Namibia is a beautiful country to visit. The vast plains and emptiness are pretty special and hard to compare to any other destination. If you plan on going to Namibia then you must definitely visit Fish River Canyon. It’s the second-largest Canyon in the world. Even if you’ve seen the Grand Canyon you will still be amazed by the beauty of Fish River Canyon.
Facts of Fish River Canyon
Fish River Canyon is located in the south of Namibia, near the border with South Africa. It’s a seven hours drive from Namibia’s capital city Windhoek. The Canyon is 161 km long, 27 km wide, and up to 550 meters deep and can be found in the Ai-Ais National Park. Ai-Ais means “burning water” in the local Nama language and refers to the hot springs which can be found in the area. An entry ticket is valid for 24 hours and you can enter and exit the park within that timeframe. This way you can decide whether or not you want to sleep in the park itself and if you want to see the canyon multiple times. We entered the park just before sunset and then came back the next morning to visit the wonderful spot during sunrise. We can really recommend this.
Fish River Hiking Trail
If you’re the sporty type and up for a challenge you can book the Fish River Hiking Trail. This is a five-day hike of about 80-90km which starts at the Hikers’ Viewpoint and will finish at Ai-Ais. It’s a tough challenge depending on how fit you are. There are no facilities along the way so you’ll have to pack everything that you need yourself. This hike should be booked in advance through the NWR website.
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Walk along the edge of the Canyon during sunset
Less sporty but still in for an amazing view? A day trip to the Fish River Canyon is a wonderful experience. You’ll start at Hobas and after about 10km you’ll end up at the Main Viewpoint with a magnificent view on Hell’s Bend. A number of picnic tables can be found here to make it even more comfortable. Take some drinks and snacks with you to enjoy this spectacular scenery.
You can also go and see the next viewpoint called Sulphur Springs. If you have a 4×4 (or a rugged car) you can drive towards the Eagle’s Rock. Pretty much every single viewpoint along the canyon’s edge is wonderful. Just make sure you’re there at either sunrise or sunset (or preferably both) and take some drinks with you. There are no fences so enjoy the views and be one with nature!
Accommodation inside or outside the park
The best thing to do is sleep inside the park or just outside its boundaries. This way you’re there when the canyon is at its most beautiful. If you want to stay overnight inside the park then you can do this at the Ai-Ais Hot Spring Spa or camp at the Hobas Campsite. Just outside the parks there are really nice options such as Gondwana Canyon Park, Canyon Roadhouse, and Canyon Village. From here it’s just a couple of minutes to the park.
West of Fish River Canyon the Fish River Lodge can be found. Do check carefully where your accommodation is situated. If you’re in the Western part it could well be that it ‘s pretty difficult to get to the Eastern section. Make sure you know what you want to see and where you want to go before you book your place to stay.