How do you throw an amazing dinner for several hundred people in the desert? No this is not a question that Moses asked as he wandered around in the hot sand. This was the challenge of our hosts at the ATTA (Adventure Travel Trade Association) Summit in Namibia. What they did was nothing short of astonishing
After loading up in buses for a drive into what seemed like the middle of nowhere we were greeted with an unexpected sight Here in the middle of the desert were ice cold beers (Windhoeks – a local brand that was one of the dinner’s sponsors), champagne, fresh oysters on the half shell and other delicious snacks (Not only would Moses have been jealous, but he might never have left to find the promised land). It was an exciting time meeting people from all over the world who shared a common bond – they were happy, curious, adventurous people who love to travel. The vibe was incredible. In fact, some guests arrived by parachute like colorful birds against the blue sky.
After watching a spectacular sunset we marched down a trail, along the way being greeted by drums and African musicians (and more cold beer – my new Irish Friend Keith McDonnell of Extreme Ireland who is part of the planning for next year’s ATTA Summit thought he had died and gone to heaven) and arrived in a slot canyon surrounded by high hills.
Here we were treated to a delicious dinner, inspiring speeches by local politicos and performance by local actors and musicians. For me one of the highlights was a reading about wildlife and conservation accompanied by dramatic projections on the canyon walls: Towering photos of a cheetah, rhino and local people. It was magical.
It was an incredible night and a great way to launch the ATTA Summit!