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Augrabies Falls National Park

Augrabies Falls National Park

     
 

Phone:

+27 (0) 54 452 9200

Email:

augrabiesres@sanparks.org

Website:

www.sanparks.org/parks/augrabies/

Poaching Hotline:

+27 (0) 800 205 005

 
     

Size:  82,000 ha / 820 km2

Nearest major city:  Upington (1h30 approx by car)

Species Numbers:  71 Mammals        254 Birds        53 Reptiles

Big Five:  No

Highlights:

  • - Great location to view klipspringer
  • - One of the world’s most spectacular waterfalls particularly when in flood (Feb - Apr)
  • - Excellent birding especially raptors
  • - Easy day trip from Upington

South Africa’s most popular waterfall is not its highest, but it’s probably its most impressive and most accessible, and is the main reason why the Augrabies Falls National Park is one of the country’s most popular tourism destinations.

Consider that most of South Africa’s longest and most voluminous river, the Orange, or Gariep, has to flow through a narrow gorge just 100 metres wide, and it becomes clear why people flock to see it. In flood, the Falls are awe-inspiring - the river’s flow can increase several times from about 2,000 cubic metres per second to close to 8,000 cubic metres per second. It is easy to understand why the original Khoikhoi people named it ‘place of great noise’ given that the sound and the fury can be heard and felt several kilometres away, as the water vapour rises several hundred metres into the air.

But it would be amiss to focus only on the falls. Equally spectacular is the 18 kilometres granite canyon below the falls through which the river has cut a meandering path. The contrast between the arid, barren environment (which only receives about 100 millimetres of rainfall per year) and the flowing river makes for an excellent spectacle.