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The Bloodhound Project Visiting Hakskeen Pan

Visiting Hakskeen Pan

We are receiving more and more enquiries about visiting Hakskeen Pan to see BLOODHOUND SSC. We will try and answer as many questions as we can on this page, which will be regularly updated. A number of questions are answered below and there is a more comprehensive FAQ at www.bloodhoundssc.com/HakskeenFAQ.

To register your interest in visiting, please complete the form below and we will notify you when more information is available.

When will the Team be there?

We have a lot more work to do building and checking out the Car before we can even contemplate moving operations out to South Africa for high speed running, so it is difficult to predict the exact dates we will be there. The current plan is that we will be rolling out the completed Car in 2017, with the intention of UK testing and being on Hakskeen Pan in later in the year. However, please keep visiting this page for more definite news as it becomes available.

The event

As with any big project, there is inevitably some jargon to take on board. This event will be like no other previous desert Land Speed Record campaign. In the past (Thrust2 and Thrust SSC) we would simply arrive in a desert, put our security and support in place, and then crack on with the runs. This time the event belongs to the Northern Cape Province Government (NCPG). In discussions we liken it to a fairground with a Big Top in the middle. In this case BLOODHOUND is the entertainment in the circus ring. Everything else to do with the event is under the management of NCPG.

The aims of the NCPG event are:

  • Promotion of tourism in the Northern Cape Province.
  • Development of Hakskeenpan as an international arena for extreme sports.
  • Promotion of STEM in schools.

The event is broken down into 'Trackside' and 'Landside' areas, which are separated by a fence line. A phenomenal amount of work has gone into preparing the Trackside area, which has been reported in detail on other pages of this website. At some stage prior to running, our advance party will take possession of the Trackside from NCPG and erect the Technical Camp in the NE area near R31. This Technical Camp will be just inside Trackside and adjacent will be the Media Camp, with the public viewing area adjacent on Landside.

Access to Trackside will be strictly limited to the BLOODHOUND team and essential support staff. This limitation is in place in order to provide public safety and material security.  However, there will be opportunities for escorted tours onto Trackside on non-run days.  Also, during the BLOODHOUND deployment periods, aircraft movements in and out of Hakskeen Pan will be strictly prohibited apart from the airborne paramedic and a couple of security helicopters. All other aircraft movements will be diverted to either Upington Airport or the nearby Rietfontein airstrip.

It is the intention that an event management company will be appointed by NCPG to organise and manage the whole event. We expect to sit-in with the appointed Company during its planning phase to ensure our plans dovetail. In the Landside area we have suggested that there is provision for the following:

  • domestic accommodation
  • campsite area
  • RV parking and hook-up area
  • toilets, ablutions etc
  • waste management
  • emergency services ie fire/medical/police (the nearest general hospital is in Upington)
  • public viewing area on landside aligned with the measured mile
  • catering
  • local merchandising
  • transportation services between Hakskeen Pan, Upington and Rietfontein airstrip
  • entertainments for non-run days, such as safari outings, astronomy classes, concerts
  • utilities
  • potable drinking water.

Visiting Hakskeen Pan

If you wish to visit Hakskeen Pan prior to our deployment then there are good internal flights to Upington airport. A return flight from Johannesburg to Upington via Airlink is around £350. From there you can hire a car (small car, 3 days circa £45) and drive up to Hakskeen Pan (approximately 150 miles away). However, there is now a gate in place at the public access road which is kept locked on non-work days. We ask that you respect this; an awful lot of work could be undone unintentionally by driving onto the Pan. There is plenty of accommodation at Upington and on the road north to the desert.

If arriving by light aircraft then you could possibly fly into Rietfontein airstrip but we have not yet visited the airstrip. We believe it is Namibian controlled airspace.

Please DO NOT land on Hakskeen Pan. You will inevitably tangle with ongoing works services and have an interesting time explaining yourself to our 300 good friends working on the Pan!

Arrangements during our two deployments will be similar, although we are hoping that RV rentals will be more obvious in the Upington area. We are also discussing with various travel groups the opportunities to promote a package holiday approach.

A caveat or two!

All of the above is dependent on the timely completion of the Car and specialist support vehicles. It is also dependent on the successful completion of our 200mph runway tests at Newquay Airport before relocating to Hakskeen Pan. We appreciate this makes your travel planning difficult, so we encourage you to follow our website and social media for project updates.

Even if we are there and you are there, we can not guarantee you will see the Car run as there are many decisions to be made before it does, such as: are all the systems ready? Is the driver ready? Is the team ready? And are the weather conditions good? 

Hakskeen Pan or Hakskeenpan?

"Hakskeen" is "heel" in Afrikaans, one of  the languages used in South Africa, and a "pan" in this sense is a natural depression in the ground. Hakskeen Pan is probably named due to its shape on a map. In Afrikaans, you would say Hakskeenpan, but in English this becomes Hakskeen Pan.

The notice in the picture at the top of this page is a mis-spelling!

Where exactly is Hakskeen Pan?

The co-ordinates for Hakskeen Pan are -26° 49' 31.07", +20° 12' 28.72"

Have a look at the map below. Using the zoom out button (the one marked "-" in the bottom right hand corner), you will see that it is right in the North West of South Africa, not far from Namibia and Botswana.

View larger map

More information

There is a more comprehensive FAQ at www.bloodhoundssc.com/HakskeenFAQ .

For more information on the area, please visit the Northern Cape Tourism Authority website or download the article "Dare to visit the Northern Cape"


Register your interest

Please let us know if you are thinking of coming, or you have any other questions; we will publish more on this page as we get nearer to running at Hakskeen Pan

We will keep in touch with you from time to time to inform you of progress