The Fish River Canyon is the largest canyon in Africa and the second largest in the world after the Grand Canyon. Considered to be Namibia's second most popular tourist attraction; the Fish River Canyon if home to the popular Fish River hiking trail which avid hikers can explore during a 4- 5 day hike.
After a long drive from Cape Town- past the beautiful displays of colourful flowers, and a cold night spent camping at Kamieskroon, we eventually crossed the border from South Africa into Namibia.
Driving out of the border control and over the Orange River into Namibia we were struck by just how different the landscapes of the two countries were. Namibia's scenery, from the moment you cross the border, was far more open and flat compared to anything we had driven past in last day and a half.
Bright colours teased our senses from every direction. A bright brick-red dust road yawned out in front of us, banked by golden yellow grasses and open savannah stretched out in every direction. The sky was an impossibly bright, bright blue and everything was eerily still.
The Fish River Canyon is the largest canyon in Africa and the second largest in the world after the Grand Canyon. Considered to be Namibia's second most popular tourist attraction; the Fish River Canyon if home to the popular Fish River hiking trail which avid hikers can explore during a 4- 5 day hike [link to hiking article].
The canyon stretches for a total of 160 kilometres (100 miles) and is almost 550 metres deep in certain areas. Visitors wanting to visit the canyon and take in the awe-inspiring view are able to stay at either the Ai-Ais Hot Springs Resort at the end of the hiking trail, or at the Hobas camping resort 70 kilometres (43.5 miles) away. Hobas is also the location for the main viewpoint and the start of the hiking trail.
We chose the Hobas site as we wanted to be able to visit the main viewpoint with reasonable ease. After turning off of the B1 onto the M28 we eventually arrived at our destination where we quickly unpacked, erected our tent, and then set off to explore the canyon.
The resort and campsite is located 10 kilometres from the canyon's main vantage point and the drive there takes you through a beautiful wilderness area where were you get your first taste of what Namibia is all about - space, silence, tranquillity and expansive natural beauty.
The road to the main vantage point takes you past a number of stops where you can get out of your vehicle and peer down over the cliff and into the canyon, these are great as warm ups but nothing can prepare you for the absolute beauty of the canyon.
Climbing out of our vehicle we ventured towards the demarcated area and gasped as the incredible splendour of the canyon stretching out before us. We had arrived at a perfect time as the sun was just starting to slip towards the horizon and we sat for a long time gazing out and down at the gorge below us as the rocks changed from brown to yellow to pink and the day turned into dusk.
I had packed a small picnic with some cheese and crackers and we relaxed and chatted about the adventure that lay before us while Namibia wrapped her gentle arms around us and made us feel welcomed. This was the perfect way to start an incredible journey.
by Katie Edge