Working together with about 25 people (ground crew & catering team) and four pilots, the family business started in 1991 by Eric and Nancy has now been carried on to the second generation, Denis and Andreia.
Eric & Nancy Hesemans
Eric was born and bred in the DRC. Together with Nancy, they are the founders of Namib Sky. After having fled several wars in central Africa, they decided to head south. They finally found their little piece of paradise in the Namib desert where their dream was sparked!
Instructor and Designated Examiner for Namibia, Eric still loves his flying after 26 years in the Namib. He shouts a lot, but nobody takes him too seriously as he is the clown of the company! Eric and Nancy now run our seasonal operation in Zambia, and when not there they love to travel the world.
Denis & Andreia Hesemans
Denis grew up in the Namib Desert, surrounded by balloons in a big sand pit! With over two thousand flights he is the safety officer for Namib Sky as well as the Designated Examiner for Namibia. Ballooning is a second nature to him and when not in the air, you will find him in the Namib Desert looking for San pre-historical sites or catching snakes with his brother! His better looking half is without doubt Andreia, she is the general manager and keeps everyone sane. They say dynamite comes in small packages and once you meet her you will know why! Nothing escapes her and everything can always be improved if you ask her! Together they are the second generation of Namib Sky.
Aka “El Nini” – Fernando is our assistant manager, he likes to help out wherever he is needed. Always with a smile, and always ready for the task! You might find him at the breakfast setup making sure everything is up to his standards, or he might be putting up sign boards, filling waterholes on the reserve or getting ice cream for the pilots on a hot day!
Fernando is a every situation kind of guy, and being the little brother of Andreia he is a highly trained professional…with a nothing-is-ever-good-enough attitude, he gets things done!
He is a sharp guy with a great sense of humour, a heart of gold and a real petrol head with a love for bikes, spaghetti bolognese, women of most ages, and a terrible taste in music.
Meet our reservations genie! Janine is that sweet joyful voice answering your calls, and is the one responding to all your queries. She will make sure your bookings are done in the most professional way possible and that all our clients are on time for the early pick-ups!
Janine has been part of the family for many years already and after 10 years in the tourism industry she has finally joined the Namib Sky team. Janine not only loves bookings but she also loves cheesecakes, reading, Le Creuset and pineapples – no guavas.
Serhan has joined our team in 2018, after receiving British aviation training he build most of his hours in Cappadocia, Turkey. Having flown Hot Air Balloons in many parts of the world he found Namibia to be having the best weather. Serhan was actually refused the role for the next James Bond only because he didn’t meet the height requirement. He is a true professional, always doing what he does best with safety in mind and always with a smile. A gentleman at heart, with a passion for flying.
Mike is British, he also speaks fluent English. He is one of the most experienced pilots to be found with large balloons (and they need to be) and is a Fellowship Member of the Royal Meteorology Society. Mike came from a ballooning family, his parents James and Barbara were involved with the British Balloon and Airship company so he didn’t stand a chance of a regular life! Big stature, big heart and a large chunk of humour. Having flown balloons from Kazakstan to Cappadocia, Austria to America, and from the Jordanian desert to the North Pole we can assume that he knows a thing or two about ballooning.
Laurent (Lenny, for those who have trouble pronouncing french) fell in love with ballooning while volunteering as a teacher at our Little Bugs ECD. He arrived from Belgium to gain some experience teaching young children at our community school. During the weekends, he also volunteered as a balloon crew member and very quickly fell in love with ballooning! Once the seed was planted, he went back to Belgium and decided to change career. After obtaining his European pilot licence he has finally returned to where he truly belongs; at the controls of a large flame, showing his passengers the Namib Desert from above! His love for ballooning is as contagious as his French accent!
Tracy has flown balloons and all sorts of aircrafts since she was 16 years old. Today she is actually only 30 with 25 years of experience… Also a maintenance and flight engineer, she makes sure our equipment is in top shape! Tracy gets land-sick easily and is difficult to keep on the ground, when not flying her hobbies include re-building aircraft, documenting insects, exploring nature and all its little precious things.