At 160km long and in places over 500m deep, the Fish River Canyon is the largest of its kind in Africa and one of Namibia’s must-see attractions. You don’t need a 4×4 vehicle to visit the canyon – the main viewpoint at Hobas is easily accessible by a good gravel road. You will, however, need a high clearance vehicle to drive the 20km track along the canyon’s edge. And you’ll need to buy a permit at Hobas Gate before you’re allowed in.
The charming campsite at Hobas Lodge (really just a small camping area, basic shop and handful of simple chalets) is the only option for overlanders in the immediate area, although there are a few other camping options further away from the canyon’s edge. To the south, Ai-Ais Hotsprings Spa also has a campsite, a restaurant and (usually) fuel, as well as a hot spring spa centre and a number of double rooms.
From Ai-Ais you can walk up into the canyon itself, but this far south the canyon is much shallower than further north. The only way to get into the deeper gorge at Hobas is to do the multi-day Fish River Hiking Trail or book a guided excursion with a private tour operator.
Whatever you do, plan to spend a little time. The sunsets from the Hobas viewpoint are particularly spectacular as the sun sinks across the canyon and fills it with golden light.
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