For a totally different perspective on this giant chasm in the Earth’s crust, you need to hike into the canyon. The classic route is a four- to five-day, 85km hike, which has the reputation of being one of southern Africa’s most challenging trails. It is not to be embarked upon lightly, as you have to carry all your gear, scramble over boulders, trudge through sand and – at certain times of the year – wade through the river numerous times. Moreover, you only have two emergency exit tracks out of the canyon, once down in the bottom. There are one or two slightly easier ways to experience the valley floor, though none could be classified as a stroll in the park, since even the day-trip hike into the gorge involves a near-sheer descent and ascent, taking several hours, and walking in extreme temperatures for much of the season.

The Fish River Lodge offers several day- and multi-day guided excursions into the canyon for 2–10 people. Their guided version of the five-day hike (as well as shorter hiking options) also means your luggage is transported along the way and the cooking is done for you. If you just want a taster of the riverbed, they have 4WD access from the western edge of the rim, so you can be driven down to explore the rock pools on foot. Alternatively, you can hike down (and back if you still have the legs for it) in a day. Gondwana also offers a multi-day hike (mid-April to mid-Sept) along the northern reaches of the canyon (N$2000) covering 32km over three days, with four nights camping, including one at base camp. The advantage of the Gondwana and Fish River Lodge trails, beyond the fact that your gear is carried for you, is that the meals are far more appetizing: a chef’s campfire creations rather than the pot-noodle feasts of the backpacking trail.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Namibia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

In pictures: the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia

In pictures: the otherworldly landscapes of Namibia

From the spectacular dunes of the Namib Desert to the serpentine chasm of the Fish River Canyon, the rugged mountains of the Great Escarpment to the acacia-stud…

15 Feb 2018 • Sara Humphreys camera_alt Gallery
Namibia from above: the world's most extreme landscape

Namibia from above: the world's most extreme landscape

The Namib desert is one of the world’s most extreme environments. Covering 81,000 square kilometres, its vastness can only truly be appreciated from above. He…

17 Jul 2017 • Lottie Gross local_activity Special feature
27 awe-inspiring pictures of Namibia

27 awe-inspiring pictures of Namibia

Namibia has some of the world's most astonishing landscapes. It's home to the world's oldest desert, a long and undeveloped coastline and national parks that te…

31 May 2016 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs