The mighty Orange River approaches Augrabies Falls National Park and divides into numerous channels in this 51 113 hectares of one of South African National Parks’ hidden gems. The river cascade down an abyss of approximately 90 metres high, with a 56 metre freefall. The indigenous Khoi people named this area “the place of great noise” or “Aukoerebis” from which the park derives its name.
Although the falls, which boast the largest water volume in South Africa, is the primary reason for the proclamation of the Augrabies Falls National Park, it offers a sanctuary to far more than just the waterfalls. Plant life, invertebrates, reptiles, fish, birds, and mammals can be found all over the park.
The park hosts no less than 49 mammal species, of which the most intriguing is probably the Klipspringer, often seen leaping nimbly from rock to rock on specially adapted hooves.
Visitors can enjoy various types of accommodation; one large camp comprised of chalets and cottages that sleep a total of 120, and 50 camp sites. There are three swimming pools for the exclusive use of the residents and another separate one for day visitors. There is also a well-stocked shop, a petrol station and a restaurant with an a-la-carte menu.
For activities, you can take a walk down the beautifully maintained boardwalk to experience the sight and sound of water cascading over rocks, as well as various viewpoints of the amazing waterfall. Take a scenic drive to the beautiful Moon Rock which consist of a massive granite exfoliation dome or ‘whaleback’ which is one the prominent landmarks in the park, as well as observing the flora and fauna of the park.
There are also 4×4 trails and two other viewpoints, Oranjekom and Ararat, from which you can observe the massive gorge area. The 36km Klipspringer Trail and 8.5km Dassie Trail, or the shorter 2km Gorge Trail, offer the adventurous an opportunity to explore the park on foot. Mountain bikes are also allowed in the park, though cyclists are requested to remain on the official roads.
South African National Parks are currently also offering an amazing opportunity for Stokvel and travel groups to explore certain parks at discounted rates. Find out more at www.sanparks.org