Few sights are as awesome or a sound as deafening as water thundering down the 56-m Augrabies Waterfall when the Orange River is in full flood.
The Khoi people called it Aukoerebis, or place of Great Noise, as this powerful flow of water is unleashed from rocky surroundings characterized by the 18-km abyss of the Orange River Gorge.
Picturesque names such as Moon Rock, Ararat and Echo Corner are descriptive of this rocky region, characterised by the 18 kilometre abyss of the Orange River Gorge and craggy outcrops dominating scrub-dotted plains.
Klipspringer and kokerboom (quiver trees) stand in stark silhouette against the African sky, silent sentinels in a strangely unique environment where only those that are able to adapt ultimately survive.
The 28 000 hectares on both the northern and southern sides of the Orange River provide sanctuary to a diversity of species, from the very smallest succulents, birds and reptiles to springbok, gemsbok and the endangered black rhino.
The most characteristic plant in the park is the giant aloe called quiver tree (kokerboom), Aloe dichotoma. The tree gets its name from the fact that the Bushmen (San) used the soft branches to make quivers for their arrows.
The eye-catching silhouette of the quiver tree is typical of the Northern Cape landscape.
Of special interest in the Park are:
- The Falls
- Moon Rock
- Arrow Point
- Echo Corner
Ramblers with limited time can take the very easy 2,5 km path to view the gorge, Twin Falls and Arrow Point. To reach Moon Rock takes about an hour and to the potholes about 1,5 hours.
Noteable wildlife includes Springbok, Klipspringer, Black Stork and Pygmy Falcon.
Accommodation at Augrabies Falls National Park
The Augrabies Restcamp offers:
Four-bed family cottages with two bedrooms, bathroom (bath), air-conditioning and equipped kitchen.
Bungalows (3 or 4 persons) with bathroom (shower), air-conditioning and equipped kitchen.
Two three-bedded bungalows have been adapted for handicapped persons.
Facilities at the restcamp includes:
Shop, Shibula Restaurant and Gariep Ladies' Bar.
Public telephones, fuel.
Information on birds, reptile and mammal species found in the park.
1. Accommodation rates do not include Conservation Fees which are payable at the entrance gates.
2. Please ensure that you are familiar with the Rules & Regulations of National Parks before making a booking.
Facilities at Augrabies Falls National Park:
- Picnic area for Day Visitors with ablution and barbecue facilities, and a swimming pool.
- Shop, Shibula Restaurant.
- No ATM facility available.
- Public telephones, fuel.
- Three swimming pools for residents and the pool hours are as follows:
October to March - 6:30am to 7:30pm
April to September - 7:30am to 5:30pm
- Information on birds, reptile and mammal species found in the park, is available at reception on request
- Conference Facilities
* Waterfall view points walking distance from the restaurant complex.
* Game viewing at leisure using own vehicle.
* Nature trails (no bookings necessary):
* Arrow Point (one hour)
* Potholes (one hour)
* Moon Rock (one hour).
* Night drives during peak holiday periods.
* Three swimming pools for residents.
Augrabies Falls National Park lies 120 km west of Upington and 40 km northwest of Kakamas on a tarred access route.
National air links to Upington and a private airfield 5 km from the park. Internal roads are gravelled.