The Fish River Canyon in Namibia is the largest canyon in Africa and the second-largest canyon in the world, a fact that many tourists are unaware of. It is hidden away in a far-off corner of the nation’s deserts. Particularly at Hell’s Bend, which is a picturesque viewpoint named for the river’s horseshoe-shaped bend, and from here visitors to the Fish River Canyon can take in breath-taking panoramic views.
Over 160 kilometers of the immense Namibian desert are traversed by the Fish River Canyon. It was cut out of the Fish River, which is the longest river in the country and has a maximum depth of more than 500 meters.
Here are some interesting facts about Fish River Canyon:
1) Africa’s Most famous hiking trails:
Although the vistas and surroundings of the Fish River Canyon are stunning, the multi-day Fish River Canyon Trail is the one outstanding way to really appreciate this natural wonder and witness its beauty from the naked eye. The Fish River Canyon is one of the world’s busiest hiking routes. The gorge’s huge scope and difficult terrain have drawn a lot of athletes from all over the world to enjoy the thrill that this canyon has to offer.
Multi-day hike lasts for 5 days, but there are so many short and long hikes one can choose as per their choice. You will be rewarded for continuing the walk with some extremely magnificent sights, such as tranquil hot springs, breathtaking landscapes, and some recognizable wildlife.
2) The longest river in Namibia:
The Fish River is Namibia’s longest interior river and it flows depending upon the season (typically overflowing in the late summer). The rest of the year, it turns into a series of long, narrow pools. The 650-kilometer-long Fish River, after which the canyon was called, is Namibia’s longest interior river (400 miles) holding its own secrets. The river might totally dry up during the arid winter, making it a seasonal river. This significant river eventually empties into the Orange River close to the South African border before flowing further 100 kilometers (60 miles) into the Atlantic Ocean.
3) World’s second Largest Canyon:
After the Great Grand Canyon in the United States, this canyon is the second-largest in the world. It is therefore the biggest canyon in Africa. 100 miles long & 16 miles wide make up its major ravine. The canyon is up to 550 meters (1,804 feet) deep in some places and has a total size of 5,900 square kilometers. A canyon is a wide chasm between cliffs that are frequently shaped by a river. The Fish River Canyon originates from the “Fish River,” as its name suggests. The Fish River is considered Namibia’s longest interior river.
4) Fish River Canyon hosts one of the toughest Marathons in the world:
One of the most incredible Fish River Canyon facts is that it hosts a Marathon. Yes! A Marathon, which is one of the most challenging. The annual Ultra Marathon covers a distance of 100 kilometers (62 miles), while the shorter Lite edition covers 65 kilometers (40 miles). Although the marathon run can only be completed in 24 hours, several athletes have done so in 8 hours and 5 hours for the lite version. One will need to pack a lot of supplies on this trail, unlike many races. One will need to rely on themselves because the run is in a desolate area between checkpoints.
5) Fish River Canyon’s age is Millions of years old:
This location has existed since the time of the dinosaurs. The canyon has been around for more than 500 million years, and some of the strata date back as far as 650 million years. Thus, some 350 million years ago, the Fish River Canyon’s biological formation started. Along tectonic faults from the past, a massive graben formed. The long, famed Fish River valley was subsequently produced. The edges of this graben, which are currently more than 20 km apart, are what create the upper margins of the canyon. After the graben structure was formed 300 million years ago, the riverbed was still 300 metres higher than it is today. During the ‘Gondwana-Glaciation,’ glaciers further deepened the graben. More than 300 rivers that had massive amounts of frozen water in their riverbeds helped in the formation but finally dried out to form this canyon.