In the south of Namibia lies the immense Fish River Canyon, one of the top 3 canyons in the world. The gorge has a total length of 160 km, a maximum width of 27 km and is up to 550 meters deep. An impressive piece of natural beauty that definitely deserves a visit and where you can enjoy beautiful views in peace.
The Vis River is the longest river in Namibia with a length of 650 kilometers, it originates in the Naukluft Mountains and flows near the town of Ai-Ais in the Orange River. The Fish River Canyon officially starts at Seeheim and ends at Ai-Ais, where you will also find hot springs. The most famous viewpoints are near Hobas where the river makes a number of sharp turns through the deep gorge: Hell’s Bend. The amount of water in the fishing river depends on the season and rainfall, in the dry winter months there are often only a few ponds with water in the river bed. However, the canyon is an impressive sight throughout the year.
The canyon was created millions of years ago by erosion and movements in the earth’s crust. The canyon consists for the most part of black limestone and sandstone.
The water of the Vis River makes it an attractive place to stay for the forest men who used to live in this area. Excavations show that foresters from both the San and the Khoi tribe were already around the river some 50,000 years ago.
Many different species of insects, reptiles and birds live in the area around the fishing river, including the African osprey, black stork, Egyptian goose, giant heron, white-breasted diver and jackal bird. But also mammals such as mountain zebra, kudu, ibex, brown hyena, jackal, leopard, bat-eared fox, gemsbok and the klipspringer that stands out because of its way of moving on the steep rocks.
The viewpoints at Hobas (Main Viewpoint and Hiker’s Viewpoint) are great for a day trip, at Main Viewpoint you can have a picnic or barbecue with a view of the deep abysses. You can only descend into the gorge with an experienced guide, for example you can take the famous 86 km Fish River Canyon Hiking Trail in four or five days when the temperature permits (it can get very hot in the summer months).