The Fish River Canyon, situated along the lower reaches of the Fish River, is one of the most impressive natural beauties in the southern part of Namibia. With a depth of up to 550 metres, it is the second largest canyon in the world. The enormous gorge meanders along a distance of approx. 160 kilometres through the fissured Koubis massif all the way down to Ai-Ais.
Meaning ‘burning water’ in the local Nama dialect, /Ai-/Ais is in reference to the natural thermal springs found at the base of the mountain peaks at the southern end of the Fish River canyon.
These hot springs and the challenging 85 km Fish River Canyon hike make it a popular tourist destination.
The area has rugged and beautiful scenery, and diverse flora.
The 5 day hike from Hobas to Ai-Ais is Namibia’s most popular long-distance walk – and with good reason. The magical 85km route, which follows the sandy riverbed past a series of ephemeral pools, begins at Hikers’ Viewpoint, and ends at the hot spring resort of Ai-Ais.
Due to flash flooding and heat in summer months, the route is open only from April to September.
Ai-Ais is Nama for 'burning water' and these 60°C springs are rich in chloride, fluoride and sulphur, and are found beneath the towering peaks at the southern end of Fish River Canyon National Park.
The hot water is piped to a series of baths and jacuzzis as well as an outdoor swimming pool.