The perilous 1,000-mile journey to save Africa’s endangered black rhinos
28 October 2022
The annual Fish River Canyon hiking trail season starts on the 1stof May and ends on the 15th of September. It is an extremely popular trail and, as people from all over the world book for it, it is usually fully booked for the season.
Hikers have to be completely self-sufficient and carry their own goods and equipment for the hike. The uniqueness of the trail is that, once in the canyon, there is no way out – an injured hiker would have to be airlifted out in case of an emergency. Because of the inaccessibility of the terrain, hikers have the responsibility of carrying their trash with them until the end of the trail.
Unfortunately, instead of doing so, many of them leave trash strewn about, often shallowly buried or hidden behind bushes or under rocks.
For this reason, stakeholders in the /Ai/Ais-Richtersveld Transfrontier Park, i.e. the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism, the South African Department of Environmental Affairs, Namibia Wildlife Resorts, South African National Parks and Gondwana Nature Reserve undertake annual campaigns to clean up the Canyon at the end of the each hiking season.
This year’s clean up took place from the 24th to the 28th of August. Ten energetic participants from the stakeholder groups, as well as 25 school children under the auspices of the Hiking Organisation of Southern Africa, took part in the event.
Even the normally inaccessible areas of the Fish River Canyon were covered during the 2012 campaign. To ease matters a bit, Namibia Breweries kindly sponsored T-shirts, drinks and water bottles.
The total amount of waste collected was in the region of 55 kg, all of which was carried out by hand for 90 km to the Ai/Ais Resort, from where it carted away by vehicle.