Namibia’s south region boasts of having the largest canyon – a deep gorge with a river flowing in it – in Africa. The Fish River Canyon is the second most visited tourist attraction spot in Namibia measuring 800 km long and 27 km wide and a depth of 550 metres.
Cutting deep into the plateau, Fish River Canyon is the longest river in Namibia flowing in the summer, leaving pools of water during other seasons of the year. Its waters which also flow into the Hardap Dam has made it the largest water reservoir in Namibia.
The famous Ais-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park has been formed in part by the canyon and is managed by the State.
The main entrance is located 10 km away from Hell’s Bend viewpoint at the Hobas Restcamp. Once at Ais-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier, Fish River Canyon waters which starts at Seeheim flow into the Orange River bordering South Africa.
While visiting the canyon, visitors report at the park for the Canyon hike, the most popular activity here. However, due to high temperatures during summers, hikes are closed. Between April and September, the 5-day Fish River Hiking trail bursts to life. It covers 85 km and winds up down the canyon.
History has it that Fish River Canyon was formed more than a billion years ago when a huge mountain range brought down the range into a plain which turned into an ocean over 650 million years ago.
Fish River Canyon started forming 350 million years ago from this ocean aided by tectonic faults that ended up forming the valley of Fish River.