The South African Inland Sea Adventure

We get lost in the desert after attending the South Africans in Qatar event at Inland Sea

On Friday,13 November 2020, SA Diplomat Abroad went out to the Inland Sea camping site with the South Africans in Qatar Group to shoot a video of the event and to partake in the festivities of being part of the South African Expatriate Community in Qatar. We made the most of the outing with close friends and family.

Inland Sea is situated about 80km from central Doha, but about 40km of the drive is through tough desert terrain and therefore can only be accessed by 4×4 vehicles. The terrain incudes towering sand dunes and loose desert sand which would swallow half of a man’s leg if he stood in it.

Not being very efficient in off roading, we depended on the guidance of the event organisers who had the daunting task of keeping the 51-car convoy safe. The 40 km drive took the convoy about an hour without any major problems and everyone arrived safely at Inland Sea.

However, the return did not go as smoothly. The group started dissipating in the mid afternoon and by the time that we were ready to leave, everyone had left and our small group which consisted of 4 cars were left to find our own way out of the desert.

We attempted to follow the tracks but quickly realised that we were lost and called one of the organizers who came to our rescue. Frank Grobler and his wife, a South African who has been living in Doha for many years and who was a seasoned desert off roader arrived at our location within minutes and with a smile on his face started to lead us through the desert.

Because we got lost off the main car tracks, Frank had to take an alternate route to get us out safely, but this meant that we would have to drive over even more treacherous terrain than before and this as the sun set and the darkness of the desert night prevailed.

After 5 hours of getting stuck in soft sand and stretching our cars to the limit, we finally made it out of the barren desert landscape with one car down which had ruptured a waterpipe and had to be parked off for later recovery.

Our advice to anyone planning to travel to Inland Sea or any desert outing. Never enter the desert alone and with only one vehicle, unless you are confident that firstly you know your way around and that your car is rightly built for the terrain. Always make sure that your Cellphone is charged and that you have a backup car charger in your vehicle and make sure to let someone know where you are planning to go.

All in all we had an adventurous day that could have turned out far worst had it not been for the kind assistance of a fellow South African namely, Frank Grobler, who came to our rescue.

We would like to thank the South African Community in Qatar for organising an awesome event and a very special thank you to Frank Grobler and his wife for assisting us in our time of need.

Please check out our follow up article on how our lost car was recovered from the desert.

By Abdu-Raof Hanslo

SA Diplomat Abroad News

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