AUGRABIES FALLS NATIONAL PARK
Augrabies Park Chalet
By - Andre Bezuidenhout
Giraffes a Plenty
A Huge Quiver Tree
Baboon in a Cave
Eternal Power
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 characterized by tools that are smaller from the previous periods. The most prolific archaeological features are the stone cairns or graves from the later Stone Age. Excavations have shown that not all the cairns contains human skeletal remains.
Nearby Hotel
A Ground Squirrel
Lookout Point
Monkey in the Shade
A Welcome Shower

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Some Interesting History

The name Augrabies was given to the Water Fall by a Swede, Hendrik Jakob Wikar, when he passed there in 1799.
Climate

In the peak summer months (January / February) the average daytime temperature is 41°C, but highs of 46°C have been recorded. During these months the high temperatures are further aggravated by the many rocks where temperatures can reach up to 70°C during the day. Summer nights are usually more pleasant but temperatures will remain high at around 25°C.
Few sights are as awesome or a sound as deafening as water thundering down the 56m Augrabies Waterfall when the Orange River is in full flood.

The Khoi people called it ‘Aukoerebis’, or place of Great Noise, as this powerful flow of water is unleashed from rocky surroundings characterised by the 18km abyss of the Orange River Gorge.

Picturesque names such as Moon Rock, Ararat and Echo Corner are descriptive of this rocky region. 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 55 383 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 giraffe.
Temperature fluctuations in the region have resulted in unique adaptations in animals. The animals in Augrabies 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.
Some Animals found in the Augrabies National Park
A Beautiful Gemsbok
A Very Old Quiver Tree
The name is derived from the Nama word as the Khoi people would refer to “Aukoerebis” meaning the "Place of Great Noise." This refers to the Orange River water thundering its way down the 56 m spectacular main Water Fall.

In 1954 the Upington Publicity Association requested the National Parks Board to proclaim the water fall a national park. After the Minister of Lands approved the Park in principle in 1955, the Department of Water Affairs objected to the proclamation of a national park. After a series of negotiations, Augrabies Falls National Park was eventually proclaimed on 5 August 1966. The park currently consists of 55 383 hectares.
Fauna

Nocturnal life in Augrabies Falls is abundant, especially during the warm summer months, and many animals take the opportunity to wander and feed during the cooler nights.

Typical night-time hunters such as the African wild cat, bat-eared fox, black footed cat, free-tailed bat, aardwolf and the small spotted genet will often be spotted during night drives in the park. Additionally, many antelope species as well as the giraffe are often active during the night, making an encounter even more special. The stealthiest predator in the park, the leopard, is rarely seen but a sighting remains an ever present possibility.
During winter months the average daytime temperature often hovers around 20°C but lower temperatures are a possibility. Winter nights average around 0°C although the temperature drops to -5° occasionally.

Autumn and spring are characterized by pleasant, moderate temperatures.

The average annual rainfall in the park is 107mm, with most rains occurring between November and April. Summer rain usually falls in short, heavy bursts, accompanied by spectacular thunderstorms and strong winds.
Some Birds found in the Augrabies National Park
By - Andre Bezuidenhout
By - Andre Bezuidenhout
By - Andre Bezuidenhout
By - Andre Bezuidenhout
By - Andre Bezuidenhout
By - Andre Bezuidenhout
By - Andre Bezuidenhout
By - Andre Bezuidenhout
By - Andre Bezuidenhout
By - Andre Bezuidenhout
By - Andre Bezuidenhout
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 come in the form of leopard, black backed jackals, caracal, the bat eared fox, and the African wild cat, and the elusive leopard.
The rest-camp is probably the most rewarding place in the park to see birds, as many species are attracted to the foliage of the camp. Orange River White-eye (recently separated from Cape White-eye ), Red-eyed Bulbul, Red-headed Finch, Pale-winged Starling and Karoo Scrub Robin will all be among the more prominent species. Other birds to look out for here include the lovebirds, Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Acacia Pied Barbet, Ashy Tit, Pririt Batis and Dusky Sunbird.

The area around the gorge is the place to look for the storks and eagles. Keep an eye out too for Peregrine Falcon and Rock Kestrel, while Black and Alpine Swift and Rock and Brown-throated Martin should be seen.

Echo Corner is a good place to look for Cinnamon-breasted Warbler, while the parks many rock koppies could produce Mountain Wheatear (Chat), Short-toed Rock-Thrush and Cape Bunting .

In more open country, away from the river, search for Ludwig’s Bustard, Double-banded Courser and several lark species.
Pale Chanting Goshawk
By - Andre Bezuidenhout
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