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Southern Namibia

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1. Posted by HafJafMark (Respected Member 291 posts) 7y

Anyone been to Fish river canyon or the south of Namibia?

According to the Tom Tom routefinder it takes about 8 hours to travel 180km!

Are the roads really this bad?

2. Posted by baluba (Respected Member 407 posts) 7y

A few years ago I was on an overland truck which went through southern Namibia and Fish River Canyon and I don't remember the roads being bad, just having to take a very indirect route owing to the diamond mines. I take it you are planning on heading south and not the other way round.

Just checked my journal. On the truck it took about 5 hours to travel from Swakopmund to Dune 17 and friends, then another 7 hours from there to Fish River with a stop for lunch.

Hope this helps!

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Sep-2009, at 10:54 by baluba ]

3. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 7y

Hey Mark,

I have been there back in 2004 and actually going back later this year.
8 hours for 180km definately isn't right, although you didn't mention between which places that is?

The main road going south from Windhoek to the border with South Africa is entirely paved. From that road, very good gravel roads go west towards the Fish River Canyon. Even the D-roads are good where you probaly can average 50-60 km an hour as well in the worst cases.

Which road did you mean?

Cheers!
Michael.

4. Posted by Overlandin (Budding Member 82 posts) 7y

Hey Mark,

Not sure where Tom Tom got that info from! Good gravel roads run all directions in and out of Fish River Canyon and even when they haven't been graded for a while you can still keep a reasonable speed on them.

Are you coming from the South Africa border if you are only driving 180kms? If so we do it in a overland truck in 3.5 hours.
If the time frame is correct but the KMs are not then you are probably coming from Windhoek? In which case 8 hours is about right and it is perfect tar road all the way except for the last 75km or so which is good dirt.

Fish River Canyon is one of the popular destinations for tourists coming to Namibia so they keep the road pretty good all of the time.

Good luck!
Cheers, Tania

5. Posted by HafJafMark (Respected Member 291 posts) 7y

Thanks for the replies,

I'm actually planning on heading up from Springbok in SA to the Canyon for a few days then back again. Was planning on going to Ai Ais, but the road sounds dreadful (have hired a people carrier 2WD). Did you go to this place?

Can you recommend anywhere else in the area thats accessible by decent roads?

6. Posted by HafJafMark (Respected Member 291 posts) 7y

Have just checked the roads again - it seems that the road from sprinbok to Grunau is ok - its the turn off to Ai Ais thats takes all that time.

Tania - when you said they have 'Gravel roads' - I assume they are suitable for 2WD?

7. Posted by Ofelia (Respected Member 142 posts) 7y

Quoting HafJafMark

Have just checked the roads again - it seems that the road from sprinbok to Grunau is ok - its the turn off to Ai Ais thats takes all that time.

Tania - when you said they have 'Gravel roads' - I assume they are suitable for 2WD?

I'm not Tania, but maybe I can help...we drove from Grunau to the Ai-Ai's in March on a 2WD, and it was fine. We actually had far more problems with a 4WD later on, as some of the D-roads were a bit flooded at the time. I think they're fine most of the year, but as it was just the end of the wet season, there were big puddles on some of the roads, especially around Sesriem.

Ai-Ai was the biggest let-down in whole of Namibia- basically, just a half-built resort (that's where the hikes from Fish River Canyon finish) and a tiny pool of hot water. We had a beer, a quick look around and left. The road there was scenic, but the place in itself not much. Fish River Canyon around Hobas, on the other hand, was fantastic.

8. Posted by HafJafMark (Respected Member 291 posts) 7y

Thanks for the warning about Ai Ais - Definately give it a miss then!

I just checked the routefinder - from Grunau to Hobas takes 8 and a half hours -

Would you say thats accurate?

9. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 7y

Quoting HafJafMark

Thanks for the warning about Ai Ais - Definately give it a miss then!

I just checked the routefinder - from Grunau to Hobas takes 8 and a half hours -

Would you say thats accurate?

I'll second Ai Ais: miserable place, only good if you decide to go on a multiple-day hike along the canyon. Or a long day hike. The place itself is boring.

Grunau to Hobas is less than 100 kilometres along a good gravel road. 1,5 hours would be accurately enough
You mean the Hobas viewpoint Fish River Canyon right?

10. Posted by Ofelia (Respected Member 142 posts) 7y

Quoting Utrecht

You mean the Hobas viewpoint Fish River Canyon right?

That's what I meant, at least! Coming up to Fish River Canyon, the road forks, left, you have the entrance to the Canyon and the view point, right, you have camping sites. So after getting to the canyon there is an additional distance to drive to get anywhere useful (hotel, camping, restaurant) but I cannot remember how far- in all honesty, i'd had a few beers and was probably asleep on the backseat at that stage, but probably no more than 30-40 minutes.