Namibia’s first Transfrontier Conservation area covers a stark landscape with an otherworldly feel. The naked ground is arid with curious geological formations of which the Fish River Canyon is the most famous. The world’s second largest canyon has a width of up to 27 km and a depth of 550 metres. Viewpoints in the north and south are the most spectacular sections exposing the visitor to an overwhelming sight. As you follow the canyon winding through the arid land you become aware that you are witnessing the result of the process that took hundreds of millions of years. Those who wish to immerse themselves in this geological feature can hike in the canyon. The 85 km Fish River Canyon Hiking Trail is considered one of the toughest in Southern Africa and ends with a relaxing treat at the /Ai-/Ais Hot Springs. The /Ai-/Ais Hot Springs and the Fish River were first proclaimed as a conservation area in 1968 and in 1989 the Huns Muntains were added. In 2003 the conservation area crossed the border to South Africa and was joined with the Richtersveld National Park. Namibia’s first Transfrontier Conservation area gives nature lover and 4×4 drivers the opportunity to cross the Orange River into the moon landscape of the Richterveld a harsh but absolutely pristine area. The attraction of the /Ai-/Ais Richtersveld Tranfrontier Park lies in its unique geological formations. The age of this landscape becomes tangible as you examine the layers of rock and the shapes carved steadily through the ages. Hardy plants such as the halfmens or elephant’s trunk and succulents like the quiver tree add to the surreal atmosphere in this barren environment. Animals which make a living here are baboons, klipspringer and ground squirrel. Less common are kudu, zebra and leopard.

Accommodation

The /Ai-/Ais Hot Springs Spa is run by NWR and offers accommodation for hikers and those who just want to enjoy the thermal springs. Several lodges are dotted around the canyon and the Hobas Campsite offers a budget option 10 km from the main viewpoint.