At almost 100 miles (160 km) long, Fish River Canyon is one of the world’s most impressive gorges and one of Namibia’s national parks. It sweeps through desolate escarpments and steep cliffs, bringing a whole new meaning to the word “remote.”
Namibia Wildlife Resorts runs a five-day hiking trail along 50 miles (80 km) of the canyon, but it is not for the fainthearted or the out of shape. Temperatures are gaspingly hot, the terrain underfoot rocky and hard going with a backpack on your back, and there are no quick escape routes or shortcuts should you change your mind. There is, however, a raw beauty in the landscape that somehow makes the hardship worthwhile. Steep ravines with deep orange and pink rocks constantly changing color in the sun, weird-looking, bulbous quiver trees (Namibia’s national tree) perched on the edge of precipices, and panoramic views as far as the eye can see all add to a feeling of splendid isolation in its truest sense. The Fish River itself is perfect for skinny-dipping, its cool, clean waters an elixir for parched and exhausted trekkers. In the evening, cook a meal over the fire and watch the flames flickering to sleep as you curl up under the stars, literally miles from anyone and anywhere.
if all this sounds a bit too wild, try the Canyon Nature Park, just north of the national park conservation area where the Lowen and Fish rivers meet. Here, in landscapes equally as stunning and remote, you can opt for guided hikes lasting between two and five days on private trails, complete with food, tents, and even a vehicle to transport your bags.