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The Bloodhound Project Hakskeen Pan FAQ

When will the BLOODHOUND Team be at Hakskeen Pan?

The BLOODHOUND team are currently replanning their first visit to Hakskeen Pan which will take place in 2017. More news will be posted here soon. The results from this test will inform the Project's ultimate speed goal of setting a new World Land Speed Record of 1,000mph.

What dates will BLOODHOUND SSC be running?

We cannot guarantee dates as the runs depends on many factors, including readiness of the Car, driver and team, as well as the state of the weather and the track.

Each time we are in South Africa we plan to run the Car a number of times, gradually increasing the speed and analysing the performance each time. Any run could throw up unexpected results that could mean further work is needed before we run again. This is an Engineering Adventure - anything could happen!

How long will you be there?

We will be at Hakskeen Pan for 2 to 3 months each visit.

How long from arriving to first run?

That’s difficult to say, but it will probably be around two weeks until the first low speed run.

What time of day will runs take place?

It is likely that runs will take place during the cool early mornings.

Do I need a ticket?

Yes. The overall crowd and team numbers will be managed by the Northern Cape Provincial Government (NCPG) on a daily basis, as they depend on the availability of resources in such a remote location. This is an NCPG event at which BLOODHOUND is the “booked entertainment” and the event management company is managing access tickets.

Is there an entrance fee?

We don’t know at this stage because this is a matter for the Northern Cape Provincial Government.

How close are the viewing areas? Can I see the Car running?

The planned viewing areas are approximately 2km from the “flying mile” and are on slightly raised ground.

The public viewing areas will be the responsibility of the event management company appointed by the Northern Cape Provence Government.

Will there be access to the Car and team for photos etc?

Escorted tours can be arranged, but they will be dependent on the team’s workload and issues such as the security of the Car and support vehicles.

Can a freelance photographer apply for media accreditation?

Yes, details will be published nearer the time.

How dangerous are the sonic booms?

All motor sports events carry a degree of risk due to their nature. This event is no different and all spectators will attend at their own risk. However, the distance from the flying mile to the public areas has been selected to minimise risk without detriment to the experience.

How do I get there?

a. From UK: By air to either Johannesburg or Cape Town
b. From Johannesburg: Internal flights are available to Upington or you can drive (this takes about a day).
c. From Upington: We don’t yet know if there will be a bus service from Upington. Any shuttle service will be the responsibility of the Northern Cape Provincial Government and the event management company.

Is there a complete package of flight, accommodation, transport etc?

Not yet. However, if you know of a travel package company that would like to offer this, please ask them to get in touch with us.

Do I need any special travel permits?

This depends on your country of departure and your nationality. It is recommended that you check with the South African Embassy in your country of residence.

What car hire is available?

Car hire is available at the major airports and at Upington airport. All the usual car hire companies are present at Upington airport, although we recommend you book ahead online.

What are the roads like?

Main tourist routes are paved. It is possible to drive on tarmac all the way to Hakskeen Pan. Other roads are crushed and rolled gravel

Can I fly in by private light aircraft/helicopter?

A nearby airstrip will be established. Reitfontien airstrip is now in very poor condition and not recommended for fixed-wing general aviation. However, the Hakskeen Pan area will be strictly controlled airspace with no-fly periods notified for BLOODHOUND run periods.

Is there a camping area and what facilities will be there (water, electricity)? Cost?

We don’t yet know as this will be the responsibility of the Northern Cape Provincial Government and the event management company.

Will there be toilets?

We don’t yet know as this will be the responsibility of the Northern Cape Provincial Government and the event management company.

Can we buy food and fuel locally?

This will be the responsibility of  the Northern Cape Provincial Government and the event management company. Upington town has all the major supermarkets and there is a mini market in Askham which is aware of the impending rush of visitors, as are the two fuel garages.

How far is the nearest accommodation? How much does this cost?

There are lodges all the way along the road from Upington to Hakskeen an. Generally, guest house prices for a double room vary from R400 to R800 per night full board. There are also very good Protea hotels in Upington and lots of guest houses, but you need to book. Websites such as Trip Adviser may be useful www.tripadviser.co.uk. Another source of information will be the Northern Cape Tourist Agency website www.northerncape.org.za

What medical facilities are available?

Upington has a good general hospital. The Northern Cape Provincial Government will establish a medical first aid point at the event.

What are the weather conditions at that time of year?

At the start of October, temperatures range from just over 5ºC (dawn) to a maximum of around 25ºC (afternoons). It becomes warmer in November, potentially up to mid-30s with nights in the mid-teens. We do not expect any rain when we are there.

Is it a malaria area?

No.

Is the event suitable for children?

The primary objective of the BLOODHOUND project is to inspire children in STEM subjects. Children are most welcome!

How do we get information once we are there?

Both the event management company and BLOODHOUND will be publishing their forward programmes using as many media/internet channels as possible.

Is there anything special planned for 1K Club members and Ambassadors, such as escorted tours?

We are discussing details of how 1K Club members and Ambassadors can be involved.

Do you need volunteers?

BLOODHOUND maintains a list of volunteers with specialist skills “just in case”. However, the trackside area will be potentially hazardous for untrained team members and volunteers. Ambassadors will be offered opportunities to visit schools around Upington.

What else is there to do? Any organised trips? Any hiking trails nearby?

The event management company will be responsible for organising alternative activities for non-run days.

However, there is already a wealth of activities in the local area away from the Pan, including safari parks, rafting on the Orange River and vineyards. We are putting together a list of broader Northern Cape tourist opportunities (such as hiking, game parks, canoeing, golf) that we will include in our upcoming Inside Africa monthly column. These will include places such as Upington and Kimberley in the Northern Cape, Cape Town and the Garden Route that are likely to be a high priority for first time visitors to South Africa.

How do I get more information?

Keep coming back to our website as it is updated regularly.

Register your interest in visiting Hakskeen Pan and we will notify you when more information is available.