The canyon itself is a 30m deep beautiful labyrinth of rocks eroded and shaped through the years from the flooding of the Tsauchab River from the surrounding sandstone. Water floods the canyon only during the wet season leaving a bed of soft, white sand to walk through the narrow riverbed. Rock pigeons and other small creatures make nests and caves in the rocky river banks, relishing the shade from the overhead sun and the relatively close access to water.
It was originally used by the country’s first settlers to get water, and there are some steps cut into the rock giving an easy path to the bottom. Here there are pools which can be easily reached for a refreshing swim in the heat of day, and 500 m upriver from the steps is a watercourse which is also good to swim in.
Elim Dune which on first sight looks like a mountain gives extraordinary panoramic views of the desert from the top; it takes about an hour to climb, and although this is a hard trek, it is absolutely worth it. To the east lie the Naukluft Mountains, and to the west are the dune-crests. At sunset, the view is startling.
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