For all its beauty, Namibia can still be a rather unforgiving place. And while the vast deserts and arid plains of this diverse nation have challenged even the most intrepid of adventurers, few places put travelers to the test like hiking Fish River Canyon.
This impressive gorge reaches some 550 meters deep, spans 27 kilometers in width, and stretches more than 150 kilometers in length, making it the second largest canyon in the world. And while navigating the rugged terrain at the canyon’s base can make for a serious challenge, even the most experience hikers warn the descent is not for the faint of heart. The half-mile trail can take upwards of two hours to complete and while embedded chains in the mountain’s rock face alleviate some of the burden, travelers agree this is still the most difficult part of the adventure.
Still, picturesque views, incredible scenery and evening skies that put all others to shame are just part of what make hiking Fish River Canyon a truly memorable Namibian experience. The sulfur pools of Palm Springs offer a perfect place for a rejuvenating footbath. From there, the less technical trek to the Three Sisters rock formation offers a bit of a break on an otherwise strenuous journey.
Hikers need to reserve a spot through Namibian Wildlife Resorts in Windhoek. It costs about 130 Namibian dollars per person and another 30 Namibian dollars to enter the park. A medical certificate of fitness is also required to hike Fish River Canyon. High temperatures make for dangerous conditions much of the year, which means the canyon is only accessible to hikers from May to mid-September.