Fish River Canyon, Namibia

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 Reviews

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  • Hells Corner, Fish River Canyon
    Hells Corner, Fish River Canyon
    by Robmj
  • Fish River Canyon
    by smirnofforiginal
  • Fish River Canyon
    by smirnofforiginal
  • magor65's Profile Photo

    Enormous and overwhelming

    by magor65 Written Aug 22, 2010

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    Fish River Canyon bathed in the sun
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    The Fish River Canyon is said to be the second largest canyon in the world. With its enormous dimensions - it is 160 km long, up to 27 km wide and in some places over 500 m deep- it is definitely immense and breathtaking. The impression is magnified by the shock of a sudden encounter with the place. First you go across kilometres of flat and barren landscape, which doesn't prepare you for the wonder ahead. Suddenly the plateau drops half a km down, displaying the intricacy of the canyon. It's just awesome. You simply feel overwhelmed by its magnificent beauty.
    We visited the canyon before the sunset so we had a chance to see it bathed in the orange light of the setting sun but then it suddenly started to darken and the canyon looked more and more ominous, until it completely disappeared in the black of the night. By then we reached the meeting point where our guide and cook in one person was waiting for us with dinner under the stars. So there we sat, looking at the endless sky studded with millions of stars and enjoying our meal next to the canyon.

    The Fish River Canyon was formed by a fracture in the earth's crust and then deepened by the flow of water over millions of years. Of course there's a legend concerning its origin. According to the San people it was an enormous serpent called Koutein Koorn that made the canyon. Escaping from the hunters into the desert it burrowed in the earth creating the gouges.

    For the brave and fit ones there's a possibility to hike along the bottom of the canyon. The route is 85 km long and is open from May to September. One has to obtain a hiking permit (either in Hobas or Ai-Ai) and may be asked to present a doctor's certificate of fitness.

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    • Safari
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • diageva's Profile Photo

    Fish River Canyon

    by diageva Written Oct 19, 2004

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    Fish River Canyon

    Fish River is the longest river of Namibia. The canyon is named the second bigest after Grand Canyon.
    I went over 1 pm, wrong. I can imagen that this place is must be beautiful at sunrise or sunset but at 1pm did look, nice .. but not as nice cause there was so many light and everything looked so arid.
    It is a long way to arrive here so be sure that if you come, come at the correct time.
    You can go to Hobas Campsite to sleep. The canyon is only open during the winter period from 3rd May to 30th September, and if you want to walk along it you have to get a medical certificate.

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  • smirnofforiginal's Profile Photo

    Fish River Canyon

    by smirnofforiginal Written Dec 31, 2009

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    Fish River Canyon, preported to be the second largest canyon in the world, is really rather spectacular, especially at sunset when the sky turns blood red.

    The canyon is a staggering 160km in length, 27km in width and 550m deep with the Orange River running through it. Difficult to comprehend the size but easy to understand that it is somewhat impressive.

    If you want to get to the canyon you are going to need your own set of wheels because there no transport reaches here.

    Had there not been one of the numerous "tourist lorries" (lorries which drive a number of eager adventurers across Namibia in various degrees of comfort, depending on how many N$ each adventurer has parted with), we would have been the only people at the look out point and it would have been absolutely idealic. As it happened, there were about 20 of these lorried adventurers and they did not seem particularly bothered that we were trying to enjoy the sunset and the incredible jurassic landscape... sa it happened when we left we probably knew more about what food each of them was going to eat, how it was going to be prepared and who was going to cook it - sushi style....

    Keep your eyes peeled for springbok springing out at you and the occasional stunned desert hare. Less likely to be seen are porcupines but, having found a quill they are obviously about. We saw more remains of animals than we did live ones!!!

    There are hiking trails and canyon activities but we were content to observe and wonder, to enjoy the landscape and tranquility and to simply "be"

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  • windsorgirl's Profile Photo

    Fish River Canyon

    by windsorgirl Updated Jan 19, 2004

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    Fish River Canyon

    This canyon is the second largest in the world behind the Grand Canyon. It is 160kms long and up to 500m deep in some places. It is also 27kms wide at its widest point.

    It is located in the far south of Namibia, almost on the border with South Africa. Most tourists stick to the northern regions of Namibia, however, if you can make the trip, the views are well worth it and without all the crowds that you find at the Grand Canyon.

    There are also many hikes that you can do down to the river, bring plenty of water and a good hat.

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  • anne77's Profile Photo

    Visit world's second largest canyon!

    by anne77 Written Oct 6, 2006

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    Fish River Canyon
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    Our first night in Namibia was spent next to the Fish River Canyon, which is the second largest canyon in the world.

    The canyon was much more beautiful and impressive than what I imagined. We went over there to see the sunset. The guide dropped us off at one view point, and we walked along the top of the canyon to the second view point (1.5 km), stopping along the way to take pictures and more pictures!

    Unfortunately, there were too many clouds to see the sunset, but it was a beautiful experience.

    Bring some champagne or something to drink while you watch the sun go down (or up!)

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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • Robmj's Profile Photo

    Fish River Canyon

    by Robmj Written Aug 17, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Hells Corner, Fish River Canyon

    This is a stunning canyon that is 160kms in length and at points is 27kms wide. It goes down around half a kilometre from the surface and has a walking trail that goes for 85kms, This is controlled however, so there is no casual day walks available which is a shame. This canyon is suppossedly the second largest canyon in the world, behind the Grand Canyon of course.

    The canyon rim affords spectacular views with the main viewing points at hell's corner where my photo was taken from. There are nearby camp sites which are in the Fish River National Park (entrance fee of 170 rand/namib dollar) but also a number of splendid desert lodges to base yourself and explore the grand vistas, animals and bird life.

    A trip to the canyon rim at either sunrise or sunset is recommended.

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  • Vita500's Profile Photo

    The world's second largest canyon

    by Vita500 Written Jan 26, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Namibia's Fish River Canyon

    Seriously, who knew that the Fish River Canyon in Namibia is behind the Grand Canyon in the USA the second largest in the world?

    I only learned it by reading the travel guide while preparing for our trip.

    With a length of approx. 180 km and a depth of up to 550 m, the Fish River Canyon is an impressive natural beauty in the Southern part of Namibia.

    Hiking within the canyon is only allowed during the "winter" period as in summer the temperature gets too extreem and rescue facilities are limited.

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  • MikeAtSea's Profile Photo

    National Parks - Fish River Canyon

    by MikeAtSea Written Oct 25, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Grand Canyon of Southern Africa

    The Fish River is, at 650 kilometres, the longest river in Namibia. Its source lies in the eastern Naukluft Mountains and flows south-west of Ai-Ais into the Oranje.
    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. It developed predominantly during the pluvial times - a rainy climatic epoch - many millions of years ago. With a depth of up to 550 metres, the Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world, before the Grand Canyon in America. The enormous gorge meanders along a distance of approx. 160 kilometres through the fissured Koubis massif all the way down to Ai-Ais.
    The Fish River Canyon probably formed about 500 million years ago. However, the gorge was not only created by water erosion, but also through the collapse of the valley bottom due to movements in the earth's crust.
    The Fish River Canyon has become a popular hiking destination. However, 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. The hike is 86 km in length and takes about 5 days.

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    • Eco-Tourism

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  • TracyG's Profile Photo

    A great canyon...

    by TracyG Updated Jul 6, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fish River Canyon - Namibia

    Definately go to Fish River Canyon. It may not be as spectacular as the Grand Canyon, but it is a hell of a lot less crowded.
    There are some great walks, both around the rim, and into the Canyon. It is a steep walk down, but for anyone that has hiked to the Grand Canyon floor, you will probably find this one easier.....

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  • jaec's Profile Photo

    The Fish River Canyon is...

    by jaec Written Feb 25, 2003

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    The Fish River Canyon is Namibia's version of the Grand Canyon. It is 161 km long, up to 27 km wide and up to 500 metres deep.
    The hike down to the bottom of the canyon is beautiful. There was water at the bottom when we were there which provided a much needed cooling down place. The walk up can be a real endurance test as the heat gets to be very intense. Be sure to take lots of drinking water!!!

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  • Izak's Profile Photo

    Fish River Hiking Trail.

    by Izak Written Feb 25, 2003

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    Hiking on the floor of the Fish River Canyon in the desert. 5 Day hiking trail, must have doctor's health certificate, fitness a must to fully enjoy it. No huts/toilets along the trail. Trail only opens in winter around April to Sept. It can get hot in the day and is advisable to start hiking early, and rest for a long lunch 11 to 3. If it is a clear night the stars are the best part of the hike !

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  • tini58de's Profile Photo

    Fish River Canyon

    by tini58de Updated Aug 4, 2004

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    Fish River Canyon

    The Fish River canyon, is one of the most impressive natural beauties in the south of Namibia. With its depth of up to 550 meters, the Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world right after the Grand Canyon in the USA. The enormous gorge winds along a distance of approx. 160 km through the fissured Koubis massif all the way down to Ai-Ais.

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    • Hiking and Walking

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  • lihue's Profile Photo

    Walking at the rim of Fish River Canyon

    by lihue Updated Nov 17, 2003
    Fish River Canyon

    After the Grand Canyon, Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world. It stretches for about 160 km from the Koubis mountains to the spa of Ai Ais and has it deepest point at 550 m. There is a spectacular 5 days hike following the Fish River, which is only allowed to walk in the cool season, as temperatures can climb up to 50 degrees celsius. Dayhikes from the rim to the bottom and back were prohibitetd , the time we visited, because of an accident, that has happened a year before. The entrance is at the Hobas restcamp. To the rim, you have to drive another 10km before you have breathtaking views of the canyon.

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  • Bushman23's Profile Photo

    Views of the Fish River Canyon

    by Bushman23 Written Jun 10, 2004

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    The fish River canyon... Awesome

    Drive into the Fish river Nature reserve, and then to the start point of the hike. The views are out of this world!

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    • Road Trip

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  • filipdebont's Profile Photo

    Visit the Fish River Canyon,...

    by filipdebont Updated Aug 24, 2002

    0.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Visit the Fish River Canyon, enjoy the view. For more info and pics see my travelogue - chapter Fish River Canyon.

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