Tandem jumps, a hit at Makgadikgadi Epic

TEFO NOMBOLO - BG correspondent
Tuesday, 26 July 2016
Tandem jumps, a hit at Makgadikgadi Epic

He stood there for some minutes, pale and withdrawn.Prior to that he’d been seen talking nonstop. People tried to engage him in conversation but he would just speak a bit but go back to his silence.

Later on he would call it his near death experience not because he had almost died but that he had felt how it would be if he were to die. This was one of the people who had decided to put their fears aside and try tandem jumps at the Makgadikgadi Epic which took place at Nata bird sanctuary from the 14th - 17th July.

When speaking about it at the official opening, Kgosi Rancholo said the event was a way of helping improve the lives of the people not just in Nata but surrounding villages as well. He encouraged young people to initiate businesses in line with activities that took place at the event so that they would also reap its benefits. The event which was in its third year comprised many activities including quad bike rides, tethered hot air balloon ride, horse riding, cynic flights over the sanctuary, helicopter flips and tandem jumps.

Tandem jumps refer to a type of skydiver where amateurs are connected to a harness attached to a tandem instructor. The instructor guides the amateur through the whole jump from exit through to a free fall, piloting the canopy and landing. In this case, they were landing from an altitude of about 11 000 feet. Participation in this activity showed mixed emotions after the jump. One, Thabo Makgato laid completely flat on his back on the ground for some minutes overwhelmed by the experience. “It was completely sensational however I will never do it again! If God had meant for human beings to fly then he’d have given them wings,” he said whilst the crowd around him went into fits of laughter.

The cynic flights took place in an old aeroplane called Little Annie. The plane is 25 years old and originally from Russia. Its owners now reside in South Africa but they moved around different countries with the intention of improving the lives of orphans. This they do by giving them an opportunity to fly in Little Annie because they said for some of them, it is an opportunity they will otherwise never experience.

They also called on people to help them with donations as they relied on sponsors for funds so they are able to fly the orphans. Saturday night catered for those who love to have their fun accompanied with loud music as it was the night when DJs played music and people danced the night away. Come around 23:00hrs when it stopped, some retired to their sleep spent from a day of activity after activity.

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