Fish River Canyon in the Ais-Ais National Park, Namibia is Africa’s largest canyon. The Fish River cuts through the canyon that is 100 miles (160km) long and 17 miles wide (27km). The Fish River normally floods in late summer and flows intermittently through the year, sometimes with large puddles and not a flowing river.
This arid region gets extremely hot, especially in summers, up to 122°F, making this a seasonal place to visit. Although open all year-round, it is suggested to go between April and September. There is a famous five-day hike in the canyon open from May to September 15. The hike is a five-day hike for 55 miles (88 km) along the river from Hobas to Ais-Ais.
Content and photographs provided by Yana Kogan and Timon.
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How to Get to Ais-Ais
From C12, go to Hobas to the park entrance. Just outside of the park gate, there is a road directly to Ais-Ais, a one-hour drive. Alternatively, take C10 off-highway B1 to Ais-Ais.
Park Fees and Hours
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Fees: $60 NAD per person per day and $10 NAD per vehicle per day
What to Do at Fish River Canyon
Hobas: start in the Northern part of the park and drive to several viewpoints to see the massive canyon and the Fish River cutting through it. 2WD is ok to get to the main viewpoints, but it is recommended for 4WD to see all of them.
Ais-Ais: at the southern part of the park, Ais-Ais is the main campground and home to a hot spring. There are two swimming pools and a small beach off the Fish River for day swimming.
Hike: Between May and September, check into the five-day hike with NWR at Hobas. Permits are available beginning in May.
Where to Stay at the Fish River Canyon
Ais-Ais campground is your best option for camping and lodging. They have a small store and restaurant as well.
Cost: $168 NAD per person per day camping. Rooms are available from $1060 NAD per day.
Alternate Option: If you are continuing from Namibia to South Africa, you also could stay at the Orange River one hour south of Ais-Ais. Here you will stay right next to the border crossing into South Africa.
Stay: Felix Unite Camping from $150 NAD per person.
That’s it – enjoy exploring Africa’s largest canyon, The Fish River!
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