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Guided Fish River Hike

Includes: Fish River Canyon - Namibia

The Guided Fish River Hike has been cancelled for 2015 - we hope to have departures again in 2016

Those looking for a guided Fish River Hiking experience may be interested in the Mule Trails
Klipspringer Trail & Fish Eagle Trail or contact us for other suggestions


The 7 day Fish River Canyon Hike is one of the most popular hikes in Namibia and includes collection and return transport to Windhoek, allowing for 5 days of uninterrupted, quality time in the canyon. This camping, guided hiking trail, starts from the main viewpoint near Hobas, and ends at Ai-Ais Hot Springs Spa, a truly unique journey.

Namibia's national tree, the Aloe dichotoma, or Quiver Tree can be found in the canyon and flowers during the winter time from May to July. Other plants include various species of succulents, such as the very poisonous Melkbos. You may encounter several species of mammals, such as wild horses, Hartmann's Mountain zebra, kudu, klipspringer, leopard, springbok and baboon. Rodents include mice, rats, dassies and dassie rats. Reptiles are in abundance including Leguan, lizards and snakes such as Cape cobra, black spitting cobra, puff adder and horned adder. Bird life includes (rather surprisingly) pelicans, black eagles, fish eagles, kingfishers, lovebirds and ostrich.

  • The walk is approximately 85km long, and usually takes between 4-5 days to complete.
  • The Fish River hike is not very difficult, but challenging.
  • A decent level of fitness is essential, as the trails entail 7 to 8 hours walking per day.
  • You will have to carry your own luggage every day, including food and water (all together approximately 12–15 kg per person.)
  • Children under the age of 12 are not permitted.
  • Demand is high, so reservations should be made well in advance.
  • No facilities are available and hikers sleep outdoors for the entire trip.
  • Hikers must have a recent medical certificate of fitness, dated no more than 40 days and complete an indemnity form, prior to commencing the trail.

Hiking Safaris | Namibia

  • Fish River Hike: Fish River
  • Fish River Hike: Fish River Canyon
  • Fish River Hike: Hikers
  • Fish River Hike: River
  • Fish River Hike: The Hike
  • Fish River Hike: Views
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Day 1: Windhoek - Fish River
Hikers will be collected from their accommodation in Windhoek ± 08h00. Heading southwards, with refreshment stops on the way, arrival time at one of the lodges of the 'Gondwana Canon Park' is expected to be late afternoon. The spectacular sunset will compensate for the long drive!
Meals: Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Canon Lodge (or similar)
Day 2: Fish River hike
There is a short drive to the Main Viewpoint, which marks the start of the hike. The 500m descent into the Canyon takes about 2 hours, mainly due to a steep decline and loose rocks. However, the view into the canyon landscape along the way is spectacular. On the canyon floor, the route continues for a further 13km through boulders and rough sand. The water in the canyon is drinkable (Purifying tablets can be used as an additional precaution). Not too exhausted on reaching 'Palm Springs,' the thermal sulphur pools are a perfect venue to rejuvenate those tired and aching muscles!
Meals: Breakfat, Lunch & Dinner
Camping: under a thousand stars
Day 3: Fish River hike
Today the route meanders along the riverbed, which is crossed several times during the day, depending on the water level. It is advisable to take trekking sandals along for the river crossings, to help keep hiking boots dry. The ground consists mostly of gravel, pebbles and deep sand. About 15km from Palm Springs, 'Table Mountain' appropriately named after it's 'mother' near Cape Town, will be passed. The camp will be set up, close to the 'Three Sisters Rock Towers,' which are illuminated blood-red by the setting sun.
Meals: Breakfat, Lunch & Dinner
Camping: under a thousand stars
Day 4 Fish River hike
After breakfast there is a climb up a hill, with beautiful views of a rock formation consisting of four thick pinnacles, known as the 'Four Finger Rock,' from the top. Another highlight along the trail is the 'Von Trotha's Grave.' Second Lieutenant Thilo von Trotha, a nephew of the well-known Lieutenant General Lothar von Trotha, died here in 1905 during a confrontation between German soldiers and native Nama's. As a reliable source of water, the Fish River has always been considered as an oasis of life, so watch out for the many mammals, reptiles, plants and insects along the way.
Meals: Breakfat, Lunch & Dinner
Camping: under a thousand stars
Day 5 Fish River hike
The walk along the riverbed walking tends to get easier, but remains sandy and rocky. The canyon widens out. Legend has it that a fleeing dragon, left behind him the 160km long and 450m deep furrow, which is now the second largest canyon of the world. If you believe that, then get out of the sun for a while! Another day's adventure draws to a close.
Meals: Breakfat, Lunch & Dinner
Camping: under a thousand stars
Day 6: Fish River Hike
After a 10km hike, you finally reach Ai-Ais (Nama word for 'burning water'.) The hot water from the natural spring is pumped into a swimming pool, a facility that is taken full advantage of. Don't forget to look out for the flora and fauna on the way, as this is the last leg of the hike. On arrival at the camp, there is the opportunity for 1 or 2 cold beers and a swim in the pool. After washing off the dust, transport will arrive and transfer you to the 'Gondwana Canon Park' with a soft bed with fresh linen to look forward to! Walking time on the final day is expected to be around 4/5 hrs.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Accommodation: Canon Lodge (or similar)
Day 7: Fish River - Windhoek
After a hearty breakfast, it's time to hit the road for the long drive back to Windhoek, stopping on the way for comfort and refreshment breaks and lunch. Tired and weary hikers will be dropped off at their accommodation in the city. The Fish River Hiking Trail adventure has come to an unforgettable end!
Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
One English speaking experienced nature guide / driver per group
Free door-to-door courtesy transport in Windhoek City area only
All transfers from Windhoek to the start of the hike, and then back again
All meals as stated above
All crockery and cutlery
Hiking permits
Items of a personal nature
Sleeping bags, light iso mattress and back packs (recommended 55 litre plus)
1.5 ltr water bottle
personal insurance (important: medical evacuation)
Alcoholic drinks and beverages

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