The Fish River Canyon is roughly 160km long and in places over 500m deep. It’s a spectacular natural attraction and one of the most popular destinations in Namibia. The public access points are on its eastern edge and all fall within the Ai-Ais/Richtersveld Transfrontier Park. The section between Hobas and Ai-Ais is particularly beautiful.
Drive the region in the late afternoon when the light is softer and the desert landscape at its most impressive. From the South African border, Ai-Ais Hotsprings Spa is an excellent stopover, with camping, self-catering bungalows and, of course, a hot-spring spa. Further north, Hobas Camp is the gateway to the main canyon viewpoint. Sunset over the canyon is incredible and there’s a 4×4 track along the canyon wall with plenty of places to pull over and soak in the view.
Although the roads along the east of the canyon are all gravel, they’re well-traveled and well-maintained and can easily be managed in a sedan if driven carefully. It’s about 40 minutes from Noordoewer to the D278/C37 turnoff, just beyond Aussenkehr, and then about an hour to Ai-Ais and another hour to Hobas. It’s about three hours from there to Aus, but make some time for a stop at the Canyon Roadhouse – an enchanting roadside shop, restaurant, and bar about 20 minutes north of Hobas.