Augrabies Falls NP General Info

The Khoi people called the Augrabies Falls 'Aukoerebis', the place of the Great Noise, referring to the Orange River thundering its way downwards for 60 metres in a spectacular waterfall.

Picturesque names such as Moon Rock, Ararat and Echo Corner are descriptive of this rocky region, characterised by the 18 kilometre abyss of the Orange River Gorge and craggy outcrops dominating scrub-dotted plains. 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 ultimately survive.

The 28 000 hectares on both the northern and southern sides of the Orange River provide sanctuary to a diversity of species, from the very smallest succulents, birds and reptiles to springbok, gemsbok and the endangered black rhino.

The ancestors of modern history have inhabited the area surrounding the Orange River since the Early Stone Age. During this time, there is evidence that early man had developed weapons for hunting animal like hippopotamus. They knew to establish themselves near good water sources like the Orange River. During the Middle Stone Age man had created more formal work tools and began to utilise fire. The Late Stone Age, which dates back 22 000 years, is characterised by tools that are smaller from the previous periods. The most prolific archaeological features are the stone cairns from the later Stone Age. Excavations have shown that not all the cairns contains human skeletal remains.

The area is inhabited by the Nama People who over the centuries have managed to adapt to the harsh conditions of the area. A traditional expression from this area is the traditional domed huts known as 'matjieshuise’ and a direct translation would be ‘mat houses’. These houses are extremely well suited for hot climate in this area.

During the summer the stems and culms from which the mats are made up of, shrink, allowing gaps to appear. This results in a breeze being able to low through and cooling the hut down. In winter the stems expand keeping out the cold winds and rain. Temperature fluctuations in the region have resulted in unique adaptations in animals.

The animals in Augrabies Falls National Park can survive in extreme high and low temperatures. Smaller animals make use of whatever shade is available as well as burrows, rock crevices and fallen trees. The types of animals that have made these adaptations are the slender mongoose, the yellow mongoose, and rock dassies. An interesting mammal found in Augrabies is the cape clawless otter, their presence in the park indicates that the river ecosystem is relatively healthy.

The giraffes found in Augrabies are lighter in colour than those found in the regions of the east, as a counter measure for the extreme heat. One of the most often seen antelope is the klipspringer, which are often seen in pairs. Other antelope found in the park are steenbok, springbok, gemsbok, kudu and eland.

Predators in Augrabies Falls National Park come in the form of leopard, black backed jackals, caracal, the bat-eared fox, and the African wild cat.


Campsites. Caravan and camping sites in a shaded area. A maximum of six persons, one caravan/tent and one vehicle or one autovilla permitted per site. Communal camp kitchen with two-plated stoves, and sinks, communal ablution facilities, laundry and ironing room. All sites have power points.
Self catering chalets with 2 single beds, a double sleeper couch (not suitable for adults), lounge/bedroom/kitchenette, WC & Shower, AC, Microwave, kitchen equipped with crockery and cutlery, outside braai facilities, restaurant and shop on site.

Family Cottages with 2 (two) bedrooms, each with 2 single beds, a double sleeper couch (not suitable for adults), open plan kitchen/lounge, WC & Shower, AC, kitchen equipped with crockery and cutlery, outside braai facilities, restaurant and shop on site.

The Wilderness Road is 94km long and will take approximately 6 hours to complete in a 4x4 vehicle. This is an easy route. 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.

The Echo Corner detour is a short stretch (only about 7km long) which is not to be missed. It overlooks the Orange River, with unparalleled viewpoints, and is the perfect spot to stop for a rest (camping facilities and chalets are available) and marvel at the wonders of the South African landscape.