Our first stop once we had crossed the border into Namibia, was at a camp near the Fish River Canyon. The Fish River Canyon is the largest canyon in Africa, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Nambia. The canyon is “in total about 160 km (100 miles) long, up to 27 km (17 miles) wide and in places almost 550 meters (1805 feet) deep.” [Wikipedia]. To see a really cool satellite image of the Fish River Canyon click here.
Besides admiring the canyon from the top, one can also walk along The Fish River Canyon Hiking Trail which runs along the bottom of the canyon. Although this can only be done during the winter months due to the extremely high temperatures in summer. The hiking trail is also closed if there has been flooding down the Fish River. We were not going to try anything as ambitious as the hiking trail though. All we wanted to do was see the canyon, and take some nice photographs. Even this proved to be a challenge.
We arrived at the camp in the afternoon, booked in and then headed off to check out the Canyon. In all our trips, especially in environments which had very harsh light during the day, we had found that the best times for photography were early mornings or late afternoons. The so-called “golden hours”.
When we got to the edge of the canyon at the main viewing site, the sun was beginning to go down. Although the sun was still hitting the rim of the canyon, the bottom of the canyon and the lower walls and ledges were in shadow. At this point we realised that no amount of photo editing was going to help improve our photos.
Since the evening photo session had not been successful, we decided to try again early the next morning. We headed off before breakfast, and braved the cold and wind. Still no luck though. This time the other side of the canyon was lit up, and the rest of the canyon was in shadow.
I had by now given up trying to get anything useable, and was starting to take photos of the birds around the viewing point, the information posters . . . and Willie still trying his best!
Having got cold and despondent enough we returned to the camp, delighted that we hadn’t missed the breakfast session at the camp restaurant. We were moving on that day, but decided that we had enough time to swing past the canyon for a last look. And there it was in all its majesty . . . It was now around 11:00 a.m. and the sun had risen, but wasn’t yet at its full height, so cast enough shadow to allow us to get some decent photos. Third time’s a charm!