The Klipspringer Trail, Northern Cape
Did you know?
The klipspringer's hollow fur keeps the animal cool in summer and warm in winter.
You'll almost certainly see a klipspringer when you hike the Klipspringer Trail. In Afrikaans, klip means rock and springer means jumper, so when you see that dapper little antelope bounding nimbly from rock to rock or standing sentinel on a big boulder, you'll know you’ve got the right animal.
That’s not the only creature you’ll see on this three-day circular hiking trail through the Augrabies Falls National Park, a trail that stretches for 39km through some of the Northern Cape's most beautiful scenery. Watch out for baboons, monkeys, the tiny steenbok antelope and lots of birds.
As you hike along the Orange River, try to spot kingfishers and the stately fish eagle, and throughout the three days of hiking take note of the fascinating indigenous flora as well. On day three, for example, you'll see some magnificent quiver trees.
The Klipspringer Trail is only open from April to September, but even in winter the days can be fiercely hot whilst the nights can be freezing cold.
You'll hike in a group of between two and 12 people and overnight in rustic huts with bunks and mattresses, toilets and braai facilities, a few cooking pots, water and firewood, but no electricity. Everything else you need – including food, crockery, cutlery and sleeping bags – you must bring.
The going can get pretty strenuous at times (the trail is rated difficult), so you do need to be reasonably physically fit. The first day is 14km, approximately seven hours, with superb views of the Augrabies Falls and the gorge.
Day two is 13km, approximately six hours, and involves walking over a lot of sand, which can be very tiring. The last day, the easiest, is 12.5km and also approximately six hours. Keep a careful eye out for route markers and cairns as it's easy to get lost.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Augrabies Falls National Park
Tel: +27 (0) 54 452 9200
South African National Parks Central Reservations
Tel: +27 (0) 12 428 9111
How to get here
The closest airport is in Upington, 120km from the Augrabies Falls National Park.
Best time to visit
The Klipspringer Trail is open between April 1 and September 30.
Around the area
For the less energetic, the Dassie Nature Trail is a 5km self-guided day hiking trail which starts at the park's main camp.
You’ll need to hire a vehicle to get to the park.
What will it cost
Approximately R200 per person.
Length of stay
The KlipspringerTrail is a three-day hiking trail.
What to pack
South African National Parks will give you a comprehensive packing list when you make a reservation. Strong hiking boots are essential.
Where to stay
On the trail you'll stay In rustic overnight huts. The park also has plenty of other accommodation including chalets, family cottages and camping sites.
The Augrabies Falls National Park also offers mountain biking trails and guided night drives.