The south of Namibia is a vast, arid region that is sparsely populated with some superb desert scenery. On your way from Windhoek to the Fish River Canyon you may want to stop over at a game ranch to experience the red sand dunes and wildlife of the Kalahari and, near Keetmanshoop, a dense stand of aloes known as the Quiver Tree Forest is a popular attraction with good photo opportunities. The main attraction in the south of Namibia is the stunning Fish River Canyon, reportedly the world’s second-largest, which was formed over many hundreds of millions of years and, as one of the only sources of water throughout the year in the region, it has attracted humans for 50,000 years. Nowadays visitors come to its spectacular viewpoints and hot springs at Ai-Ais and the canyon is a magnet in the winter months for adventurous hikers taking on the challenge of a four day, 85km trek.
On the west coast is the town of Luderitz, built on the diamond trade and still an important port for the mining and fishing industries. Close by is Kolmanskop, an abandoned mining town from the diamond boom of the early twentieth century. A few of the buildings have been restored but others are being slowly reclaimed by the desert making for a fascinating and atmospheric visit. East of Luderitz close to the town of Aus you may be able to see some of the area’s population of wild desert horses.
To take a day hike in Fish River Canyon, rather than the tough four day trek, stay at Fish River Lodge between April and September. If visiting Kolmanskop get a photographer's permit in advance so you can access the site for longer.
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Formed by water erosion and movements of the earth's crust, the Fish River Canyon is considered to be the world's 2nd largest canyon.
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