Ai-Ais is one of the most famous hot spring resorts in Namibia. The name is a Khoekhoen word that can be translated as ''fire water''. The area was discovered in 1850 by local Nama shepherd. During Nama uprising of 1903-1907 the spring was used by German military forces as a base camp. Again Ai-Ais area was used by Germans in 1915 as a base to recover from wounds during invasion of South African troops. Later the spring was leased to local entrepreneur and proclaimed a national monument in 1962. In 1969 it became a conservation area. The rest camp was opened on 16 March 1971. Severe floods in 1972, 1974 and 1988 caused camp to close down for some time. The Fish River Canyon Conservation area was enlarged in 1987 by addition of state land west of canyon. Renovations to the Ai-Ais Camp were carried out in 1987-88 and again in 2009 and in 2013.
Meaning ‘burning water’ in the local Nama dialect, /Ai-/Ais is in reference to the natural thermal springs found at the base of the mountain peaks at the southern end of the Fish River Canyon. It is popular with tourists, who come for both the hot springs, and the challenging 85 km Fish River Canyon hike (advanced reservations only because of its popularity). The area has rugged and beautiful scenery and diverse flora, containing elements of both the Succulent karoo (winter rainfall) and Nama karoo (summer rainfall) biomes.
Namibia Wildlife Resorts is exclusively located within the /Ai-/Ais Hot Springs Park, offering accommodation at the /Ai-/Ais Hot Springs Spa and Hobas camp site.
Ai-Ais Resort accommodation
Accommodation is in 36 double rooms and 7 premier chalets. 12 of the rooms have river views and the remaining 24 have mountain views. All of these rooms have been fitted in the new Spa complex and sit over the indoor thermal pool. So there is no excuse for not popping downstairs for a relaxing session in the pool, or to visit one of the treatment rooms for a body or head massage, to get rid of those unwanted aches and pains.
Ai-Ais Resort accommodation categories
The 12 river view rooms are equipped with an en-suite bathroom and bath, air-conditioning and a tea/coffee station.They also have the added facility of an outside shower.
The 24 mountain view rooms have an en-suite bathroom with a shower, air-conditioning and a tea/coffee station.
The 7 premier chalets are for families/groups and are equipped with an en-suite bathroom and air-conditioning.
The 3 bedrooms, have either a three-quarter, 2 x queen, or 1 x king-size bed in each room. The self-catering kitchen is fully equipped with a refrigerator, 2 plate stove, microwave oven, kettle, pots/pans and plates/cutlery. An added attraction of these brand new chalets, is that there are 2 verandahs, with both river and mountain views.
Camping sites with power points and ablution blocks.
Ai-Ais Resort facilities
Housekeeping with evening turndown service
Preferred time of housekeeping service
Ai-Ais Resort activities
/Ai-/Ais has both an indoor thermal pool and a popular, but cooler outdoor pool. As the surrounding countryside is arid and rocky and in summer time temperatures soar, not only is a session in either pool beneficial to your health, it also helps you to keep cool.
Walking nature walks
Try walking trails up the ravine the Fish River Canyon Hiking Trail. Guided scenic excursions within the park.
The Ai-Ais area is a geologists’ dream - with curious rock formations dating back to millions of years. Visitors of all ages can enjoy some soul-searching walks in the surrounding areas of the camp, and they can also easily drive to the main Fish River Canyon lookout point at Hobas for some fantastic views and photographic opportunities.
An advantage when travelling in this part of the world is the cleaar and open southern sky. It is great for star gazing, and the minimal reflections at night make it an ideal stopover for keen astronomers and enthusiasts alike.