Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day 31, Fish River Canyon, Namibia, Africa

We are all eagerly looking forward to our trip to Fish River Canyon which is the second largest canyon in the world and the largest in Africa.
We hired some horses and went in search of the canyon......... whoa.....pull back the came as something of a shock when we arrived at the canyon, as we had no idea it was there.

It just suddenly drops vertically by 1,800ft (550m) out of a flat arid plateau without any warning, even though at some points it is 17 miles (27km) wide!

Wow! It is absolutely magnificent and breathtaking in its immensity. Rock stratas of purples, pinks and greys stretch along a 100-mile (161km) course. According to the San Bushmen the twists and curves were carved by the serpent, Kouteign Kooru, in an attempt to escape capture.
However, geologists say it was initially created by a fracture in the earth's crust 650 million years ago. Erosion and the action of glaciers then further deepened the canyon.

Absolutely breathtaking amazing view:-))
None of us felt fit enough to attempt the famous "Fish River Hiking Trail". The hike covers a distance of 54 miles (86km) over 5 days in the base of the canyon, with absolutely no facilities whatsoever. You have only what youcarry on your back and whatever water you can find in semi-permanent pools. Because of its arduous nature, the National Park's office insists on a
certificate of fitness before you are allowed to commence the walk.
Do you know what Namibia's national tree is?

It's the Aloe dichotoma or Quiver Tree and we saw several beautiful examples of these here. The trees can reach an age of about 300 years, and flowering occurs during wintertime from May to July.

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