Fish River Canyon

fish river canyon

The Fish River Canyon, Africa’s answer to the Grand Canyon, is one of the best places in Namibia to stand in awe of the raw power of nature. Measuring 27 kilometres wide, 550 metres deep and 160 kilometres long, it’s the largest canyon on the continent and Namibia’s greatest geological wonder. The canyon lies in different nature reserves: its southern stretch (the deepest section) is in the |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, while its northern reaches are protected by private reserves. The main viewpoint for the canyon is in the |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park and it’s where you’ll get the best outlook, with views of the Hell’s Corner riverbend.

Highlights

fish river lodge Stunning vistas from Fish River Lodge

One of southern Africa’s most popular treks and the best way to experience the canyon, the Fish River Canyon Hike covers 85 kilometres – half the length of the entire canyon – in five to seven days. It’s a tough self-guided camping hike but the rewards include soaking up spectacular canyon scenery, soaking in hot springs, cooling off on swims in the river and sleeping under the stars. If you want do some easier hikes, lodges in the area offer shorter and easier walks.

enter image description here Ai-Ais natural hot springs

Whether you do the Fish River Canyon Hike or not, soaking your body in the healing waters of Ai-Ais natural hot springs at the southern end of the canyon is a real treat. There’s a resort at the hot springs where you’ll find indoor and outdoor thermal baths and spas on the banks of a river surrounded by mountains.

Practical advice

  • In terms of lodging options for the Fish River Canyon, there’s a range of choices from campsites to luxury lodges located in both the national park and in private reserves.

  • You need to book a year in advance to do the Fish River Canyon Hike, which is only open during the cooler winter months of May to September. It’s a gruelling hike and you may experience temperatures of over 40 degrees, so it’s essential that you are fit, strong and healthy before you decide to tackle it.


Our Recommended Itinerary

South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure

day 1

Start your journey
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure

day 2

Cross over into Namibia
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure

day 3

Fish River Canyon
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure

day 4

  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure

day 5

Windy ghost town
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure

day 6

Namib Naukluft National Park
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure

day 7

Sossusvlei
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure

day 8

Swakopmund
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure

day 9

Skeleton Coast
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure

day 10

Day at leisure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure
  • South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure

day 11

End of your journey

View Full Itinerary

You might also like

Namib-Naukluft National Park

The fourth largest national park in the world, the Namib-Naukluft National Park is a 50 000 square kilometre wilderness in the Namib Desert: a place of shifting terracotta dunes, vast plains and shimmering savanna fringed in the east by the dramatic Naukluft Mountains. This is Africa’s largest conservation area and one of the best places on the planet for truly mind-blowing desert…

Languages in Namibia

Himba women | Credit: Eye See Africa Namibia has a remarkable diversity of spoken languages: around 30 in total. English is the official language in Namibia, and almost everyone that you’ll meet on your travels will speak English, even though it’s the first language of less than 1% of the country’s population. Nearly half the population speaks Oshiwambo dialects, while the other…

Travelling to Namibia

If you’re flying to Namibia from the US, it’s easiest to travel to Johannesburg in South Africa and catch a two-hour connecting flight to Windhoek in Namibia. Travellers from Europe have the option of direct flights to Windhoek from Frankfurt on Air Namibia or from Cologne-Bonn on Eurowings or from Amsterdam on KLM or connecting flights via Johannesburg from London on British…

Walking safaris in Namibia

How to have a walking safari in Namibia The ever-enchanting landscapes of Namibia has some of Africa’s most dramatic scenery and many great hikes as well as walking trails. However walking safaris in Namibia offer a slightly different approach to the more traditional walking safaris of its African counterparts in that spotting prolific wildlife may not be as easy to come by because of…

Medical emergencies in Namibia

Due to its dry climate, Namibia is generally a safe country when it comes to health issues. Windhoek has good medical facilities, although you will probably only spend a few days in the city and the rest of your trip in more remote areas: most of Namibia is rural and sparsely populated and big towns with hospitals are few and far between. If you have minor health problem then you’ll…

Fish River Canyon

The Fish River Canyon, Africa’s answer to the Grand Canyon, is one of the best places in Namibia to stand in awe of the raw power of nature. Measuring 27 kilometres wide, 550 metres deep and 160 kilometres long, it’s the largest canyon on the continent and Namibia’s greatest geological wonder. The canyon lies in different nature reserves: its southern stretch (the deepest section)…

Popular Namibia Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | Botswana and Namibia family safari

Botswana and Namibia family safari

Enjoy both Botswana's Okavango Delta and Namibia's Caprivi Strip on a safari holiday filled with fun ...

 | Best of Namibia Self-Drive Adventure

8 Day Namibia Self-Drive Adventure

Explore Namibia like never before...

Red dunes | Short and Sweet Sossusvlei Sojourn (SA 5 days)

Short and Sweet Sossusvlei Sojourn

Reconnect with nature in Namibia's southern desert and marvel at Sossusvlei's high red dunes glowing in the early morning light...

Scenery | Luxury Namibia: Sossusvlei, Damaraland and Kunene (SA 7 days)

Luxury Namibia: Sossusvlei, Damaraland and Kunene

Experience Sossusvlei's red dunes glowing in the early morning light, find desert-adapted elephant in Damaraland and meet the Himba nomads in Namibia's far north-west...

 | Northern Namibia Self-Drive Camping Adventure

Northern Namibia Self-Drive Camping Adventure

An adventure that encompasses areas like the Central Highlands of Namibia, Etosha National Park and Damaraland...

 | Namibia safari on board the Rovos Rail

Namibia safari on board the Rovos Rail

Immerse yourself in the luxury and old-world charm of this train journey through a land as old as time...

 | 11-day Affordable Namibian experience

11-day Affordable Namibian experience

From the capital of Windhoek to the pristine Ongava Private Game Reserve, this Namibian adventure has all the elements of an unforgettable safari into the untamed wilderness...

 | Namibia safari adventure

Namibia safari adventure

Namibia is an ideal destination for travellers seeking an unforgettable African experience in a uniquely beautiful untamed wilderness...

 | South Africa and Namibia Classic 4x4 Self Drive Adventure

South Africa and Namibia Classic Self Drive Adventure

This is a great adventure, travelling up the West Coast of South Africa and visiting iconic destinations in southern Namibia...

 | Namibian Etosha Self Drive Adventure

Namibian Etosha Self Drive Adventure

Drive yourself through the majestic landscapes of Namibia en-route to Etosha and spend your days searching for, and finding the wildlife that Etosha is known for...