The environment of this spectacular scenery embraces a number of habitats bringing together several species of mammals, an abundance of reptiles, insects and fish that live in natural pools and the Fish River itself. The hot springs which occur on the canyon floor, the most well-known being at Ai-Ais, form pools of water which in turn attract many type of waterbirds, making Fish River a rewarding birding safari destination as well. Some of the bird species found throughout the canyon are Egyptian geese, olive thrush, black-headed, grey and goliath heron, African black duck, flocks of Abdim’s stork, black stork, Cape robin chat, reed and white-breasted cormorant and dab-chick.
The klipspringer antelope is one of Fish River Canyon’s most unique creatures. The hoof structure enables this ‘rock jumper’ to walk on the tip of its hoof. It leaves an unmistakable double-rounded spoor (footprint and, allows for extra grip with the ability to bound smooth rock surfaces and leap from boulder to boulder to escape predators. Other canyon residents include mountain zebra, kudu, steenbok, gemsbok and springbok, attracting predators such as leopard, jackal, brown hyena and bat-eared fox. Rare sightings of a small population of grey rhebok have been recorded.