Canyon Klipspringer Trail
Hiking | Mule Trails | Namibia
The Canyon Klipspringer Trail is a 4 day hiking trail that offers an alternative for participants who wish to experience some of the hiking adventures of the longer Canyon Fish Eagle Mule Trail, but condensed into 4 days of hiking instead of 5. All of your camping & personal equipment is transported by a mule train and all you need to carry is a small day pack, allowing you to experience the beauty of hiking in this part of Namibia without the discomfort of carrying a huge backpack.
On the Canyon Klipspringer Trail hikers can expect a unique and exciting adventure in a wilderness area around the northern part of the Fish River Canyon. Tours can be organized between 15th March and 15th October.
This trail runs through the Nama Karoo and your guide will lead you to a number of unique and fascinating plants such as the quiver tree, candelabra euphorbia and tamarisk. Game resident in the area includes mountain zebra, ostrich, duiker, springbok, kudu and klipspringer, from which the trail is named. Water birds such as the hamerkop and African fish eagle can also be spotted.
Highlights are much the same as the Canyon Fish Eagle Trail:
- Diverse canyon scenery characterized by meandering gorges up to 500m deep.
- The high plateau offers 360 degree panoramic views of gorges and springs.
- Relax and refresh by swimming or fishing in natural pools.
- Learn about the fascinating plant and animal world of the Nama Karoo Desert.
- 1 x nights sleeping in a tent or in the open under the spectacular Namibian starry night skies.
Children are accepted from the age of 12 years old and over.
- Day 1: Canon Mule Satation
- Participants arrive at the Canon Mule Station in Gondwana Canon Park at the Fish River Canyon by their own arrangement between 14h00 and 15h00. The Canon Mule Station is well signposted on the C12. The road leading from the C12 in the direction of the Canon Mule Station may only be 22km, but will take you a good 45 minutes to reach the Canon Mule Station, on arrival there is secure parking. You will meet your guide and repack your luggage in canvassed mule bags. The remainder of your luggage can be left in your vehicle. Once, you have repacked you will then be driven out to the overnight camp, where you will begin your trail from. In the evening there will be a comprehensive briefing about the next few days.
Accommodation: Camp Battle Snake - on a rocky outcrop, is a wooden hut overlooking splendid views over the Fish River Canyon and beyond. The wooden hut, with its terrace leading up to the edge of the canyon is surrounded by tent. Facilities include communal showers and toilets.
- Day 2: Mule trekking
- After breakfast we load our gear, your guide will tell you about the Mules and the breeding of them and thereafter you will set off on your trail. Enjoy a walk on the rim of the Canyon and over a plateau. We follow the rim of the Canyon and then decent directly into the Fish River. Patches of river pebbles alternate with slabs of rock and sand dunes. Dramatic chapters of Earth’s history can be gleaned from the massive layers of rock. At lunchtime we stop for a picnic in a shaded little spot. Water depending - you are more than welcome to take a refreshing dip! Finish your day off with a refreshing swim across the river to the camp, reached after a day’s walk along the Fish River stepping over boulders, time-patterned rocks and walking through soft river sand etched with Cape clawless otter tracks.
Enjoy a hot steaming shower and get ready for a well deserved hot meal.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Koelkrans Camp - Nestled next to a cliff face, is a cabin as a dining area and below nestled together are overnight cabins. Opposite the camp is an overgrown swamp area covered in reeds and offers sweet background music of chirping bird life. Facilities include communal shower and toilets.
- Day 3: Mule trekking
- After an early breakfast we set off at dawn and follow the Fish River further downstream. Then we walk on zebra paths, leading us up to a plateau, through rugged valleys and across stony and sandy plains. Every now and then we stop to marvel at the vast canyon scenery. At midday we have a picnic in the shade and decent further up towards the rim of the canyon. En route pay attention to the different rock formations caused by oxidation wind erosion. In the afternoon, we arrive at Horse Shoe Camp.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Horse Shoe Camp - A cabin perched on the northern rim of the Fish River Canyon welcomes hikers and campers after the day’s adventure. A peek from the cabin’s windows provides an unparalleled view of the natural horse-shoe form of the northern Canyon. Tents are set up and facilities include which include toilets and showers with breathtaking views of the Canyon.
- Day 4: Road transfer from Horse Shoe Canyon to Canon Mule Station
- At dawn we take a short walk of 1.5 km to a waterless waterfall. We return back to camp for breakfast. After breakfast we pile into the open vehicle which takes us to the final destination of our roundtrip. As we pull up at Canon Mule Station our tour has come to its end
- Schedule as described above
- Full board (breakfast, light lunch, dinner) as above
- Limited Beverages at dinner times (such as wines), water, coffee and tea
- During the tour: an experienced guide, mule driver and supply team
- Mules to carry luggage and equipment
- Equipment in the camps (tent, mattress, table, chairs, crockery, cutlery, shower, toilet, etc.)
- Daypack for carrying 6 to 8kg
- Sufficient water bottles to carry at least 2 litres of water
- Comfortable walking shoes/boots, covering the ankle for support and worn-in
- Sunglasses and a shatter proof case
- A small hand towel
- A pair of sandals or river shoes to wear at the camps and across rivers, if desired.
- Sleeping bag (down or synthetic) for up to 0 degrees. A light mattress will be supplied
- Miner’s or head lamp with spare batteries
- Your personal medicines
- Plasters for blisters
- Plastic bags to protect cameras over river crossings
- A sun hat & sun protection cream
- As weather can change from day to day, a warm fleece/sweater and windbreaker are recommended.
- Swimming costume
- Light rucksack (day pack approximately 25 litre)
- Sleeping bag (-5 °C)
- Personal insurance
- It is not possible to ride the mules
What to bring