Africa

Visit the Fish River Canyon and return to Cape Town

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A new account of trip to Namibia that we did for free in August 2016. That day was the last one we spent in Namibia. In the morning we made a visit to the Fish River Canyon and then we drove long hours until we passed the border to South Africa and reached Cape Town.

We started the day with a breakfast at seven in the morning, which was included in the price of the room. The plan was to see the impressive Fish River Canyon and undertake the return to Cape Town. A titanic task in terms of kilometers and hours, but we thought it would be better to face it after having slept and eaten well.

Before going to breakfast, we fill the deposit at the resort's gas station ($ 400). We ate some tortillas to taste prepared there by the cook and at half past seven we were already in the car heading to the Fish River Canyon.

There is an hour and a half from the Ai-Ais Resort to the Fish River Canyon. Take the C37 road whose detour is about 20 kilometers from the hotel. The road is in quite good condition and it is easy to travel at 70km / h. Along the way we found a car from the forties abandoned in the middle of the place and stopped to take some photos.

Little by little we were approaching the canyon and its silhouette began to be seen in the distance. At 8: 45h we arrive at Hobas, NWR camp and base to explore the canyon. Entrance fees were $ 80 per person plus $ 10 per car. We thought they would give us a map with the viewpoints of the canyon, but no. On the counter was a map drawn but faded by time despite being plasticized. We took a picture to know which viewpoints we could visit.

From Hobas to the main viewpoint there is 10 km along a road that is in good condition, although you cannot go more than 60 km / h. Upon reaching the viewpoint we were totally hallucinated. The canyon is a spectacular pass. It does not exceed Grand canyon But it seems quite a lot.

Once the initial surprise is overcome, one wonders why this place is not one of the main tourist attractions of Namibia, because it deserves to be. From the main viewpoint you can see two very winding meanders of the Fish River and beyond that you can see the gigantic furrows that it forms until it reaches the Ai-Ais hotel.

Walking the river is a very demanding 5 day excursion of duration for which you have to be very well prepared. So much so, that if you manage to reach the end they give you a certificate and everything. On the other hand, that is the only way to get to see the paintings of the Apollo 11 cave. These are from the middle of the Stone Age and represent several animals, some with human features.

Interestingly, current hunters of the San del Kalahari people are able to interpret these symbols yet, 28,000 years after their creation. Finally, although the landscape also surprises by the apparent lack of vegetation, this region has a very curious flora and fauna, like a tree called an elephant's trunk and very large black scorpions that, curiously, emit fluorescence when they are focused with ultraviolet light. We learned all this in some informative posters that are in the main viewpoint.

We were there for a while contemplating the vastness. As in the Grand Canyon, being there on the edge of the cliff excites you and makes you feel insignificant at the same time, geologically speaking. Then we try to go with the car to the Hiker's point, another viewpoint that is only 2.5km away, but we saw that the entire floor of that part of the road was covered with quite pointed stones, so we turned back and just walked a section in that direction. When we saw the stones, we understood why there was a couple that was changing the flat tire of their Volkswagen Polo.

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