When you journey into the 100-mile course of this incredible canyon, you’re adventuring into the very myths and legends that inform the culture of the San Bushmen who still inhabit Namibia today. The legend goes that a serpent named Kouteign Kooru, fleeing from its pursuers and potential captors carved the canyons with the turns and twists of its massive body.
The Fish River Canyon boasts a drop of 1, 800ft (550m) in some areas and reaches 17 miles (27km) at its widest point, measurements that place this as a must-see highlight on a Namibia safari!
On one of our many Namibia safaris, you’ll be able to discover the wonderful hiking trails that typify the Fish River Canyon floor, covering a distance of 54 miles (86km). There is a certificate of fitness required by the National Parks’ office because of the somewhat rough and demanding sections of the trails, and our team will be more than happy to help you with any information that you might need in preparation for your African adventure.
Whilst there is little wildlife to be seen at the bottom of the Canyon as a result of the rugged rocks and ravines, there are still springbok and steenbok to be seen, as well as kudu and mountain zebra. For twitchers, there are a wide variety of birds and raptors to be seen as you traverse the trails of the world’s second-biggest canyon and take in its magnificent scenery!
The temperatures in this Namibia area are the hottest between November and April, with an average mid-summer temperature that ranges between 97°F and 100°F (36°C-38°C). At its height, it reaches 104°F (40°C) or even higher in the actual Fish River Canyon by the middle of the day. In contrast, the months between May and September are cooler but are still sunny and warm on most days. It can even get hot at times. The temperature drops at night during this season, with a mid-winter minimum of 44.5°F (7°C) or less, especially in the Fish River Canyon in July. The annual rainfall in this here varies between 2 inches (50 mm) and 4 inches (10 mm) per year.
The Ais-Ais hot springs can be found within the Fish River Canyon conservation area. The name Ais-Ais means, “Burning water” in Nama, as the water is measured at temperatures of around 60ºC! These sulphurous springs originate deep underground and are rich in minerals, which have been reported to be beneficial to those suffering from rheumatic or nervous disorders. The Ais-Ais hot springs are a public facility, attached to a resort that includes an indoor spa with Jacuzzi. Given the heat of the summer, the hot springs resort is closed between November and March. For safari travellers, the Ais-Ais is a wonderful place to visit and relax at, while still enjoying the Namibian scenery and the bird watching opportunities of the Fish River Canyon.
Be sure to check out our range of Namibia safaris for those that feature the highlight of the Fish River Canyon, or continue reading about the many attractions that Namibia has to offer!