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The Fish River Canyon, in the Ai-Ais Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, is where Namibia's longest river makes its way through the biggest canyon in the southern hemisphere. One of Namibia's best-kept secrets, this immense natural wonder can still be admired in more or less crowd-free peace. So vast is the Fish River Canyon that one of Africa's most challenging and beautiful hiking trails takes an arduous five days to walk along a gruelling 86 km (54 miles) section of this 160 km (99 miles) long fissure.
With four perennial rivers, this is arguably one of Namibia's most verdant areas and is renowned for its top game-viewing opportunities. You'll have every chance to see elephant, lion, buffalo, cheetah, giraffe and many varieties of antelope. It's also a popular fishing destination and a bird lover's paradise with over 600 species, including some rare endemic birds.
The Kunene Region in north-western Namibia is wild, remote and sparsely populated. A transitional area with a distinctive desert region, Kunene has a surprising wealth of desert-adapted wildlife, including the largest population of free-ranging black rhino, elephant, lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena, Hartmann's zebra, springbok and gemsbok (oryx). It's also home to the Damara, Himba and Herero tribes who live in this stark and fascinating 28-million-acre arid expanse.
Sossusvlei epitomises the exquisite desert experience of Namibia, with its endless sea of dunes. The blazing ochre Sossusvlei dunes rise up to over 320 m tall, making them some of the world's highest sand forms. These forever-shifting dunes, constantly reshaped by the wind into sandy valleys, slopes and peaks, form the ancient Namib Desert. The reds, oranges, yellows and caramel browns of the dunes and the bleached whites and washed-out pastel shades of the pans continuously transform with the turning seasons and the play of light which makes the desert landscapes glow at dusk and dawn.
The incredible wealth of fauna at the Skeleton Coast will surprise you. Its river courses sustain large species such as Namibia's renowned 'desert elephant', giraffe, black rhino, lion and many smaller species, while the plains have springbok, ostrich and gemsbok in large numbers. It's a fascinating area where interdependent dune-dwelling insects, reptiles and small mammals survive against all odds by getting sustenance from frequent sea fog and wind-blown detritus.