Updated: Sep 27, 2020
Nowhere else in Africa will you experience anything quite like the Fish River Canyon
The Fish River begins its journey in the Naukluft Mountains on its way to join the Orange River in the south. It flows steadily at first, dropping over two waterfalls and then plunges into the canyon on its serpentine route to Ai-Ais further south.
At times the Fish River is subdued, and at others it hurtles through the canyon walls in a frenzied rush carving out the canyon's chasms as it has done for over a hundred million years.
The second largest canyon in the world, this gigantic ravine measures 160km in length, up to 27km in width, and reaches a depth of 550m. But as remarkable as these numbers are, it’s hard to get a sense of perspective without experiencing the enormous scope of the canyon from the seat of an aircraft.
This ancient landscape is a geological wonderland that has formed over eons; its contours patiently shaped by sand, wind, water and ice. Even with a clear understanding of the geological process it is hard to fathom how an ephemeral river had the erosive power to carve this colossal canyon into the gneiss bedrock.
There’s a legend that attributes Namibia’s Fish River Canyon to a giant snake called Koutein Kooru that terrorized the people and cattle of the area. So the San hunters set upon it with bows and arrows. Writhing in its death throes, the giant serpent ripped winding furrows into the parched desert plateau.
It is a unique privilege to view the Fish River from above; a place to feel the magnitude of earth-time in relation to the fleeting brush of human life on the canyon rim. Away from civilization, the canyon grandeur is yours alone.