Posted by: megandnath | February 2, 2011

Day 51-52, The Fish River Canyon and Orange River

After leaving the heart of the desert behind we headed south once more towards the Fish River Canyon. It was another long day in the truck, most of it spent snoozing or trying to dodge the sun by tying towels over the windows. The further south we head the hotter things get and todays temperature hit a new high of 45 degrees! At 6pm that night the thermometer at the camp ground reception still read 40 degrees and it was almost impossible to sleep that night.

After putting the tents up we drove a further 10km to the very edge of the canyon; no barriers, no warning signs, no fences – just a drop of close to 400m if you went to far. The canyon was huge, so big it was impossible to photograph it. The winding brown river snaked its way along at the very bottom and the huge cliff faces and gullies cut the landscape up into chunks of gray/brown collapsing land. It was quite amazing to look behind you and see a huge flat wide open space filled with nothing and then in front of you a gigantic slash in the land. The canyon is actually the second largest in the world behind the Grand Canyon in the USA.

A much shorter but equally as hot drive the next morning bought us to the Orange River, the natural border with South Africa. Along the way herds of mountain zebra and springbok could be seen enjoying the last of the shade. The Orange River stretches from the 3000m mountains in Lesotho (a tiny mountain country in the middle of SA) all the way to the Atlantic coast, the last 500km makes a natural border with Namibia. Currently SA is experiencing huge floods across most of the country, maybe not making the news in NZ due to the flooding in Aussie.

As I sit at the bar overlooking the huge swimming pool (a god send in this oppressing heat!) the murky brown river rages past with the yellow, brown and black hills of SA only a few hundred meters away on the other side. Tomorrow morning we cross into SA for the last few days before we arrive in Cape Town, although we have loved the trip we are now looking forward to the freedom of doing our own thing and eating what we want.




  1. Hey Nathan and Meghan. Lise and I have enjoyed reading your blog. We can’t believe you are still on the truck. Good on ya! Lise is leaving for Nicaragua tomorrow morning. She will hang there for five weeks before I join her in early March. We will return to Vancouver together at the end of March. We are both well and enjoying some lovely sunny winter days in Vancouver. Keep up the blog. It is lovely. Wayne and Lise

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