Water filters for Fish River Canyon

Hey guys! We are a trio about to hike the Fish River starting 27 June 2019. Can anyone suggest an effective water filter or purification system?

Sawyer mini filter: http://www.mountainmailorder.co.za/sawyer-mini-filter/

Also check out this existing thread on water filters: Water Filtration systems

1 Like

The sawyer stuff is great, but can be a bit slow if you are filtering a bunch of water for a group. Also the standard pouches that come with them are a bit small, I would say order some larger ones off Amazon but not sure that would arrive in time for you.

The trick I have found with the sawyer bags is to carry the cut off top half of a litre plastic water bottle. The mini kit fits nicely in side this roled up with the bags, and then you use that as a scoop to fill the sawyer bags, as they can be a nightmare to get water into…

For something like the Fish I would also take the backwashing plunger for the filter along, I don’t bother in the mountains but if there is a lot of sediment in the river it is useful to clean the filter.

Enjoy the hike!

1 Like

Thanks to reply Arno! So helpful!

1 Like

Thank you Jax!

1 Like

We were there in May and the water levels were concerningly low. I suggest that you perhaps just phone to check if the situation has improved at all. We had water and didn’t need special filters, but I was worried about it all the way.
Hope you have fun!

I hiked the Fish River Canyon on 30 May, we used the Sawyer filter, the plastic refill bags both broke on the edges. We ended up drinking straight from the river, no one got sick. Take water purifying tablets with, incase your filter malfunctions. Was very dry, no need for water shoes, didn’t use them once.

1 Like

Thanks everyone. I’m doing the trail on 19 June 2019. I called Namibian Tourism and they confirmed the water level is a bit low for the latter part of the hike but that they are monitoring the level and will have water drop off points in the canyon should the water become undrinkable. no hikes have been cancelled. I’m taking mini sawyer along, just in case.

1 Like

Thanks everyone for your thoughts on this! Someone from our tribe will buy the Sawyer filter, I’m gona test out the LifeStraw Water Bottle Filter Adapter (found it today at Drifters) - seems to work well so far? My only concern is the filter part ‘popping’ out from the ‘drinking bit’ of the adapter.

Ah, will be interesting to hear how that works out. Have a booking for early August, so a little worrying! I got the impression somewhere that the water levels are set by what they let out of dams up stream, and so therefore they can compensate if it gets too low? But no idea if that is true.

1 Like


I was so happy to find out that the attachment fits onto my current bottle without leaks (which is not on their list of bottles) :slight_smile:

Nice, let us know how it works out. Haven’t seen a lot on the lifestraws in practice. Spoke to Namib tourism yesterday and they told me they should start to have an answer about the water situation in the canyon next week.