Fish River Canyon National Park

Image - Fish River Canyon National Park

Nowhere else in Africa is there anything like Fish River Canyon. The Fish River, which joins the Orange River 76 km South of the Canyon has been gouging out this gorge for aeons, with stunning results. Although the Namibian tourist literature claims that it's the world's second largest canyon, after Arizona's Grand Canyon it's in fact well down the list but that makes it no less awe-inspiring. The chasm now measures 160 km in length and up to 127 km in width, and the dramatic inner canyon reaches a depth of 550m.

The Fish River typically flows between March and April. Early in the tourist season from April to June it normally diminishes to a mere trickle and later in the winter to just a chain of remnant pools along the canyon floor.

Best time to visit
The canyon is dry in the winter, prone to flash flooding in the rainy season and reduced to tiny pools by February and March. The rainy season is from November to March when both Ai-Ais and the hiking trail are closed due to the risk of flash floods.
The hiking trail is open from 15 April to 15 September only.

Other attractions
Hot springs and Swimming pools at Ai-Ais, hiking trail, horse riding trail from Visriviermond farm to Ai-Ais.

The Hobas Information centre, also used as a checkpoint for a five-day canyon hike, is open daily. From Hobas, it's 10km on a gravel road to Hikers Viewpoint, a picnic site where the walking track to Ai-Ais begins.

The main access points are Hobas, near the northern end of the park, and Ai-Ais Hot springs resort, in the south. Both are administered by MET, and all accommodation should be pre booked in Windhoek

Ai-Ais Hot springs has 4 bed luxury flats with ablution facilities, a refrigerator, hotplate and bedding. There is a camping and caravan site with full ablution facilities and cooking areas.

Last Updated on Thursday 26th November 2009