A funny thing happened to a friend of mine this week while on a business trip in Rundu in Namibia. Those of you that know the area are probably wondering what type of business anybody with all their senses could possibly have in Rundu, well for the purposes of my story that is neither here nor there but to quell curiosity I will divulge. It seems that one of the big oil companies, bored with destroying the oceans and the polar caps has taken to raping the deserts of Africa. This however is not a protest article it’s a humorous story of misfortune made more humorous by the fact that the victim of the misfortune was doing the devils work. For the ambitious young protagonist of our story a when it came to trips in Namibia, 4×4 hire wasn’t good enough. No, learjet charter was the only means of transport that was good enough; and why not when it’s been paid for by the oil companies. Here’s the thing though you see Rundu has only recently started been serviced by these flights and there are only three flights a week.
Before we continue with this it might be beneficial to stop and describe what type of place Rundu is, middle of nowhere doesn’t quite begin to describe what we’re dealing with here. At the North East corner of the country on the very edge of the Caprivi Strip Rundu truly is a frontier town, or perhaps a backwater town. Having only Google images with which to form my opinions it is hard to say. Needless to say this is one part of Namibia that requires 4×4 hire. It’s not, to say the least, the kind of place that you want to be stuck for any length of time after whatever business you may have had has been concluded. No prizes for guessing where this story is going, three flights a week, back water town in the hottest place on earth. Yes overbooked flight. Quite how you overbook a 20 seat charter flight is beyond me but the good people at air Namibia managed to do it. Being the youngest member in the devils expedition my friend was expected to stay back, with no small amount of laughter and joking about how they were going to get him back.
When last I spoke to him he was driving a 4×4 hire 700 km across Namibia in the sweltering heat to try and get to Windhoek airport on time to catch his flight. Funny how the wheel turns, well let’s hope it does anyway. There is a strange irony in the fact that after vehemently refusing to drive from Windhoek to Rundu to help build a petrol station, he ended up been stuck in a one donkey town at the whim of an airline and was still forced to drive half way across the country in a 4×4 hire in Namibia.