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TTo understand why the Khoisan people referred to the Augrabies Falls as ‘the place of great noise’, you need to come and experience them for yourself. After there has been plenty of rain, you will experience the full might of the water as it thunders down the 60m-high falls into the 18km Orange River gorge below. The might of this natural wonder will stay with you long after you have left the falls.
The Augrabies Falls are situated 120km to the west of Upington in the Northern Cape. They form part of the Augrabies Falls National Park, which is rich with endemic and indigenous plant and animal species.
OOn the menu of plant species is the enigmatic quiver tree or Kokerboom (Aloe dichotoma). Traditionally, the Khoisan hunters made their quivers from this tree, which dates back thousands of years and produces vivid yellow flowers in May and June.
The Augrabies Falls National Park offers an ancient landscape that will take you back in time to the world of the first hunter-gatherers.
Just as they did thousands of years ago, 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 any of the predators, including leopards, jackals 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, 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 Moon Rock - a vast 'whaleback' dome which is a prominent landmark of the Augrabies Falls. Walking to the summit will give you 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
Fax: +27 (0)54 451 5003
How to get there
Augrabies Falls National Park is situated 120km west of Upington and 40km northwest of Kakamas on a tarred access route. There are national air links to Upington and a private airfield 5km from the park. Internal roads are gravelled.
Best time to visit
Winter months between May and October are cooler than the very hot summer months.
Things to do
Nearby attractions include the Spitskop Nature Reserve, Riemvasmaak hot springs and the panoramic view point, Echo Corner.
There are canoe trails, day walks, hiking trails and mountain bike trails.
A major event is the annual Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon.
What to pack
Visitors are advised to bring mosquito repellent, a hat, walking shoes, sun block, 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.
What to eat
Picnic sites and barbecue facilities are available. There is a restaurant at the Augrabies rest camp.