With its breathtaking beauty the Fish River Canyon is one of Namibias prime tourist attractions. Behind only the Grand Canyon in Arizona, it is the second largest canyon in the world with a total length of about 100 miles (160 km), up to 17 miles (27 km) wide and in places almost 1800 feet (550 meters) deep. It was carved out by the Fish River about 600 Million years ago.
For a bit more info and more photos of this natural wonder continue after the jump….
We stayed in Gondwana Canyon Village, about a 10 minute drive away from the Hobas entrance to the National Park and a 25 minute drive from the rim. There is one primary viewpoint and a small rim drive accessible only with 4×4 vehicles (there are no paved roads in this area of Namibia, so you need one anyway). Besides three open air view points and some road turnouts at the rim there are no facilities at the canyon, it is all nature.
A limited amount of people can apply for permits to climb down into the canyon and hike the 88 kilometers from the rim access area to the village of Ai-Ais. This is only possible in the Namibian winter between May 1st and September 15th. The hikers will have to carry all their needs for the 5 day hike.
Below find some telephoto shots of the canyon floor. In winter (the dry season in Namibia – hence sunshine every day) the Fish River does not carry much or in some years any water.
To give you an idea about the vastness and loneliness of the place, I’ve included the last two photos, the first one of the four of us with our car on the rim drive (taken with my little selfie drone) and the late afternoon panoramic shot from one of the viewpoints, where you can spot the tiny figure of my son sitting on the cliff on the right hand side. During our afternoon drive we saw no more than 30 people and 5 cars. Compare that to the circus at the Grand Canyon in the US. The absolute silence when you sit at the rim is amazing.
For photographers, best times to visit are 3 hours after sunrise and two hours prior to sunset.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour to Fish River Canyon. Tomorrow we cross the Namib desert (where we hope to see the wild desert horses) and the diamond mining area enroute to the coastal town of Lüderitz on the South Atlantic Ocean. Stay tuned.
Have a great Saturday