Accommodations - South Africa
Augrabies Falls National Park
Location: Augrabies Falls National Park - Augrabies - Kakamas
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This is where the mighty Orange River is at its most impressive as it thunders its way through a ravine and cascades down into a pool walled by sheer granite, 56m below. Few sights are as awesome or sound as deafening as water thundering down the 56m Augrabies Waterfall when the Orange River is in full flood. The Falls derived their name from the Khoi word ‘Aukoerebis’ meaning ‘place of great noise’. Essentially a scenic park where 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 survive. Augrabies Falls is easily accessed from Upington, as it is only 120km south of the town along tarred roads. Travelling from Upington on the N14 (that runs between Upington and Springbok) turn right just after Kakamas. From here it’s 28km further to the Park gate and another 3km to Reception and the Rest Camp.
Augrabies Falls National Park has only the one camp, but it is also the largest camp of all the Arid Parks. Its 120 beds (excluding the campsite) are in constant demand, so make sure you book well ahead. All chalets are fully equipped with self-catering facilities and are air-conditioned. More than half of the camp sites, all set in a wonderfully shady area, have electricity and besides the usual ablution facilities there is also a communal kitchen, laundry and ironing room. Both the chalets and the camping site are within walking distance of the main falls and access to them have been made wheelchair friendly with an extensive network of boardwalks.
Do not plan on just nipping in to see the main falls - there is much more to experience in this arid piece of moonscape-like land. Awesome and strikingly beautiful it offers the visitor over 50 000ha of unique riverine eco-systems to explore, with viewpoints from which to survey the dramatic landcape that unfolds below. The 56 metre high main falls that cascade into the granite abyss of the Orange River Gorge are unmistakably the top attraction at Augrabies. The Falls are very easily accessed through an extensive network of boardwalks , some of which are wheelchair friendly. This, however, is not the beginning or end of the attractions of the Park (by a long shot) and visitors should allow enough time to explore further. Drives take you to scenic viewpoints with descriptive names of this rocky region like Moon Rock, Ararat and Echo Corner. Although not prolific, giraffe, klipspringer and Hartmann’s mountain zebra can be seen while driving in the Park. For the hikers there is the 5km self-guided circular route Dassie Hiking trail and for those wanting more of a challenge there is the Klipspringer Hike closed 15 Oct - 31 March) which takes hikers right down into the gorge and back out again and takes 3 days. Arrow Point (one hour) Potholes (one hour) Moon Rock (one hour) Night drives: minimum 4 persons required to secure, subject to availability. ***Please book directly with Park.*** Mountain bikes are allowed inside the park provided cyclists remain on the official roads. The Wilderness Road is 94km long and will take approximately 6 hours to complete in a 4x4 vehicle. There is a scenic picnic spot halfway along the road with ablution and braai facilities. Several panoramic viewpoints can be visited inside the park, all of which give stunning vistas of the park, the gorge and the Orange River. These points also provide great opportunities to spot our local birdlife.
For those wanting a break from the traditional camp barbecue there is a fully licensed restaurant and if supplies run low you’ll find a well stocked shop. - 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
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