Augrabies Falls National Park
The Augrabies Falls National Park is one of Africa’s most beautiful places. The Orange River makes her way through it and finds her pace changing from a slow casual one to a faster rhythm. This is key, because when the River overflows its banks and floods in February through April, the Augrabies Falls looks simply spectacular.
There’s so much power, beauty and thrill behind the fall of all that water that the local Khoi people have termed it ‘Aukoerebis’ which means ‘Place of Great Noise’ in their Nama language. The initial steps of the Falls begin in the Park’s eastern section where you’ll see a series of interlinked channels leading up to a 90m high waterfall. Keep in mind also the 56m freefall that comes soon after.
To give you a better estimate of how grand the Augrabies Falls really are, consider the fact that they’re one of the five biggest Falls in the world. About 140 kms. away is the town of Upington where you’ll find some nice lodging and modern amenities before heading out.
The Park is the epitome of natural variety, so don’t be surprised when you learn there’s only one place to dine or stay here, namely the Augrabies Falls Restcamp with its 59 chalets, bar, three pools, a restaurant and a fuel station. Kinda moot, isn’t it, especially considering the size of this installation? But, you won’t miss such modernity when you’re off camping, hiking or trekking in the Park’s wilds.
Augrabies Falls National Park Wildlife
Take plenty of photographs, especially that of the landscape itself with its granite rocks forming grand ‘whalebacks’ in certain places and curious erosion patterns in others. Most of the place is arid, so be sure to bring sunscreen, moisturizers and bottled water, if needed. With 46 mammal and 186 bird species, you can certainly see your animal-loving expectations met.
Aside from mongoose and otters, you’ll find a different version of much more familiar African animals. Like the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra and a lighter-hued Giraffe species. Keep your eyes and camera lenses peeled for steenbok, kudu, and klipspringer, the latter of which are the most common antelope variety hereabouts. Leopards are present too, though a bit elusive, among other wild cat species. There are bat-eared foxes, caracals and black-backed jackals too.
Broadley’s flat lizard is one reptile species you must see. Aside from thriving only 100 kms. from the Augrabies Falls in either direction, you’ll see plenty of them out in the sun. Enjoy bird life as well, from Verreaux’s (black) eagles and pygmy falcons to black storks and pale chanting goshawks.
Partake of the activities available to you here like Nature walks, two of the most memorable being the 5 km. Dassie Trail and the 40 km. Klipspringer Hiking Trail. All in all, the Augrabies Falls and the National Park it exists in renders the words ‘African beauty’ beyond poetic.