There is always a stream of visitors on the boardwalk around the waterfall in the Augrabies Falls National Park. While the waterfall is the main attraction, the park has much more to offer. Next time you’re in the area, book a night or two to explore everything the park has to offer
Words and photos by René de Klerk, originally published in SANParks Times
Visit the viewpoints
A stop at Moon Rock will get you up close with the massive rock domes dominating the area. Here you will see examples of exfoliation domes, and ‘pop ups’, which appear when thin rock slabs detach from the surface due to extreme changes in the rock.
Oranjekom and Ararat viewpoints both offer spectacular views of the Orange River gorge. If you can get space, book a night in the Oranjekom Gorge Cottage. Staying here will allow you the opportunity to savour the scenery long after visitors have returned to the main rest camp.
Swart Rante is a distinct landmark in the park. These black hills are a natural border between the harsh gorge environment and the more fertile soil dominating the rest of the park.
Take a drive through the park
If you have the day free and are not rushed, take some time to drive through the park. The circular route of more than 90km could take up to six hours to explore. Look out for game such as the Hartmann’s mountain zebra, red hartebeest, oryx, kudu, eland and springbok. The giraffes found in the area are much lighter in colour because of the extreme heat. Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy at the picnic spot halfway along the route. Shortly after passing the picnic site you will reach areas covered in quiver trees – these are quite a sight to see. Sociable weaver nests are prominent features on many of them.
Take a hike
Whether you prefer a stroll near the waterfall, a short hike or something extreme, there is a route for you. The ebony trail is 2.8km while the Dassie Trail covers 5km. For the fitter hiker, the 36km Klipspringer Trail offers a three-day challenge.
These activities can easily keep the family busy for at least two or three days. The park also offers guided game drives and a restaurant for delectable meals.
Enquiries: +27-54-452-9200 or www.sanparks.org