One of southern Namibia’s major attractions is the Fish River Canyon, the 2nd largest canyon in the world. Stretching some 160kms long, and up to 550m from rim to floor at it’s deepest, it is a spectacular landscape to behold. Formed by water erosion and the collapse of the valley due to movements in the earth’s crust over 500 million years ago, the walls of the canyon show incredible geological variations due to the length of time the canyon took to form.
Approaching the canyon viewpoint from Hobas, the main campsite in the area, you can be forgiven for wondering if you’ve driven in the wrong direction as the canyon remains out of sight until you are on the edge. From here, prepare to be awe struck as you stand on the edge and appreciate the sheer magnitude of this incredible formation.
The area is also incredibly rich in wildlife, and whilst this might be surprising due to the apparent lack of grazing in this rick terrain, creatures such as Hartmanns mountain zebra and klipspringer thrive in this area so keep your eyes peeled as they do tend to camouflage incredibly well. It is also a haven for birdlife, everything from the African fish eagle to the Goliath Heron to Black stork and more.
A popular hiking route, the Fish River hike is a 5 day 80kms hike from Hobas to Ai-Ais only accessible during the dry season. This is a grueling hike during the winter season when temperatures can drop below 0 degrees Celsius, however due to the risk of flash flooding during the rain season this is the safer time to enter the canyon. Permits and pre-bookings are required with the hike booking out up to 1 year in advance.