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TTo understand why the Khoisan people referred to the Augrabies Falls as ‘the place of noise’, you need to come and experience them for yourself – particularly when there has been plenty of rain and the Orange River is overflowing, and the full might of the water is apparent as it thunders down the 56m-high falls. The power of this natural wonder will stay with you long after you leave.
The Augrabies Falls are situated 120km to the west of Upington in Northern Cape province. They are found within the Augrabies Falls National Park, which is rich with endemic and indigenous plant and animal species. The park offers an ancient landscape that will take you back in time to the world of human hunter-gatherers.
One notable plant is the enigmatic Quiver tree or Kokerboom (Aloe dichotoma). Traditionally, Khoisan hunters made their quivers from this tree, which produces vivid yellow flowers in May and June and can live thousands of years.
If you sit silently, you might be treated to the sight of a beautiful pair of klipspringers grazing – all the while keeping alert to the slightest sign of trouble from predators, including leopard, jackal and the African wild cat. The klipspringers are not the only ones that are preyed upon. The park is the natural habitat for other antelope species such as steenbok, springbok, gemsbok (oryx), kudu and eland. You will hopefully see them all as you explore the park.
Complete your visit with a bird’s-eye view of the park from the top of the Moon Rock – a vast ‘whaleback’ dome that is a prominent landmark near Augrabies Falls. Walking to the summit will give one of the best views of the park and its surroundings.
TTravel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Augrabies Falls National Park
Tel: +27 (0)54 452 9200
How to get here
Augrabies Falls National Park is situated 120km west of Upington and 40km northwest of Kakamas on a tarred access route (the R359). There are national air links to Upington and a private airfield 5km from the park. Internal roads are gravelled.
Best time to visit
Best time to visit is in winter between March and October.
Around the area
Nearby attractions include the Spitskop Nature Reserve, Vaalbos National Park along the Vaal River with its abundant wildlife, and Witsand Nature Reserve with its stunning 2 500 hectares of brilliant white sand.
Tours to do
If you’re visiting between September or October, the Namaqualand Daisy Tour is well worth it.
Getting around within the reserve can be by canoe trail, through day walks, hiking trails or by mountain bike.
Length of stay
Several days to 1 week.
What to pack
Visitors are advised to bring a hat, walking shoes, sunscreen, camera, binoculars and wildlife reference books. Hikers must always carry sufficient water.
Where to stay
Accommodation is available at the Augrabies Rest Camp in the form of family cottages and bungalows.
The area’s major annual event is the Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon, a 7-day, 250km multi-stage desert race generally held in October.