I am a traveller and this is the first time I am straying into Namibia in southern Africa. In the coming days I will explore a new facet of this fascinating country - the Fish River Canyon and its surrounding area.
Our journey begins in the morning in Windhoek at the Namibia2Go car rental. We are warmly greeted by a member of the Namibia2Go team who handles the necessary formalities quickly and without complications. The 4x4 Suzuki Jimny is clean and ready for our road trip to the south. We hop into our reliable vehicle and set off filled with anticipation.
Canyon Lodge, our temporary home
After a long but pleasant drive, we arrive late in the afternoon at the inviting Canyon Lodge. The architecture of the 30 chalets blends harmoniously with the surrounding rock and stone landscape, giving the lodge a unique charm. Our room offers a spectacular view that takes my breath away.
Canyon Lodge is not only a retreat of peace and beauty. It also offers numerous amenities such as a refreshing pool and a main building with an enticing gift shop, a cosy bar and an excellent restaurant.
Breakfast spoils with a rich selection of sweet and savoury dishes that leave nothing to be desired. For dinner, you are treated to an exquisite 4-course menu. Starter and dessert are served at the table, with a choice of two different dishes. The soup of the day and the main course, on the other hand, can be chosen from the buffet.
Peaceful coexistence with wild visitors
The lodge is home to various animals at the Canyon Lodge grounds, among them are a colony of klipspringers, a kudu family and a male oryx antelope.
After nightfall more antelopes come onto the grounds to nibble on the lush green lawn of the lodge - which, incidentally, is irrigated with water from the lodge's own water treatment plant. So, it can happen that, while you are winding down on your terrace for the evening, oryx antelope pass by.
In addition to the Canyon Lodge, the Gondwana Canyon Park also offers other accommodation options in the immediate vicinity of the Fish River Canyon: the Canyon Village and the Canyon Roadhouse; and the Canyon Roadhouse also offers a campsite.
Active start to the day
The next day begins with a guided morning walk, which offers us a variety of views. Our knowledgeable guide Simon tells us exciting stories and facts about the history, flora and fauna of the area.
We also pass a "hole" in the mountain and encounter klipspringers, mountain zebras and oryx antelopes.
Deep insights into the Fish River Canyon
In the afternoon we set off towards the Fish River Canyon, which is thought to be the second largest in the world and promises spectacular views and fascinating scenery. We can hardly wait to see the breathtaking canyons and striking rock formations with our own eyes. From the Canyon Lodge to the entrance of the Fish River Canyon Park it is only a 15–20-minute drive. After paying the entrance fee, we continue towards the viewpoints, which are about a 15-minute drive from the park entrance.
Once there, we hold our breath: Unbelievable! We enjoy the view from different perspectives and let the impressions sink in before we head home and finish the evening at the lodge.
Adventure in the Gondwana Canyon Park
After a delicious breakfast on our second morning, we set off on the adventurous 4x4 //Garas self-drive tour in the Gondwana Canyon Park. Our Namibia2Go rental car, the 4x4 Suzuki Jimny, is perfectly suited for this route that leads us over gravel roads.
We experience spectacular views and meet various residents. These include shy kudus, a curious herd of springbok, klipspringer and steenbok, colourful, rosy-faced lovebirds and a multitude of zebra and oryx herds carefully guarding their young.
Giraffes also make an appearance and make this trip an unforgettable experience.
A rolling stone gathers no moss...
When we return to the lodge in the late afternoon, we prepare without further ado for the guided sunset walk. On the restaurant terrace we meet our guide and some other guests, with whom we climb the nearby mountain. On the way to the top, our guide shares fascinating facts with us while we enjoy the magnificent view. Once at the top, we receive our pre-selected drinks, enjoy the sunset and toast to this magical moment.
The next morning, we decide to climb up this mountain again to experience the sunrise. It is well worth it! The sight of the rising brightness and the constantly changing colours is as magical as the sunset.
By the way, the Canyon Lodge offers several other activities, including guided Canyon Drives in the morning and afternoon, exciting Under Canvas Sleep-outs in tents, Sunset Nature Drives in Gondwana Canyon Park, inspiring Sunrise Hikes and exciting Night Walks. There is so much to discover and experience.
Spending time at the Fish River Canyon has captured my heart and ignited my thirst for adventure. If you're looking for a place that will amaze you and embrace you with its magic, this is the place for you. It's an adventure you don't want to miss.
Author and photos: Nina Braun