One of Africa’s greatest natural wonder, impressive Fish River Canyon in the south of Namibia is the largest canyon in Africa.
The numbers don’t lie, Fish River Canyon’s massive ravine is in total about 100 miles long, up to sixteen miles wide, and in places almost 1,804 feet deep. Whereas, the 403-mile long Fish River is the longest interior river in Namibia. The river which cuts through the rocky and arid plateau flows intermittently with flooding usually occurring in late summer while the rest of the year it becomes a chain of long narrow pools. Unlike the Grand Canyon, Fish River Canyon was not carved out by the river but a result of a fracture in the earth’s crust that collapsed the valley bottom forming a broad valley running north-south about 500 million years ago. The canyon is part of the Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park.
Animals are scarce in this harsh environment though there are Hartmann’s zebras, kudu, steenbok, gemsbok, springbok, and klipspringer whose hoof structure enables this ‘rock jumper’ to walk on the tip of its hoof as it bounds over smooth rock surfaces and leaps from boulder to boulder to escape predators. These predators include leopard, jackal, brown hyena, and bat-eared fox.