The World’s Greatest Canyons: Fish River Canyon, Namibia

I’m a fan of the Grand Canyon, but I’ve visited there a few times now and I’m looking for something new. Where can I find a canyon that puts the Grand to shame?

Jun 19, 2013
Outside Magazine
Fish River Canyon Namibia hiking canyons best places

   Photo: Derris Lund/Shutterstock


The 100-mile-long canyon (Africa’s largest) sits on Namibia’s border with South Africa, and is protected as part of Ai-Ais—Richterfeld Transfrontier Park. One of its highlights is an epic multiday hike along the canyon floor along the Fish River Canyon Trail, which runs for just over 50 miles and is generally hiked in four or five days, passing two hot springs and oodles of wildlife, including baboon troops and zebra herds, along the way.

Due to the extreme temperatures present in the canyon, hikers are only permitted to descend into it from April to September, and must have a doctor’s certificate confirming that they’re healthy enough to tackle the hike. If you’re planning to try it, plan to be self-sufficient: once at the bottom of the canyon, there are only two emergency exit points..