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Fish River Canyon

 
 

The Fish River is, at 650 kilometres, the longest river in Namibia. Its source lies in the eastern Naukluft Mountains and flows south-west of Ai-Ais into the Oranje.

The Fish River canyon, situated along the lower reaches of the Fish River, is one of the most impressive natural beauties in the southern part of Namibia. It developed predominantly during the pluvial times - a rainy climatic epoch - many millions of years ago. With a depth of up to 550 metres, the Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world, before the Grand Canyon in America. The enormous gorge meanders along a distance of approx. 160 kilometres through the fissured Koubis massif all the way down to Ai-Ais. The canyon starts near Seeheim, is 161 kilometres long and ends at Ai-Ais.

The Fish River Canyon probably formed about 500 million years ago. However, the gorge was not only created by water erosion, but also through the collapse of the valley bottom due to movements in the earth's crust.

Because the Fish River is being dammed in Hardap near Mariental, it only contains a small amount of running water. In winter, during the dry season, the riverbed is often completely dry or reduced to only the occasional puddle.

The canyon is part of a Nature Conservation Park. The gate is situated at the rest camp Hobas. From there, you have to drive another 10 kilometres to the actual Canyon which offers a stunning view of "Hell's Bend".

The Fish River Canyon has become a popular hiking destination. However, hikes require good physical health and should only be undertaken during the cooler winter months (between May and September). A permit from Namibia Wildlife Resorts in Windhoek must be obtained. The hike is 86 km in length and takes about 5 days.

Much easier hikes, no less beautiful, are offered in the bordering private "Canyon Nature Park". The adjacent and also private "Gondwana Canyon Park" offers scenic hikes. They also have excellent accommodation.

 

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Other Namibian Destinations:

Etosha National Park   Sossusvlei / Sesriem
A visit to the Etosha National Park is one of the highlights of travelling Namibia. Etosha, which was...more   The Sossusvlei, Namibia's famous highlight in the heart of the Namib Desert, is a huge clay pan, enclosed by...more
     
Fish River Canyon   Kaokoveld
The Fish River canyon, situated along the lower reaches of the Fish River, is one of the most impressive...more   Located in the far north-west, Kaokoland (also called Kaokoveld) is one of the relatively untouched regions in Namibia. The...more
     
Ai-Ais / Fish River   Swakopmund
Thermal water rich in sulphates and fluorides and with a temperature of approx 60°C gushes forth from the...more   Swakopmund was of major importance as a harbour during the German colonial era even though the...more
     
Caprivi   Kalahari Gemsbok National Park
The Caprivi is a narrow strip of land in the far northeast of Namibia, about 400 kilometres long. Germany exchanged the area...more   The Kalahari Gemsbok National Park is located between the borders of Namibia and Botswana. The park covers an area of...more
     
Aus / Wild Horses   Namib Naukluft Park
The little place of Aus lies some 120 kilometres east of Lüderitz on the National Road B4, which connects...more   The Namib-Naukluft Park is Namibia's largest nature reserve, about 50.000 sqkms in size. It includes a 100 to150 km broad...more
     
Luderitz   Waterberg Plateau Park
Luderitz is a slighty sleepy and maybe also bizarre place, which forms the basis of its appeal. The founding...more   The Waterberg Plateau east of Otjiwarongo towers over the surrounding plains, being about 200 metres higher. The...more
     
Kolmanskop   Mariental / Hardap Dam
In 1908, Luderitz was plunged into diamond fever. People rushed into the Namib Desert hoping to make an...more   Mariental lies 260 kilometres south of Windhoek on the B1. The little town provides for the...more
     
Maltahöhe   Keetmanshoop
Maltahöhe lies 110 kilometres west of Mariental atthe end of the tarred part of the C19 Pad, quite easily...more   Keetmanshoop lies on the B4, 500 km south of Windhoek. It is the traffic junction and the economic centre for the...more
Kalahari Desert    
Stretching to 360,000 square miles, the Kalahari Desert extends beyond the borders of three countries in Africa... more    

 

 
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