Ultimate Travel Guide to Augrabies Falls

Sunset over the Gorge Augrabies Falls National Park South Africa

Immerse yourself in the stunning beauty of the Augrabies Falls National Park, the spectacular Augrabies Falls and its natural surroundings. Augrabies Falls National Park is in the arid-dry Kalahari region alongside the Orange River in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. Due to being so far away from everything, Augrabies is hardly overcrowded and, thus, a peaceful environment surrounded by nature. After we visited one of the most unique tourist attractions in the Northern Cape, I compiled this post to share our Augrabies Falls experience with you—moreover, the best things to do in the Augrabies Falls National Park.

Augrabies Falls National Park, South Africa
Augrabies Falls National Park, South Africa

Augrabies Falls Travel Advice

Where is Augrabies Falls National Park?

Augrabies Falls is located approximately 120 km south of Upington. The N14 tarred road connects Upington and Springbok and is accessible by standard Sedan vehicles. Augrabies is located about 35 km northwest of Kakamas. And if you’re driving from Cape Town, the distance to Augrabies Falls is approximately 796 km, which takes about 10 hours of driving time.

How to Get to Augrabies Falls

Upington International Airport is the closest airport to the Augrabies Falls. Daily flights are available between Upington, Cape Town and Johannesburg. By car: If you’re driving from Johannesburg, the distance to Augrabies is 910.3km, which takes 11-12 hours. Coming from Cape Town, the distance to Augrabies Falls is approximately 796 km, which takes about 10 hours of driving.

When is The Best Time to Visit Augrabies Falls?

If you’re planning to visit Augrabies National Park, it’s best to keep the weather in mind. The heat can be extreme in summer, especially between December and February, when temperatures rise above 40°C. So, if you’re planning a visit during this time, take the necessary precautions to stay safe and comfortable. The best time to visit Augrabies Falls is between April and September when the temperatures are much more relaxed.

Augrabies National Park Weather in wintertime get pretty cold. The coldest months are June and July, with temperatures dropping below zero at night and averaging around 18°C during the day. However, the weather can be unstable and unpredictable, with rainfall that ranges from as low as 40 mm to as high as 400 mm per year. The average precipitation of about 124 mm per year mainly occurs between January and April during summer.

Augrabies Falls Day Visitors

Visitors who wish to spend a day at Augrabies Falls National Park are welcome. The Park has a restaurant and shop, a large picnic area, ablutions, barbecue facilities, and a swimming pool for day visitors. The Park’s gate times are the same throughout the year, but they change three times a year, so it’s essential to take note of the camp times when planning a self-drive safari. It’s important to note that no one can enter or exit the Park outside these hours. Before visiting, please check the Augrabies Falls Day visitors fee and any other requirements.

7 Best Things to Do at Augrabies Falls National Park

What to do at Augrabies Falls? There are Great Reasons to Visit Augrabies Falls, so here are the Top things to do at Augrabies. 

 1. Visit the Augrabies Falls

The Splendorous Waterfall is the main attraction of Augrabies Falls National Park and one of the most spectacular scenic sights in South Africa. It’s called “Aukoerebis” in the Khoi language, which means “Place of Great Noise”. This name is fitting because the waterfall produces a deafening roar as it cascades down 56m through a steep ravine. One can easily access the falls via a wide boardwalk that leads from the campsites and chalets. There are six viewing decks where you can take in the beauty of the falls and the 240m deep gorge at your leisure.

For a truly magical experience, visit between 20:00 and 22:00 when the falls are illuminated. But that’s not all there is to see in Augrabies Falls National Park. On the northern wall of the 18km gorge, you’ll find another waterfall known as Bridal Veil. Although not as extensive as the main waterfall, it’s still an impressive sight, falling 75m into the river. It adds to the park’s charm and is worth a visit.

2. the Scenic Viewpoints at Augrabies

During your visit to Augrabies Falls, you can walk or drive to the viewpoints inside the National Park.

  • Oranjekom is one of the best viewpoints at Augrabies Falls, which offers a breathtaking view overlooking the Canyon.
  • The Gorge Cottage at Oranjekom also offers an astonishingly beautiful view. of the gorge.
  • Moon Rock is a large exfoliation granite dome that provides a 360-degree outlook. Furthermore, I suggest that you also visit Echo Corner and Ararat Viewpoint in the Orange River Gorge.
Oranjekom Gorge Cottage, Augrabies Falls National Park
Oranjekom Gorge Cottage, Augrabies Falls National Park

Whatever you plan for the evening, don’t miss a spectacular sunset over the boundless Nama Karoo’s vast expanse.

Take advantage of the spectacular sunset over the vast expanse of Nama Karoo, no matter what you have planned for the evening. As the sun begins to set, the atmosphere changes dramatically when the sky illuminates with bursts of orange-red and purple-blue hues stretching across the escarpment.

Few things are more beautiful than watching the sunrise over the horizon, illuminating the cliffs and falls while the water plunges through the gorge. The Oranjekom viewpoint is one of the best places to watch the sunset at Augrabies. To make it perfect, be romantic and take a picnic basket and blanket.

Stargazing at Augrabies Falls is magical and mysterious, whether you’re an astronomy enthusiast or mesmerized by space. The Northern Cape is home to the world’s largest astronomical observatory, located in the town of Sutherland.

Check Sunrise and Sunset times at Augrabies Falls, Weatheravenue.com


Milky Way Augrabies Falls National Park
Milky Way Augrabies Falls National Park

4. Augrabies Falls National Park Hiking Trails 

When you visit Augrabies Falls National Park, there are several walking trails that you can explore. Packaging your hiking shoes and sun protection is recommended to make the most of your trip. Altogether, remember Snackfood to keep you energized.

  • The Gorge Trail is a 2km hike, taking you to Arrow Point and Twin Falls before returning to the starting point.
  • Ebony Hike: For a shorter hike and shady path, try the 2.8km Ebony Hike, which can be finished in about 1.5 hours.
  • Dassie Trail: For a longer and more challenging hike, the Dassie Trail is a 5km route that leads you to Arrow Point and Moon Rock. Getting a map at the reception is advised as the trail is not marked correctly. Be careful when crossing the water between the reeds; it can be slippery.
  • Klipspringer Hike: If you are looking for a challenging 36km hike over 3 days, consider booking the Klipspringer Hiking Trail. However, this trail is only available in October and March due to extreme heat.

5. Game Viewing and Birding at Augrabies

You can explore at your rhythm in the vast expanse of Augrabies Falls National Park. Forget about the constraints of pre-booked game drives. Here, you are the master of your adventure, steering your vehicle through the winding paths of Hartman’s Loop or choosing a guided excursion if you prefer.

Wild Life and Game viewing at Augrabies National Park
Game viewing at Augrabies National Park

Wildlife Game Viewing at Augrabies

Augrabies Falls National Park is a thriving habitat for diverse wildlife. With over 55 species of mammals and 63 species of reptiles, Antelope Species and Predators, it’s a veritable Noah’s Ark. From the elusive Klipspringer to the more common antelope like the Steenbok, Springbok, Kudu, and Eland, there’s always something to spot. Predators like the Leopard, Black-backed Jackals, Caracals, Bat-eared Foxes, and the African wild cat also roam the park, adding a thrilling edge to your adventure.

Night drives are offered during peak season to give visitors the opportunity to spot elusive nocturnal creatures such as Aardwolves, African wild cats, bat-eared foxes, and bats. These drives cover the 94km Wilderness Road and usually take 6 hours to complete. Off-road vehicles are used to navigate through the terrain.

Birdlife at Augrabies Falls National Park

Bring your binoculars for birdwatching at Augrabies, as not less than 192 bird species have been recorded in the Augrabies Falls National Park. Some of which inhabit the riverine vegetation and acacia bushes. Meanwhile, the rocky hills of the park are home to birds such as the Pygmy Falcon, Pale Chanting Goshawk, and Rosy-faced. Besides the Black Stork, Black Eagles are among the birds that breed in the park.

Some of the Bird species at Augrabies include the following: Rosy-faced Lovebirds, Golden-tailed Woodpeckers, Acacia Pied Barbet, African Red-eyed Bulbul, Ashy Tit, Namaqua Warbler, Black-chested Prinia, Pririt Batis, Pale-winged Starling, Dusky Sunbird, and the beautiful Orange River White-eye. Cinnamon-breasted Warbler, Mountain Wheatear, and rock thrush.

6. Rock Spotting and Quiver Trees 

Rock Spotting and Quiver Trees Augrabies #Kokerboom tree Augrabies #Kokerboom forest Northern Cape

The Augrabies area boasts a variety of interesting rock formations, ranging in shape and colour. Two particularly striking rocks are the MoonRock and Whalebacks.

The Quiver Tree is a succulent tree known as Kokerboom that grows up to 5 meters tall and perfectly adapts to the Nama Karoo semi-desert. The tree derives its name from the indigenous San people or Bushmen, who used its branches to make quivers for their arrows and stems to make coffins and keep their food cooled.

The park offers stunning scenery with Klipspringers and quiver trees contrasting against the African sky. The primary tree species in the park include Camel-thorn, White Karee, and Wild Olive.

 7. Experience River Rafting at Augrabies

The adventurous can join a guided half- or full-day Orange River Rafting Augrabies and experience grade 2 and 3 rapids. One can book a 4-day canoe trip with Kalahari Adventures for a more extended adventure. You can also explore other adventure activities and tours available in Northern Cape. To book rafting at Augrabies, visit Northern Cape adventure activities and tours.

Disclaimer: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase (at no additional cost to you), I might earn a small commission.  

Where to Stay at Augrabies Falls Today

Accommodation at Augrabies Falls National Park #visit Augrabies Falls

The Augrabies Falls Camp offers fully equipped self-catering chalets with air conditioning. These chalets are located within walking distance of the central falls.

Close to the camp is an extensive network of boardwalks. Besides being wheelchair-friendly, it offers breathtaking views of the Oranjekom Gorge and Orange River that flows 240m below.

The Oranjekom Gorge Cottage is situated on a cliff about 10km from the main camp. This cottage has a spectacular view of the gorge and river, perfect for a romantic getaway.

Augrabies Falls Caravan Park

I recommend Camping at Augrabies Falls. Surrounded by natural beauty, lush green lawns, and abundant birdlife, the camping ground at Augrabies is near the waterfalls. Cute small rodents can also be seen playing around the area. The Augrabies Falls camping sites offer ample shade, clean ablution facilities, laundry amenities, and a communal kitchen. All the camping sites at Augrabies are within walking distance of the restaurant and falls. We stayed for two nights and could even stay longer.

Out of the 70 available stands, 40 have electricity points. When you visit Augrabies Falls, it is advisable to keep your tent and windows closed as the area is known to have many mischievous monkeys. In addition to the birds, you can also spot mongooses, hyraxes, and genets at night. During your visit to Augrabies Falls, look out for tortoises, including the massive leopard tortoise weighing up to 20kg.

Augrabies Falls National Park’s contact number is +27 (0)12 428 9111, or you can contact Sanparks Central Reservations.

Facilities at Augrabies Falls National Park

  • Augrabies Falls National Park Restaurant (fully licensed)
  • Four swimming Pools and a well-stocked shop
  • Wheelchair friendly
  • Fuel station

Other Accommodation and nearby Campsites

  • Augrabies Falls Lodge is a mere 3km drive from the legendary Augrabies National Park.
  • The Khamkirri Lodge and Caravan Park are in a beautiful setting overlooking the Orange River. Located 61 km away, driving from Khamkirri to Augrabies Falls will take about 50 minutes.
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