Fish River Canyon and the Deep South

The south of Namibia combines pristine moon landscapes with a surprisingly diverse flora. At the heart of this area lies the mighty Fish River Canyon that winds its way through a rocky landscape revealing geological evidence of the planet’s past. Towards the coast the Sperrgebiet National Park has only recently opened its gates to the public and the quaint town of Lüderitz with its laid back charm and German architecture will make you feel like you travelled back in time.

Explore the Fish River Canyon

With its vast dimensions of 161 km in length and a width of 27 km the Fish River Canyon never fails to impress. It took Namibia’s longest river millions of years to carve serpentines into the land that are up to 550 m deep. In size the Fish River Canyon is second only to the Grand Canyon in Arizona. The viewpoints offer a memorable visual experience while the hiking ranges from scenic walks to epic multi-day trails. Natural hot springs at the southern end of the canyon offer a welcome retreat for tired feet and bodies.

The conservation area surrounding the Fish River Canyon stretches down to the Orange River and includes the Huns Mountains in the west. In 2003 the Namibian government joined the /Ai-/Ais Game Park and the Huns Mountains with the Richtersveld National Park on the South African side of the river to form Namibia’s first transfrontier conservation area, the /Ai-/Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. Nature lovers frequent the park for the stark beauty of its landscape and the sparse but unique flora.

Lüderitz and Kolmanskop

The isolation of this coastal town seems to have conserved it in time. Lüderitz was founded as a German trading station in 1883 and still has much of the German small town feel to it. The colonial buildings from the early 20th century are in excellent conditions and old-style restaurants and bakeries breathe small town hospitality. The bay of Lüderitz is home to a variety of aquatic birds and the coastline offers many beaches and fishing hot spots.

Only 10 km inland from Lüderitz lays the ghost town of Kolmanskop. The town was built around a diamond rush in the beginning of the last century. After the diamond industry moved to Oranjemund Kolmanskop was deserted. The ruins in the desert sand now paint the perfect picture of desolation.

Sperrgebiet National Park

The Sperrgebiet (‘forbidden teritory’ in German) between Lüderitz and the Orange River was closed to the public due to its incredible diamond wealth. After more than 100 years tour operators can now venture into parts of this untouched 26 000 km² territory. The Sperrgebiet National Park is part of the Succulent Karoo biome and its floral diversity qualifies it as one of the world’s top 25 Biodiversity Hotspots.