Namibia – Gariep (Orange) River – Fish River Canyon, South Africa
We have an opportunity to partake in an optional canoe trip down the Orange River this morning, or we could choose to stay behind and devote our time to relax and unwind next to the river. After lunch we leave the Orange River and make our way inland, crossing the border to Namibia. We make a brief stop at Ai-Ais for a dip in the mineral hot springs before arriving at our camp for the evening.
Meaning ‘burning water’ in the local language of Nama, Ai-Ais refers to the sulfurous 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 river bed and create a haven in this extremely dry area. The hot springs were used by the German military troops as a base camp during the Nama uprising. This area was once again used as a base in 1915 by South African troops who were healing 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 sulfur, chloride and fluoride, has an average temperature of approximately 60 degrees Celcius and is known to be a relaxing curative.
Accommodation: Camp: NWR Hobas Campsite
Facilities: Shared Ablutions Please visit the website of the accommodation provider for a full list of the facilities offered
Route: Orange/Gariep River to Fish River Canyon ±180 km
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Optional Activity: Half-day canoe trip
Border Post: South Africa: Vioolsdrift, Tel: +27 (27) 277 618 760, Open 24 hours Namibia: Noordoewer, Tel: +264 (0) 63 297 122, Open 24 hours