans. The first two days the jump ship was the Botswana Defence Force Casa 235, while the next two days saw the welcome return of the Lockheed Martin C130B. The Atlas Angel flown by Dennis Howe took tandems (first time skydivers) during the course of the epic.
The Saturday was open to the people of Botswana to come enjoy a day out on the pans, in addition as listen to some local musicians while skydiving doings took place. This saw mass jumps from the C130B, as said this could accommodate more skydivers in the large cargo hold the aircraft has. One of the jumps saw the aircraft climb to 19 000ft with oxygen fitted to the aircraft for the skydivers use. Helicopter flips were also available with one of the Delta Rescue Bell Jetrangers.
Botswana current president Mokgweetsi Masisi also visited the event on Saturday afternoon. Great to see world leaders visiting top notch events that bring exposure from around the world. The only waterskiing we saw on the pans this year was a hilux bakkie(pick up van), just this time on sand and stone.
A big thank you to the Botswana Parachute Association, Colonel Majama, Botswana Tourism and many others who got us to the event. A big Congratulations to another successful boogie and a safe event.Individually next year is again on our lists to attend without a doubt.
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