Adventure vacations in Namibia

Fish River to the Border


A combination of dramatic canyon landscapes, spacious desert plains and the mighty Orange River, this horseback riding vacation in Namibia offers the opportunity to experience both inaccessible countryside, real wilderness areas, and riding without limitations.

The Fish River Canyon area is internationally recognised as one of Africa’s most magnificent sites. Commonly referred to as “Africa’s Grand Canyon”, it is the second largest canyon in the world.

Riding will commence in and along the upper Fish River canyons, where you will experience part of the canyon not seen by many. After the endless Nama Karoo, the plains inspire everlasting cantering, only to be stopped by the Orange/Gariep River, which forms the southern Namibian border. Distances covered daily will vary between 20 and 55 kilometres.

The Fish River Canyon – Orange River Trail crosses over three private parks: Fish River Canyon Park, Gondwana Park and Aussenkehr Park. Altogether these cover an area of about 220,000 hectares. These parks fall within the Nama Karoo Desert biome and are on the fringe of the transitional area between Nama Karoo and Succulent Karoo. The Orange River basin at Aussenkehr is the most arid part of this vast Karoo region.

The tents are two-person dome tents. You have the option of sleeping in the tents, or under the stars.

Meals are prepared over the open fire. This braai or potjiekos is typical for Namibia, and often a welcome surprise.

  • Horse Breeds:
    Arab Cross, Trakehner, Local Ranch Bred
  • Trip Pace:
    moderate to fast
  • Tack:
    Endurance Saddles
  • Weight limit:
    180 lbs, riders over this must pay 30% supplement


Trip Itinerary

Day 1

You will be met at Cape Town’s International Airport where you will join up with the rest of your riding group. Transfer departure times are dependent on flight arrival times but generally departure is by 9am. Overnight en-route at Springbok, situated on the edge of the Richtersveld Park which forms one of the first historic Transfrontier Parks that now occur across several of Namibia’s borders. Eco-systems know of no human imposed borders

Day 2

Having crossed the border this morning, we travel towards the Fish River Canyon where you will meet the horses and the friendly crew for lunch at Cañon Mule Trekking station. We set off on an afternoon ride to the very edge of the Canyon for our first overnight under the stars at the camp. Feast your eyes on the glorious desert hues at twilight as you sip your chilled sundowner drink in an atmosphere of utter tranquility.

Day 3

After breakfast we follow Zebra paths crisscrossing the rocky tributaries leading down the steep sides of the Canyon to the river below. There we will ride along the sandy bed to a delightful lunch spot on a beach where you may well be able to enjoy a refreshing dip in the river (season depending). After lunch we wind our way out of the canyon to the unexpected oasis at an Outpost Camp in the mostly dry Gaap River, a tributary of the Fish River.

Day 4

Today’s exhilarating ride begins with a climb up out of the gorge, winding between dolomite rocks to the great plateau above the Canyon from which an endless savannah stretches to the distant mountains. The afternoon’s short ride to the Roadhouse leaves enough time to relax and wander around the collection of vintage cars and interesting memorabilia.

Day 5

A fast, thrilling day’s ride across a dolomite plateau with grazing Zebra, Oryx, Springbok and Ostrich. Next, it’s on to the boulder-strewn grassland dotted with the enigmatic Quiver Trees, iconic signatures of this diverse biome. We arrive at our Mountain Camp and enjoy the luxury of real beds with linen and en-suite facilities, making this a very special evening.

Day 6

A short commute to the main viewpoint overlooking the Fish River Canyon with its astonishing view of this area’s geological past. Like an open book, the water-eroded canyon walls reveal layer upon layer of sedimentary history. After lunch back at the Mountain Camp, we wind our way through huge milk bushes interspersed with herds of game which inhabit this huge plain, especially in years rain has been abundant.

Day 7

Now the ever-changing scenery is dominated by bizarre geological formations providing niches for a high diversity of range-restricted flora. Being both a winter and summer rainfall area, this area is usually home to large herds of plains game. Tonight’s campsite affords us the opportunity of a one of those magical sunsets the Namib is known for, that and the deep resonate silence.

Day 8

We transfer by vehicle to the hot springs to spend the morning relaxing in the deliciously warm spring water while the horses, unburdened, run free to our lunch spot. Now the topography unfolds onto even wider plains and the afternoon ride crosses some of the best riding terrain in the world. This evening we camp near one of the many saline springs that predominate in this arid region.

Day 9

Entering the expansive Aussenkehr Nature Park we encounter some isolated sand dunes and canyons surrounded by stacked boulders, which could only have been the work of some industrious giant. Since riding is not limited to any specific route, we are free to roam where we will in this endless vastness.

Day 10

Our last ride is one of dazzling contrasts. From the wide plains we enter the narrow Kings Throne Canyon, coming upon a viewpoint revealing a rather surprising vineyard in the middle of an otherwise barren landscape. Descending into this verdant oasis we ride amongst the trellised vines to the bank of the Orange River at the oasis of a River Resort.

Day 11

After breakfast we say our farewells and the 7 to 8-hour road transfer leaves for Cape Town – arriving about 18:00. Self-drive guests transfer back to their vehicle at Cañon Mule Trekking Station.

Itinerary Addendum


Trip Map

Trip Dates & Pricing

Additional Pricing Information:
Prices are based on the dollar/pound exchange and are subject to change. Ride price is set, guaranteed, and final at the time deposit is paid.

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Preferred Trip Dates

Fish River to the Border
July 11, 2024
January 1, 1970
January 1, 1970

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I have nothing but respect and admiration for the horses we rode: tough as nails, impossibly agile and sure-footed, fit and enduring beyond belief, reliable and safe, and with great personalities. As for our guide she proved to be an exceptional woman. Her ferocious love of Namibia, her knowledge of the country's... Read more  

Florence Bautista