Second to Arizona's Grand Canyon, and the second most visited attraction in Namibia, the daunting yet spell binding sheerness is a not to be missed feature of Namibia. The tranquility and timelessness experienced here is beyond anything you would have felt before.
Vegetation in the Canyon is very sparse making it difficult to spot game, however if you look hard and there a quite a few species that inhabit the canyon.
African Black Duck, Olive Thrush, Black-headed, Grey and Goliath Heron, Egyptian Goose, flocks of Abdim's Stork, Black Stork, Cape Robin Chat, Dab-chick and reed and White-breasted Cormorant are common sightings. Thickets of reedbeds flourish and African Marsh Warbler, Cape Reed Warbler, Red Bishop, Great Reed Warbler, Masked Weaver and Red-billed Quelea can also be easily spotted. Jackal buzzard and Black eagle nest in the steep cliffs and the African Fish Eagle has also been previously spotted along with Black-Headed Canary, Cape Sparrow, Hamerkop, Martial Eagle and Rock Kestrel over the years.
The klipspringer is one of Fish River Canyon's most unique creatures. The hoof structure enables this 'rock jumper' to walk on the tip of its hoof. Other canyon dwellers include mountain zebra, kudu, steenbok, gemsbok and springbok, attracting predators such as leopard, jackal, brown hyena and bat-eared fox. Rare sightings of a small population of grey rhebok have been recorded.
Emerging often after a torrential downpour, the Nama Padloper Tortoise is endemic to Namibia and protects itself by hiding in the rocks and crevices around the canyon, usually from heavy rains.
Sharp-toothed Catfish and Yellow Fish are found in the natural pools of Fish River and are preyed upon by leopard and African fish Eagle.
A deadly species of snake found in Fish River Canyon is the Cape Cobra. The neurotoxic venom can result in death or paralysis in humans. Another species of cobra, the Black-necked Spitting Cobra should also be avoided.
A touch of paradise in this otherwise rocky landscape, known as Palm Springs, these Sulphur Springs have a stable temperature of 57°C and contain sulphur, chloride and fluoride. This is the best place to soothe your aching muscles.
The 85km hiking trail is one of the most popular activities in the Fish River Canyon. Walk along the rim of the Canyon and immerse yourself in the sunset's colourful shades. From the beginning till the end, the trail is the scenic carnival.
August to September is the best time to visit to view the Spring flowers
July to November - Only the Namibia side gets busy at the Fish River Canyon viewpoint; the rest of the park is rarely crowded.
December to June is low season for the Fish River Canyon.
The best weather is from May to September as it is hot during the day.
From November to February the weather is very hot.
Winter – May to September
Dry throughout the year, days are moderate in winter, but nights can get very cold so be equipped with warm winter clothes. There are clear and bright skies, with common sunshine.
May – The end of summer comes with temperatures ranging from 9°C/48°F in the morning to 22°C/72°F in the afternoon.
June, July & August – Wear warm, winter clothing for the cold mornings that average 6°C/42°F. Sometimes it drops below freezing. Afternoons will be mild with temperatures around 20°C/69°F.
September – Temperatures increase to an average of 22°C/72°F in the afternoons but is chilly 8°C/46°F in the mornings.
Summer – October to April
Average daytime temperatures are relatively mild, it often gets very hot during the summer season. Temperatures may rise to 45°C/113°F and higher in the afternoon, making the heat difficult to manage. The nights cool off and are moderate. Rainfall is rare.
October & November – Temperatures are on the rise, ranging between 12°C/53°F in the morning and 25°C/77°F in the afternoon.
December, January & February – Temperatures can exceed the average of 28°C/82°F by far. Early mornings are cool, approximately 15°C/58°F.
March & April – The high temperatures decline to a more tolerable level with a daytime average of 26°C/80°F. Nights cool to a comfortable 13°C/55°F.
Reaching the Southern Part of the canyon, that is the National Park: (Hobas Viewpoint) From Karasburg and B1, take C12 to C37 to the main Fish River Canyon Viewpoint.
From Keetmanshoop, take B4 to C12, then to C37. To go directly to Ai-Ais Hot Springs from B1, take C10 to Ai-Ais. The hiking trail, begins near Hobas on D601 and ends at Ai-Ais Hot Springs at the C10.
To reach the Northern Part of the Private Nature Reserves from Keetmanshoop or Lüderitz take B4 and turn on D463.
The Fish River Canyon Area supplies several airstips for private and charter flights:
at Fish River Lodge and Vogelstrausskluft
in the vicinity at Grunau, Keetmanshoop and Bethanie