Namibias Fish River Canyon
I should have known when I saw Moses and his small tribe praying at the lookout point, a small Bibles delicate pages fluttering in the breeze. One last time Moses stared over the canyon whilst scratching his bushy beard. And then he led his little tribe down to the promised land.
I should have known then. This was not going to be easy. At 54 miles, the Fish River Canyon hiking trail is considered one of the toughest in Southern Africa.
There is no marked track, no overnight facilities, and just one dubious escape route.
Situated in the most southerly desert region of Namibia, the canyon is the second longest in the world (100 miles) and about 17 miles wide. Getting into it was the most hair-raising part, but after two sweaty hours we were at last down at the Fish Riverour water source for the next few days.
The first night we slept on a pretty little beach, sheltered between boulders. People stared hungrily at the black pot, Siggi Ohler, expedition leader, was busily stirring.
Siggi had hiked the Canyon 50 timesa total distance of 2,666 milesand had the experience and organizational skills to put the hikes together and provide a buffer against possible dangers.
A fee of $207 includes bookings for the canyon and overnight facilities at Hobas, the rest camp at the start, and at Ais-Ais, our destination, all meals, and a pick-up at the nearest town, Grünau.
For More Info
Siggi Ohler: Tel./fax 011-27-21-462-0532; mobile 011-27-83-269-8658 or Inside Africa Tours at 011-27-21-434-3422, fax 27- 21-434-7668; firstname.lastname@example.org, www.tablebay.co.za; P.O. Box 3823, Cape Town 8000, South Africa. $207 per person. Bookings have to be made well in advance with a nonrefundable deposit of $70 per person.
Do It Yourself: The Fish River Canyon is part of one of Namibias nature reserves. For reservations contact: Director of Tourism; Private Bag 13267; Windhoek, South Africa; 011-9264-61-346975/6/7/8, fax 011-9264-61-22-4900. (At least three people must be in a hiking group.)
For further general information: Namibian Tourism Office: Private Bag 13346, Windhoek; 9000, Namibia; 011-9264-61-284-2178, fax 011-9264-61-22-1930.