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Namibia's Fish River Canyon

Namibia's Fish River CanyonNamibia's Fish River Canyon
Namibia's Fish River CanyonNamibia's Fish River Canyon

Namibia's Fish River Canyon

Namibia's Fish River Canyon is as well known as the Etosha National Park in the north. But it is very few who dare to do the 5 day hike in the belly of this magnificent canyon. It is an experience to be diarised and to be shared by everyone.

After months of planning and dreaming, it eventually became days. Days in which we feverishly packed rucksacks, weighing our packs - hoping, that somehow they would get lighter. They didn't. As we drove down from Windhoek, we decided it best to overnight in Keetmanshoop - a small quiver tree town, but an excellent halfway stop. Keetmanshoop offers various accommodated options - but as we were in the camping spirit, we decided to do so here as well.

Rising at sunrise, we realised - this is it. In a few hours, we would descend down a canyon wall so steep that chains assist you for the first few meters down. We arrived at Hobas at around noon, filling in forms, trying to gather as much information as possible while we waited for one of our group members to return from Ai-Ais where he had left the car. After what seemed like an eternity, he returned and we nervously got on the shuttle to take us to the view point from where our great journey would start.

Slowly we descended into what seemed a never-ending downward spiral. Further and further we climbed away from life as we knew it. It got more beautiful around every bend and every boulder we had to struggle over. But the sinking sun kept us well on track. Finally, long after sunset, we reached a sandy beach, a haven for the night. We tested the water - too cold. We listened to the silence, tenderly massaging our shoulders and knowing that sleep wasn't far off.

In the days to come, we meandered along the Fish River, following fresh tracks of other hikers, hikers that we would cross paths with in the days to come. Hikers that would share valuable information with - lending a hand where needed. It seemed that we chose a week of extreme heat in the canyon and though warned of very cold nights and mornings, we regretted every single gram of winter clothing that we had to carry with us. We slept on our sleeping bags, keeping an eye on the moving constellations, counting shooting stars and wishing that the sand would get softer beneath our tired bodies. We started walking early in the morning, having breakfast somewhere along the way, making our way towards a shady spot for lunch. When the temperatures became somewhat more bearable, we moved along, on the lookout for a sandy beach on which to overnight.

The beating of the sun on your body, the creaks of your backpack, the barking of a baboon, the smell of dust as you struggle through another sandy patch, the cry of Egyptian Geese flying low over the river... resting your tired feet in the cold river after a day of walking and climbing - that's what makes it special. And that's the very reason I'll return.

As we neared the end, we all had mixed feelings. We struggled to make peace with the fact that we had to leave this special place, but at the same time the hot water springs at Ai-Ais, the voices of loved ones over the phone, a cooked meal - they were all screaming to be heard. We stepped out - looking back on a journey we didn't want to forget.

We returned along the same roads, thinking that only a few days before we were still untouched by the beauty that lies at the bottom of a thousand rocks - already making plans to return. But another, small surprise was waiting for us at the Canon Roadhouse, where we decided to have lunch. It was a walk into history with number plates, cars and old sentimental memories surrounding us, while we enjoyed the best sandwiches in the south. We returned to the city with backpacks filled with sand and a dozen memories guiding us into the night.

ATI Holidays (Africa Tourist Info) is a British owned, Namibia based company specialising in tailor made holidays throughout Southern African and the Indian Ocean Islands. We are a small, highly experienced company offering our guests the most up to date local knowledge and advice in order to plan the perfect holiday for your individual interests and budget.

We also offer inspiring Honeymoons and specialised family holidays.

For more information about ATI Holidays, and to browse our suggested itineraries, please take a look at http://infotour-africa.com/

Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Charlotte_Bond/596079


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4499046

Namibia's Fish River Canyon