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Fish River Canyon

Southern Sky Adventures: Fish River Canyon

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. With depths of up to 1500 feet, the views from the canyon hikes can be quite breathtaking. The Canyon itself is the second largest in the world, only being surpassed by the famous Grand Canyon in Colorado and is a little more than 1000 miles long, stretching down to the border with South Africa.

The canyon is part of a Nature Conservation Park and the main gate is situated at the rest camp, Hobas. From there, you have to drive another 6 miles to the actual canyon which offers a stunning view of “Hell’s Bend.” When you arrive at the canyon, tourists have no idea it is there. It drops vertically by half a mile, out of a flat arid plateau without any warning. As with most rivers in Namibia, the Fish River is generally dry, however in the raining season (January to April) the river can become a raging torrent.

The Fish River Canyon has become a popular hiking destination. The 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 to take part in the entire hike of 50 miles in length which 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. Plenty of accommodation is available nearby.

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