The Fish River Canyon is found in the south of Namibia. It is the largest canyon in Africa, and the second most visited tourist attraction in Namibia. It features a vast ravine, in total about 100 miles (160 km) long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 meters deep.
The Fish River has its source in the Eastern Naukluft Mountains and in Richtersfeld flows into the Orange River, after travelling for over 650 km through the desert of Southern
Namibia. In its lower part (that is between Seeheim and Ai-Ais) it crosses a mountain range and thereby forms the Fish River Canyon. Today nearly all of the Canyon is preserved by Nature Reserves: In the South where the deepest part can be found by the Ai-Ais / Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, in the North by private Nature Reserves such as the Canyon Nature Park or Vogelstrausskluft.
The Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon worldwide which is second to the Grand Canyon in the Arizona USA. The River Canyon forms part of the state-run Ais-Ais Richtersveld Transfontier Park. Entrance to the Park is situated 10km from the well-known view point Hell`s Bend at the Hobas Restcamp.
Visitors have to report here. It is important to know that in the summer month the Canyon hike is closed due to heat. The Fish River Hiking Trail can be conducted in the month of April to September and can be completed within 4 to 5 days, depending on fitness. It covers a length of 85 kilometers and the descent into the Canyon is only allowed for hikers doing the trail. Day-visitors are not allowed to climb into the Canyon.
Fish River Canyon Activities:
Walk along the river bed on the canyon floor and step on some mini sand dunes and soak up the Namibian sun while resting on a large rock.
Walk along the rim of Fish River Canyon, watch the amazing sunset and enjoy absolute tranquility and spectacular scenery. Butterflies and birds do pass by. The walk leads you along thorny bushes which is across little grass clumps and stones mixed with small beautiful flowers. Observe the unique Quiver Trees on your way back to your accommodation.
Hikers can as well enjoy an 85 km nature trail to the ground of Fish River Canyon in Namibia. The starting point for this 4-5 day hike is the northernmost viewpoint, which is near the Hobas campsite. You must be really fit and also get a permit for this activity in Namibia.
You will be rewarded with absolute solitude, rugged scenery, wilderness and the sightings of animals like Baboons, Mountain Zebra or Ground Squirrels. Step down the sheer walls which is towards the meandering river. Chain handholds help you when descending to the ground of the Fish River Canyon. Cool off in a pool, and then go on hiking and pitch up your tent.
Walk along the river bed on the canyon floor and step on some mini sand dunes and soak up the Namibian sun while resting on a large stone. The 5 days Fish River Canyon hike ends in the Ai-Ais Hot Springs Resort, where you can relax at the thermal waters. But be at alert, because baboons might steal your food or towels that were hanged out for drying in the night.
- This hike is normally done from 15 April to 15 September, as floods might occur during the rainy season and the summer months are way too hot. The temperature in this Namibian canyon heats up to 50 degrees Celsius or even more.