Fish River Canyon

The second largest canyon in the world

The Fish River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world. Situated near the border to South Africa, it stretches over 27 km through the countryside. In terms of area, it clearly surpasses the Grand Canyon. Fish River Canyon is not so deep.

We were very curious what to expect and drove from the Quiver Tree Forest first to the Canyon Roadhouse, accommodation with campsites quite close to the Canyon View Point. We had an appointment there with a friend. He works as a tour guide and would be staying there with a tour group that day.

The Canyon Roadhouse

The Roadhouse is impressive because of the huge collection of vintage cars that are everywhere – even in the restaurant and at the bar. Tables are placed between the cars. Associations with an American diner come up. Later in the afternoon we drove to the Canyon View Point, paid the entrance fee and had the opportunity to look at the canyon from two places. We were quite disappointed – we had somehow expected it to be more spectacular.

Also, the sun was setting on the ‘wrong’ side – so the structures were not accentuated by the light, but drowned in a “slush” of long shadows. We were there about 30 minutes and in that time about four Overlander buses arrived, and at least five larger tour groups. The canyon is popular!

Drive to Fish River Lodge

After a hilarious evening with our friend, we set out the next morning to circle the canyon to get to the other side. There is Fish River Lodge – built right on the edge of the canyon.

The view is spectacular, showing the vast expanse of the canyon!
Not only the Main Lodge, but all the chalets offer this incredible expanse from the small terraces. We enjoyed the lodge and let ourselves be pampered. The next morning we checked out early to be on time for the Canyon Drive. With three Land Cruisers we drove into the canyon and experienced during about seven hours the formations formed over 350 million years innately and marveled at the various stone layers.

Impressive in 3D perception, difficult to convey in photos, we enjoyed the drive just watching. The destination was ‘Rock Pools’, a natural water basin in the middle of the rocks. The water depth varied between appx. 1 m and 30 m. We did not miss the chance to cool down there. After returning to the lodge, the time had come for us to leave the canyon and continue our journey.

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