Augrabies National Park

Augrabies was a revelation.  We had previously only visited for an hour or so, just enough to see the main falls, but this time we stayed for three nights.  The camp was comfortable if a little tired and in need of renovation.  The main falls were much as they had always been – impressive, but a shadow of what it must have been like when in flood, if the pictures were anything to go by.  What impressed us though, was when we drove into the reserve and visited Ararat and Oranjekom.  The views from these two sites into the lower gorge were fantastic, as was the scenery throughout the park.

Good game viewing was not anticipated as we were aware that the park is best known for its scenery, and it certainly lived up to expectations.  We did, nevertheless, see some game and got some good birds, especially larks.  A small herd of giraffe had nowhere to hide as there are no trees and the poor creatures have to browse by bending down to shrubs that reach no higher than their shoulders at best.

The 6km Dassie hike along the river and then south and back to the camp was beautiful, although we would not want to do it in the heat of summer.  It led us to more amazing views of the river gorge and some secondary falls that we were unaware of.  We also drove down to Blouputs, a settlement on the river and on the northern side of the park.  A tar road led to the bridge that crosses the river at that point and then the road ended – just like that, at a very small village, the name of which I forget.

This park is definitely worth a visit and we will return when the next flood comes!

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