There is something different and almost euphoric about hiking a trail on foot. “It clears your mind from all the cobwebs and with only yourself for company, things seem a lot simpler and calmer,” says experienced adventure journalist Erns Grundling.
He is spoiling viewers once again as he takes us on a journey in Elders: Namibië S4, from the end of July. This season the road less travelled takes him through Namibia, where he experiences all the beauty the country has to offer. Picturesque landscapes, dunes and sea vistas, incredible wildlife and amazing hiking and walking trails are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to South Africa’s neighbour.
Erns packages all of this into 13 brand-new episodes. And if you fall in love, kykNET (DStv channel 144) has two other Namibian-themed series for you: Nou Toer Ons S1, and Groen Nambië S5 on kykNET & kykNET & Kie (DStv channel 145).
The walking bug
The adventure bug bit Erns around 2015, when he took the bold step of participating in the Camino de Santiago walking trail, which takes participants through Spain, with well-known starting points in France and Portugal. “It took me 40 days to walk 1,000 km. A fire was lit inside me and since then I loved walking different trails,” says Erns.
His experience with the Camino resulted in the first Elders programme, Elders: Die Camino. That was followed by Elders: Japan and Elders: Pelgrimstog Van Hoop – all of which are available on the online streaming platform Showmax.
Casting a wider net
“Although walking and hiking will always be part of Elders’ DNA, we approached it differently with Namibia,” says Erns. “Since Namibia is such a big and diverse country, and has several fantastic hikes, I throw a much wider turn in this new series. I still do several hikes, such as the Namib100 south of Walvis Bay and, of course, the iconic Fish River Canyon hike. I also tackle an adrenaline activity or two that viewers will hopefully find very entertaining.”
A few celebs have joined Erns along the way, like in Elders: Pelgrimstog Van Hoop where he went on awesome adventures with the likes of rugby legend Duane Vermeulen, TV personality and journo Kabous Meiring and opera singer and TV presenter Lynelle Kenned.
“There were logistical and pandemic challenges to get guests from South Africa to Namibia, but I am especially excited about the wonderful Namibians who walk with me in this series – whether it is guides, farmers or other locals. One of the guests I met outside Windhoek was Simon Witbooi, known as the rapper Hemelbesem. He visited me at Genadendal last season, and it was fantastic to be able to talk to him again in Namibia.”
Two more Namibian adventures
If you can’t get enough, there is more to see of our neighbouring country in two other shows:
In Nou Toer Ons, two esteemed former rugby players, commentators, and TV personalities – Toks van der Linde and Breyton Paulse – take viewers on an epic journey through SA and Namibia to see a wide range of attractions. The duo also take part in fun activities, each time with a special guest. “We can’t wait to share our experiences with viewers,” says Breyton. “This program is definitely not your normal talk or travel show, and hopefully people will see that it is not necessary to travel overseas to have a first-class holiday.”
Watch Nou Toer Ons S1, Fridays on kykNET (DStv channel 101) at 17:30
And in Groen: Namibië, the lives of conservationist Marlice and Rudie van Vuuren are under the spotlight as they care for Namibia’s people and wildlife. In S5, Marlice is on a mission to track a leopard to put a collar on it, while Rudie and his team search for rare desert lions that need attention.
Watch Groen Namibië S5, Wednesdays on kykNET & Kie (DStv channel 145) at 20:00
Elders: Namibië S4 starts Wednesday, 28 July on kykNET (DStv channel 144) at 20:30