Fast Facts

Location: Lower stretches of Fish River from Seeheim to Ai-Ais in Namibia
Best Time to Visit: May to September
Preferred timings: Daytime
How to reach: Fly to Timbuktu from Mopti or Bamako, and then travel by taxi, or on Camelbacks; alternatively travel by boat from Mopti to Timbuktu
Nearest Railway Airport: Keetmanshoop
Nearest International Airport: Keetmanshoop
Time required for sightseeing: 1 to 5 days

Fish River Canyon is an outstanding natural feature in southern Namibia. With a depth of 550 meters and a length of about 160 km Fish River Canyon is second to the Grand Canyon in the United States. This canyon on the lower reaches of Fish River stretches from Seeheim to Ai-Ais. The fissured Koubis massif along which the Fish River in Namibia flows is bewildering. Geologists estimate the existence of the River Fish canyon since pluvial times of about 500 million years ago. The Fish River empties into the Orange River

The best time to tour Namibia Fish River canyon is between December and March when the river is in torrents because of rainfall. In the cooler months from May to September, the river is mostly in puddles or at times even dried up. This Fish River Canyon is part of a Nature Conservation Park beginning in Hobas. The best way of viewing this canyon is by trekking. The complete hike is almost 54 km and extends to 5 days. However, you also have easier trails lasting for a day. For trekking, a permit is required to be taken from Namibia Wildlife Resorts in Windhoek. Though the river may not be full, it is advisable to hike during the cooler months of May to September. Do not miss out on the ‘Hell’s Bend’ of the Fish River Canyon at an approximate distance of 10 km from Hobas the rest camp of Nature Conservation Park.

In the upper regions of the trek, you would pass Palm Springs rich in sulfur. The spring surrounded by date palms is a beautiful place to rest awhile. However, the stench of sulfur might become a little heavy for you to stay here for long. After Palm Springs you would come across the grave of Lieutenant Thilo von Trotha, a German officer. Along the way there are no accommodations and tents need not be carried as the nights are pleasant and dry. Water is available from the mountain streams or springs. You must carry your toiletries, essentials, and food for the trek. Ai-Ais, where your trek ends, is a village where food and lodging facilities are available.

For accommodation, you can choose from camps in Ai-Ais or Hobas. Alternatively, you might stay at Canon Roadhouse, Canon Lodge, or Vogelstrausskluft Country Lodge.

For easier or additional hikes try the ‘Gondwana Canyon Park’ or the ‘Canyon Nature Park’ both of which are close to Nature Conservation Park.

Related Links : For great views of the magnificent Fish River Canyon in Namibia, watch this video!

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