Part II The return Flight, Windkoek to Namutoni Etosha Pan, Namibia

Round the World Flight with HB-PON 2008/09
Rolf Martin FRIEDEN & Manfred Melloh
Fri 21 Jul 2006 18:43
18:48.0S 016:56.0E

Day 5, Tuesday 21JUL Windhoek – Etosha Pan/Mokuti Lodge


We got up early again that morning, the Tromp family had already left for work or school, but a great breakfast table awaited us,
as we entered the kitchen.

Back at the airport at 9AM, a quick visit to the flight office was next. All of a sudden we were confronted with news, which we
had not expected: We were invited to the office of the director of Civil Aviation. Indeed to the big boss in person. We had a lengthy
discussion on our plans to fly to the northern part of Namibia, the Etosha pan and then to continue via Angola to the Congo. The
response was crystal clear and categoric: “You are not going any further north in Namibia than the 16th degree parallel without
having obtained an official clearance from Luanda, or else….” Mr.Mujetenga was clearly worried about our safety, because of
the latest news and reports on the renewed war situation in Angola that he had. Apparently there were still a lot of SAM missiles
around up there, in the hands of Dr Savimbi’s troops. After we agreed to strictly follow his instructions, we received
“Hotel Oscar November cleared for take off ” after a nearly two hours delay.

Once the wheels off the ground, we talked to Jannie in his dental practice, on a prearranged VHF frequency. He could clearly see
us as we climbed out and his parting words: ”you look great up there, have a good and safe flight”.

Day 6/7, Wednesday/ Thursday 23/23JUL

Etosha National park/Namibia



Spectacular Etosha Pan Game Reserve was a longer stop. The main lodge at Mokuti, just outside the eastern part of the reserve
was a real beauty of fresh thatch roofs with a 7’000 ft private hard gravel airstrip. Here again no skimping on comfort and cost.
On our entire trip we always stayed in hotels, the Aircrews of larger airlines booked. The AOPA Air Crew cards came in handy
very often and assured us of hefty discounts in all the places. Wherever we stayed in Africa, the hotels in most places had the
necessary working equipment like fax machines, some even Internet connections, all had CNN. We were in the heart of Darkness
with Monica Lewinsky. Shame.

We spent lots of time exploring the Etosha pan Reserve with all its fantastic wild life and visited the ancient German Fort Namutoni,
in which a hand full of German soldiers once won a battle against thousands of native Ovambo warriors….




Etosha Pan Namibia


At night, trying to find my sleep, my thoughts about Angola and Congo made my pulse rise. 
I remembered a sad story, which dates back to the time when Ann and I lived in South Africa:    
A German emigrant and owner of a Twin Comanche, which was based at Vereeniging airport south of Johannesburg, the place
I took my flying lessons left one day on a trip to Europe via the West coast of Africa to attend the Olympic Games in Munich.
Three days after he had left, the press was full of news, stating that that Twin Comanche had been shot down off the coast of
Guinea Bissau and both people on board killed….

At least twice a day I was inquiring by phone in Windhoek about our pending clearance for Angola…but every time no news
yet was the answer.

I sent faxes and made phone calls all over Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Finally with the kind help of Omri Talmon in
Israel and Chales Galloway in Zimbabwe, all our clearances and with it our alternate "Plan B” to return via Eastern Africa was
complete and ready to use if we had to.