The Fish River Canyon is located the south of Namibia. It is the second largest canyon in the world and the largest in Africa, as well as the second most visited tourist attraction in Namibia. It features a gigantic ravine, in total about 100 miles long, up to 27 km wide and in places almost 550 metres deep.
The Fish River is the longest interior river in Namibia. It cuts deep into the plateau which is today dry, stony and sparsely covered with hardy drought-resistant plants. The river flows intermittently, usually flooding in late summer; the rest of the year it becomes a chain of long narrow pools.
Upstream the river runs through horizontal dolomite strata. These strata formed part of the canyon about 650 million years ago when plate movement cracked the earth, the first process in the formation of the Fish River Canyon.
Lower down, a granite complex system is exposed to form a characteristic river bed that results in forms like Fingerspitze. In this area, a fault runs north-south, which accounts for the gorge-like channel and the presence of hot sulphurous springs.
No facilities are available and hikers sleep outdoors for the entire trip which usually takes 3 to 5 days to complete.
Due to high summer temperatures which frequently exceed 45°C, the hike is only open in winter. The season starts 15 April and ends 15 September. A medical certificate is required to attempt the hike, and groups must consist of at least 3 participants.
To get you started with planning your holiday to Fish River Canyon, we have showcased below some popular itineraries requested by our clients which we hope will inspire your visit to Africa