Orange (Gariep) River – Fish River Canyon
Today we have an opportunity to witness the splendid river valley by means of canoe or to simply unwind at camp. Following lunch, we make our way north to the famous Fish River Canyon. Once we’ve completed a gorgeous stroll along the Canyon’s rim we head back to Ai-Ais to check into our lodging and check out the amazing hot springs.
Meaning ‘burning water’ in the local language of Nama, Ai-Ais refers to the sulphurous thermal hot water springs situated at the bottom of the mountains and at Fish River Canyon’s southern end. The Ai-Ais (pronounced ‘eye-ice’) springs originate from deep beneath the riverbed and create a haven in this tremendously dry area. During the Nama uprising that took place from 1903 – 1907, when the native Herero and Nama people fought against German colonial rule, these hot springs were used by the German military troops as a base camp. This area was once again used as a base in 1915 by South African troops mending from injuries incurred during the South-West Africa Campaign. The springs were declared national monuments in the 1960s and subsequently became a conservation area. The Ai-Ais camp was officially opened on the 16th of March, 1971. The hot water, heavy with sulphur, chloride and fluoride, has an average temperature of approximately 60 degrees Celcius and is known to be a relaxing curative.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation: Two per room: Ai Ais Resort
Facilities: En-suite per room, hot springs, bar
Route: Orange (Gariep) River to Fish River Canyon +/-210 kms
Travel Time: +/- 4-5 hours
Included Tour Highlights: Scenic walk along the rim of Fish River Canyon
Optional Activities: Half-day canoe adventure