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Augrabies Falls
National Park

augrabies_gorgeA tour through southern Namibia can easily be complemented by an excursion a to the Augrabies Waterfalls in der Northern Cape Province of South Africa. The Orange River plummets down some 191 metres into the deep here. The Khoikhoi or "Hottentots" who used to live in this area, called the waterfalls "Ankoerebis", "Place of great Noise". The Trekboers, who settled here later, changed the word to Augrabies.

augrabviewEspecially in late summer, when the river carries a lot of water, the roaring waters fully justify that name. New waterfalls then form at the sidewalls, and the air is filled with dense spraying fog. The gorge at Augrabies Falls is 240 m deep and 18 km long. It is a most impressive example of granite erosion. When the whole landmass of the area lifted about 500 million years ago, the Orange River slowly started to dig its bed into the ground.

Photos: Top left the Gorge of the Orange near the Fall. Bottom left the falls after heavy rains in late summer. Top right the Augrabies Waterfalls. Bottom right a Quiver Tree.

The Augrabies Falls National Park was opened in 1967. It covers an area of 880 sqkm and stretches along the Orange River. The park comprises a game reserve with rhinos, girafs, mountain zebras, leopards and many antelope species.

kookerboom_augrabiesThe vegetation is well adapted to the arid desert climate. One can see many Euphorbia species. Also the impressive Quiver Trees (Afrikaans: Kokerboom) grow here. They belong to the group of the succulents, which store water in their stewms a so are able to survive long periods of drought. Outside the hot season the is excellent for hiking and several good hiking trails are available.

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