One of the natural wonders of Africa is the Fish River Canyon. The 161 km long, 27 km wide ravine with a maximum depth of 550 m is surrounded by high, forbidding cliffs. The awesome grandeur of the canyon is surpassed only by the Grand Canyon in the USA. A road running for 25 km along the eastern edge of the canyon leads to a series of viewing sites with splendid views of this immensely powerful natural phenomenon. The Ai-Ais hot springs resort offers accommodation and caravan camp sites and is because of the immense summer heat and the danger of flooding closed from the end of October to the second Friday in March. The Hobas camp is opened all year around and is situated on the road to the canyon and its spectacular viewpoints.
The harbour town of Luderitz, set between the Namib desert dunes and the wild Atlantic seaboard, was founded by the Bremen tobacco merchant, Adolf Luderitz in 1884. It was the first German settlement in then Sudwestafrika. The town has a fine collection of graceful buildings dating from the German era. Set against the background of black rock and the sparkling blue waters of the bay, this architectural heritage gives Luderitz its special charm. Exploring the coast around the bay is rewarding, with its unspoilt beaches, caves, lagoons and reefs. There are boat trips around the bay and to a nearby seal colony, bird life is abundant. The old ghost town of Kolmanskop a few kilometres south-east of Luderitz dates back from the days of the diamond rush, and can be visited on weekdays.
The town of Keetmanshoop is major road, rail and air link and has a number of interesting old buildings dated back from German colonial times. Interesting tourist destinations in this region are: The Kokerboom (Quiver Tree) Forest, which is situated on the private farm Gariganus, 14 km north of Keetmanshoop, but open to the public. The unusual geological formation Brukkaros, an extinct volcano which has a crater of almost 2 000 m in diameter, on the main route from Windhoek to Keetmanshoop. Pride of the south is Duwisib Castle on the edge of the Namib, some 70 km to the south west of Maltahöhe. Built in 1908 by the eccentric Baron von Wolff and his American heiress wife.