fish river canyon, Namíbia

The Namibian Guts of Africa

a demonic mean
Hell's Bend of Fish River Canyon from Main View Point.
on the way to the canyon
Car approaches B4 road turnoff to Fish River Canyon
roasted fauna
Ostriches roam and scour the Nama Karoo Desert.
on the way II
Hiker walks along the edge of Fish River Canyon.
Carrypan and aloe? quiver at Canyon Roadhouse.
gaudy native
A Nama woman in the vastness of the Nama-Karoo Desert.
Seeing the view
Outsiders enjoy Fish River Canyon after sunset.
in the sun
A hirax over the ocher cliffs around Gondwana-Lodge.
nama karoo
A worn plateau in the middle of the Nama-Karoo desert.
Composition II
Aloe? quiver grows out of a carripan carcass in Canyon Roadhouse.
Land Patches
Visitor on the edge of Fish River Canyon.
from sunrise to sunset
Sun sets over Fish River Canyon and highlights an aloe quiver above the horizon.
When nothing makes you foreseeable, a vast river ravine burrows the southern end of the Namíbia. At 160km long, 27km wide and, at intervals, 550 meters deep, the Fish River Canyon is the Grand Canyon of Africa. And one of the biggest canyons on the face of the Earth.

After thousands of kilometers covered in Damaraland and along the inner edge of the long PN Namib-Naukluft, the section on the B4 road departing at Lüderitz a truce is revealed in the slippery sand and overpowering dust of the Namíbia.

On immaculate asphalt, we arrived in Aus in three times. We pass Kuibis and Goageb. Seeheim follows. Keetmanshoop and the B1 that would allow us to continue north are close at hand to sow. We never saw them.

Road B4 leading to the vicinity of Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Car approaches the B4 turnoff to the Fish River Canyon surroundings

In Seeheim, the fate we were pursuing forces us to cut south. We leave the asphalt. We only set foot on it again two days later, on our way back to the same junction.

De Lüderitz, on the frigid Atlantic coast, inland Nama-Karoo

We progress through the rugged immensity of the Nama-Karoo Desert, a patch of Namíbia between the coastal desert of Namib that gave the nation its name and the interior of the Kalahari. We advance with plateaus, some more preserved than others, in plain sight.

Soon, along excerpts that the dry season had spared the Fish River, the longest in the Namíbia, with 650 km from the Naukluft Mountains in the north of the country to surrender to the Orange, on the border with the South Africa.

Resilient shrubs impose themselves on the arid landscape. Here and there, quiver aloe sprinkles and enriches the ecosystem and the scenery, with the beauty of their stiff and golden trunks, of the whitish branches that fork and then fork again, upwards, to the sides, thus forming glorious canopy tops yellow-green.

Ostriches in the Nama Karoo Desert, Namibia

Ostriches roam and scour the Nama Karoo Desert

They are also called quiver trees, the national trees of the Namíbia that the San (Bushmen) natives of present-day Namibian and South African territory used to make deep holsters for their arrows. In this same magical setting, flocks of ostrich, herds of zebras and olongos roam in search of pastures and other foods that sustain them.

We cross a level crossing inherited from the time when the abundance of diamonds in and around Namibe justified the construction of a railway that the settlers extended to remote Holoog.

Gondwana, the Natural Park. Inspired by the old Supercontinent

In Holoog we enter the protected area of ​​the Gondwana Natural Park. A private nature conservation domain, owned and managed by the Gondwana group of lodges that would welcome us there. We cut southwest and advanced to Hobas.

Halfway through, we stop at Canyon Roadhouse, a service station and inn strewn with jalopy and junk of various kinds, with extravagant desert relics visuals including a quiver aloe projected from inside the hollow front of a rusty van. blue sky direction.

Canyon Roadhouse Decoration, Namibia

Carrypana and aloe quiver at Canyon Roadhouse

There we have to look for the foreman for the picturesque service pump. And wait for him to return to his station so we can refuel the modern and dreary rental car we used to transport ourselves in.

We soon found Gondwana Canyon Lodge. We installed ourselves in a stone cottage elevated on one of the ocher rocks and surrounded by other hills, so characteristic of a good part of the country. Namíbia. At that very moment, the sun was falling over the horizon.

We and a colony of hyraxes scattered among the abundant pebbles admire your short retreat with the admiration and respect that you will always deserve. After dinner, we contemplated the celestial vault overflowing with stars, brilliant to match from the terrace of the lodge, where we had installed ourselves to enjoy the unexpected and surprising WiFi.

Hirax, Gondwana Lodge, Namibia

A hirax over the ocher cliffs around Gondwana-Lodge.

We sleep enough to recharge the energies spent on successive heated trips. We wake up at seven. An hour later, we're on our way to the nearest edge of Fish River Canyon and its popular viewpoint.

The Geological Splendor of Fish River Canyon

Morning light stays as soft as possible. We're just not astonished anymore because, with a family living on the West Coast of USA, we had become accustomed to contemplating the even wider abyss of the Grand Canyon.

Be that as it may, the intricate meanders carved by the Fish River prove grand to match. They keep us suspended for a long time, focused on the contours of the massive ravine.

Hell's Bend of Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Hell's Bend of Fish River Canyon from Main View Point.

When we finally got our bearings, we started a walk along the top of the shore that takes us to complementary observation points: one of them over the rapids of the river, a Tamarisk Bush. Further south, an additional on the Wild Fig Bend.

Below, the Fish flow with the reduced vigor typical of the dry season, still far from the parsimonious rain of the Namibian winter from June to August, when sudden torrents flood its deep stream and can surprise walkers on the banks.

In the middle of May, part of the river is made up of separate lakes, but maximum levels still above 40º put trekkers at risk.

Still, since the beginning of the month, park authorities have granted walking permits to candidates determined to complete the four- and five-day itineraries between the Main Viewpoint and the mile points (50km or more) of the Three Sisters, of the Barble Pools, by Vasbyt Nek or German Soldier Grave.

Visitor at Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Hiker walks along the edge of the Fish River Canyon

For those days, the furnace was kept burning. We only detected a few adventurers willing to descend.

The same as, year after year, the ultra-prepared and crazed athletes who compete in the Fish River 100km Ultra Marathon completed in 2018 by South African winner AJ Calitz in just 08:28:45, and in 2012 (when it counted with less than 10km), by his compatriot Ryan Sandes, in 6h57m.

The formation of the Fish River Canyon took infinitely longer. It is estimated that it took place about 500 million years ago. It was mainly caused by tectonic movements of the earth's crust that caused the valley to bulge and the slide of old glaciers, unthinkable today.

So the Fish ran around 300 meters higher than it runs today. With the drift of the Gondwana supercontinent and the separation of the region into what would become South America and Africa, tectonic movements caused the river to sink. It began to erode the base of the canyon to the end of 549 meters measured today.

Fish River Canyon Grooves, Namibia

Visitor on the edge of Fish River Canyon.

The Deep and Pungent Territory of the great Nama ethnicity

Already in our era, the traveling and animist Nama tribe dominated the Nama-Karoo Desert and the deep area of ​​the Fish River Canyon. It has become a tradition among its members to place stones on the Haitsi Aibeb, piles already formed as Haiseb's graves in earlier passages.

Haiseb was a deity the Nama believed to have lived in primitive times when animals reigned and the dead could be resurrected.

The Nama believed that Haiseb, herself, had died and resurrected several times and, in the process, saved the world from an evil monster. According to oral tradition, this demon would sit by his hiding place and throw stones at anyone who dared to walk in the vicinity.

Nama ethnic woman in Nama-Karoo desert, Namibia.

A Nama woman in the vastness of the Nama-Karoo Desert.

Eager to ensure safe walks and good hunting, the Nama left the goddess soothing goods: diluted honey, water and even antelope meat. The descendants say that, when making offerings, they uttered in their nama (or Khoekhoe) dialect full of clicks “Haiseb, khö tsi da” something that could be translated as “Haiseb, we bury you”.

The Epidemic Cruelty of German Colonization

The mythological tranquility of the Nama lasted as long as it did. At the turn of the 2.600th century, the Germans occupied what would become their vast Deutsch-Südwestafrica. At its height, the colony had a population of around XNUMX Germans.

These expanded their farms at the expense of the expulsion and massacre of the natives. They perpetuated this expansion with the successive revenges of raids that the natives carried out on their properties, but not only.

During what became known as the Herero Wars (named after another local ethnic group), the natives killed around 150 German settlers. In response, the German authorities formed a riot police that initially had only 766 elements.

Aware of the invaders' vulnerability, the Herero and Nama went on the offensive. Initially, they caused several casualties and substantial damage to European property. Until a Lieutenant General Thilo Lothar von Trotha was placed at the disposal of a Lieutenant General Thilo Lothar von Trotha an additional 14.000 troops controlled the rebellion at the Battle of Waterberg.

Some time earlier, Trotha had issued an ultimatum to the Herero and the Nama. He barred their German citizenship and threatened to kill them if they did not leave the territory. But, in 1905, he was killed during a confrontation between his forces and the Nama in Fish River Canyon.

The Abrupt End of Germanization

The Germans lost Deutsch-Südwestafrica during World War I, when, at the behest of the British, South African troops took it. Shortly after the definitive triumph of the Allies in the conflict, the newly created League of Nations dictated that the colony would come under the administration of the Anglophone South Africa.

Von Trotha's grave remains on the right bank of the river, at the southern end of the Kooigoedhoogte Pass. It is one of the unavoidable points of walks and the history of the canyon. Even a century after their surrender and disbandment, many families of pioneer settlers benefited from the consent of the South Africans and stayed.

At Fish River Canyon, I eat all over the Namíbia, Germanic names and terms are abundant. Horses used and later abandoned by the German expeditionary forces also survived. Today, the more fortunate hikers come across herds of these wild equines even at the bottom of the canyon, where the fish run and provide them with the water they need.

One of the most curved meanders as the river flows is called Horseshoe Bend. Not by the passing of the herds, due to its almost exact horseshoe shape.

Sunset over Fish River Canyon, Namibia

Sun sets over Fish River Canyon and highlights an aloe quiver above the skyline

We return at the end of the day to watch the light emanating from the ravine. Like us, an entourage of nature enthusiasts and the grandiose African sceneries are at their posts in the privileged places on the shore.

Gradually, the sunset sets in. Against the darkening sky, it shapes the silhouettes of large aloe quiver, euphorbia and competing tamarisk bushes.

One of the many overland trucks passing through the must-see places in the South Africa and Namíbia, approaches well above the speed allowed in the park and dumps a multinational group of passengers just in time to enjoy the magnificence of the landscape in the twilight.

Fish River Canyon Visitor Silhouettes, Namibia

Outsiders appreciate the Fish River Canyon after sunset.

The current peace is broken by the fascination they cannot contain. Until the pitch sets in and leaves the meandering Fish delivered to its prehistoric canyon.

More information about Fish River Canyon on the corresponding page of UNESCO.

damaraland, Namíbia

Namibia On the Rocks

Hundreds of kilometers north of Swakopmund, many more of Sossuvlei's iconic dunes, Damaraland is home to deserts interspersed with red rocky hills, the young nation's highest mountain and ancient rock art. the settlers South Africans they named this region after the Damara, one of the Namibian ethnic groups. Only these and other inhabitants prove that it remains on Earth.
Cape Cross, Namíbia

The Most Turbulent of the African Colonies

Diogo Cão landed in this cape of Africa in 1486, installed a pattern and turned around. The immediate coastline to the north and south was German, South African, and finally Namibian. Indifferent to successive transfers of nationality, one of the largest seal colonies in the world has maintained its hold there and animates it with deafening marine barks and endless tantrums.
Kolmanskop, Namíbia

Generated by the Diamonds of Namibe, Abandoned to its Sands

It was the discovery of a bountiful diamond field in 1908 that gave rise to the foundation and surreal opulence of Kolmanskop. Less than 50 years later, gemstones have run out. The inhabitants left the village to the desert.
Lüderitz, Namibia

Wilkommen in Africa

Chancellor Bismarck has always disdained overseas possessions. Against his will and all odds, in the middle of the Race for Africa, merchant Adolf Lüderitz forced Germany to take over an inhospitable corner of the continent. The homonymous city prospered and preserves one of the most eccentric heritages of the Germanic empire.
Grand Canyon, USA

Journey through the Abysmal North America

The Colorado River and tributaries began flowing into the plateau of the same name 17 million years ago and exposed half of Earth's geological past. They also carved one of its most stunning entrails.

Taroko George

Deep in Taiwan

In 1956, skeptical Taiwanese doubted that the initial 20km of Central Cross-Island Hwy was possible. The marble canyon that challenged it is today the most remarkable natural setting in Formosa.

Mount Roraima, Venezuela

Time Travel to the Lost World of Mount Roraima

Persist on top of Mte. Roraima extraterrestrial scenarios that have withstood millions of years of erosion. Conan Doyle created, in "The Lost World", a fiction inspired by the place but never set foot on it.
savuti, botswana, elephant-eating lions
Savuti, Botswana

Savuti's Elephant-Eating Lions

A patch of the Kalahari Desert dries up or is irrigated depending on the region's tectonic whims. In Savuti, lions have become used to depending on themselves and prey on the largest animals in the savannah.
Aurora lights up the Pisang Valley, Nepal.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 3rd- Upper Banana, Nepal

An Unexpected Snowy Aurora

At the first glimmers of light, the sight of the white mantle that had covered the village during the night dazzles us. With one of the toughest walks on the Annapurna Circuit ahead of us, we postponed the match as much as possible. Annoyed, we left Upper Pisang towards Escort when the last snow faded.
The Little-Big Senglea II
Architecture & Design
Senglea, Malta

An Overcrowded Malta

At the turn of the 8.000th century, Senglea housed 0.2 inhabitants in 2 km3.000, a European record, today, it has “only” XNUMX neighborhood Christians. It is the smallest, most overcrowded and genuine of the Maltese cities.
Tibetan heights, altitude sickness, mountain prevent to treat, travel

Altitude Sickness: the Grievances of Getting Mountain Sick

When traveling, it happens that we find ourselves confronted with the lack of time to explore a place as unmissable as it is high. Medicine and previous experiences with Altitude Evil dictate that we should not risk ascending in a hurry.
Ceremonies and Festivities
Pueblos del Sur, Venezuela

The Pueblos del Sur Locainas, Their Dances and Co.

From the beginning of the XNUMXth century, with Hispanic settlers and, more recently, with Portuguese emigrants, customs and traditions well known in the Iberian Peninsula and, in particular, in northern Portugal, were consolidated in the Pueblos del Sur.
Hiroshima, city surrendered to peace, Japan
Hiroshima, Japan

Hiroshima: a City Yielded to Peace

On August 6, 1945, Hiroshima succumbed to the explosion of the first atomic bomb used in war. 70 years later, the city fights for the memory of the tragedy and for nuclear weapons to be eradicated by 2020.
Singapore Asian Capital Food, Basmati Bismi

The Asian Food Capital

There were 4 ethnic groups in Singapore, each with its own culinary tradition. Added to this was the influence of thousands of immigrants and expatriates on an island with half the area of ​​London. It was the nation with the greatest gastronomic diversity in the Orient.
Kente Festival Agotime, Ghana, gold
Kumasi to Kpetoe, Ghana

A Celebration-Trip of the Ghanian Fashion

After some time in the great Ghanaian capital ashanti we crossed the country to the border with Togo. The reasons for this long journey were the kente, a fabric so revered in Ghana that several tribal chiefs dedicate a sumptuous festival to it every year.
Reindeer Racing, Kings Cup, Inari, Finland
Inari, Finland

The Wackiest Race on the Top of the World

Finland's Lapps have been competing in the tow of their reindeer for centuries. In the final of the Kings Cup - Porokuninkuusajot - , they face each other at great speed, well above the Arctic Circle and well below zero.
Inle Lake, Myanmar

A Pleasant Forced Stop

In the second of the holes that we have during a tour around Lake Inlé, we hope that they will bring us the bicycle with the patched tyre. At the roadside shop that welcomes and helps us, everyday life doesn't stop.
Tulum, Mayan Ruins of the Riviera Maya, Mexico
Overall, Mexico

The Most Caribbean of the Mayan Ruins

Built by the sea as an exceptional outpost decisive for the prosperity of the Mayan nation, Tulum was one of its last cities to succumb to Hispanic occupation. At the end of the XNUMXth century, its inhabitants abandoned it to time and to an impeccable coastline of the Yucatan peninsula.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

The inevitable fishing

Florianopolis, Brazil

The South Atlantic Azorean Legacy

During the XNUMXth century, thousands of Portuguese islanders pursued better lives in the southern confines of Brazil. In the villages they founded, traces of affinity with the origins abound.

Balinese Hinduism, Lombok, Indonesia, Batu Bolong temple, Agung volcano in background
Lombok, Indonesia

Lombok: Balinese Hinduism on an Island of Islam

The foundation of Indonesia was based on the belief in one God. This ambiguous principle has always generated controversy between nationalists and Islamists, but in Lombok, the Balinese take freedom of worship to heart
Passengers on the frozen surface of the Gulf of Bothnia, at the base of the "Sampo" icebreaker, Finland
Winter White
Kemi, Finland

It's No "Love Boat". Breaks the Ice since 1961

Built to maintain waterways through the most extreme arctic winter, the icebreaker Sampo” fulfilled its mission between Finland and Sweden for 30 years. In 1988, he reformed and dedicated himself to shorter trips that allow passengers to float in a newly opened channel in the Gulf of Bothnia, in clothes that, more than special, seem spacey.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
Refreshing bath at the Blue-hole in Matevulu.
Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu

The Mysterious Blue Holes of Espiritu Santo

Humanity recently rejoiced with the first photograph of a black hole. In response, we decided to celebrate the best we have here on Earth. This article is dedicated to blue holes from one of Vanuatu's blessed islands.
Sheki, Autumn in the Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Autumn Homes
Sheki, Azerbaijan

autumn in the caucasus

Lost among the snowy mountains that separate Europe from Asia, Sheki is one of Azerbaijan's most iconic towns. Its largely silky history includes periods of great harshness. When we visited it, autumn pastels added color to a peculiar post-Soviet and Muslim life.
Braga or Braka or Brakra in Nepal
Natural Parks
Annapurna Circuit: 6th – Braga, Nepal

The Ancient Nepal of Braga

Four days of walking later, we slept at 3.519 meters from Braga (Braka). Upon arrival, only the name is familiar to us. Faced with the mystical charm of the town, arranged around one of the oldest and most revered Buddhist monasteries on the Annapurna circuit, we continued our journey there. acclimatization with ascent to Ice Lake (4620m).
Soufrière and Pitons, Saint Luci
UNESCO World Heritage
Soufriere, Saint Lucia

The Great Pyramids of the Antilles

Perched above a lush coastline, the twin peaks Pitons are the hallmark of Saint Lucia. They have become so iconic that they have a place in the highest notes of East Caribbean Dollars. Right next door, residents of the former capital Soufrière know how precious their sight is.
now from above ladder, sorcerer of new zealand, Christchurch, new zealand
Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand's Cursed Wizard

Despite his notoriety in the antipodes, Ian Channell, the New Zealand sorcerer, failed to predict or prevent several earthquakes that struck Christchurch. At the age of 88, after 23 years of contract with the city, he made very controversial statements and ended up fired.
The Dominican Republic Balnear de Barahona, Balneario Los Patos
Barahona, Dominican Republic

The Bathing Dominican Republic of Barahona

Saturday after Saturday, the southwest corner of the Dominican Republic goes into decompression mode. Little by little, its seductive beaches and lagoons welcome a tide of euphoric people who indulge in a peculiar rumbear amphibian.
Armenia Cradle Christianity, Mount Aratat

The Cradle of the Official Christianity

Just 268 years after Jesus' death, a nation will have become the first to accept the Christian faith by royal decree. This nation still preserves its own Apostolic Church and some of the oldest Christian temples in the world. Traveling through the Caucasus, we visit them in the footsteps of Gregory the Illuminator, the patriarch who inspires Armenia's spiritual life.
Flam Railway composition below a waterfall, Norway.
On Rails
Nesbyen to Flam, Norway

Flam Railway: Sublime Norway from the First to the Last Station

By road and aboard the Flam Railway, on one of the steepest railway routes in the world, we reach Flam and the entrance to the Sognefjord, the largest, deepest and most revered of the Scandinavian fjords. From the starting point to the last station, this monumental Norway that we have unveiled is confirmed.
Buffaloes, Marajo Island, Brazil, Soure police buffaloes
Marajó Island, Brazil

The Buffalo Island

A vessel that transported buffaloes from the India it will have sunk at the mouth of the Amazon River. Today, the island of Marajó that hosted them has one of the largest herds in the world and Brazil is no longer without these bovine animals.
Coin return
Daily life
Dawki, India

Dawki, Dawki, Bangladesh on sight

We descended from the high and mountainous lands of Meghalaya to the flats to the south and below. There, the translucent and green stream of the Dawki forms the border between India and Bangladesh. In a damp heat that we haven't felt for a long time, the river also attracts hundreds of Indians and Bangladeshis in a picturesque escape.
Fluvial coming and going
Iriomote, Japan

The Small Tropical Japanese Amazon of Iriomote

Impenetrable rainforests and mangroves fill Iriomote under a pressure cooker climate. Here, foreign visitors are as rare as the yamaneko, an elusive endemic lynx.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Scenic Flights
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.