Overview – Augrabies Falls NP

Philip Briggs
Expert
By Philip Briggs

Philip lives in South Africa and has authored many guidebooks to African destinations, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip lives in South Africa and has authored many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip is the author of many Africa guidebooks, including the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Philip is the author of the Bradt and Insight guides to South Africa.

Augrabies Falls NP is mostly visited to witness the impressive Augrabies waterfall thundering down. Aside from the waterfall, the park has several scenic points worth seeing, and any wildlife you spot on the way is a bonus. This isn’t a Big Five destination. Giraffe and several antelope species are commonly encountered.

Best Time to Go April to September (Not too hot)
High Season Never ( Only busy during school holidays)
Size 554km² / 214mi²
Altitude 426-881m / 1,398-2,890ft

Pros & Cons

  • Awesome waterfall on the Orange River
  • Stunning, rugged scenery and great photographic opportunities
  • Excellent birding, especially raptors
  • Off-the-beaten-track destination with great wilderness appeal
  • Three-day Klipspringer hiking trail and short hikes available
  • Canoeing and mountain biking
  • Self-catering accommodation and restaurant
  • Not many typical safari animals present
  • Far away from South Africa's main tourist attractions
  • Very hot conditions
  • No upmarket accommodations available

Augrabies Falls NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Of the Big Five, only leopard is present but rarely seen. The park's most famous and interesting animal is a reptile: Broadley's flat lizard, also known as the Augrabies flat lizard. The lizard is only found within a 100km/62mi radius of the falls, and hundreds of them can be seen basking in the sun on the rocks. Other animals associated with the rocky habitat are klipspringer and rock hyrax.

Scenery

The diverse scenery of the park attracts many photographers to this remote region. The waterfall itself is an obvious highlight. Other landmarks are Moon Rock, a massive exfoliated dome or whaleback, which can be climbed to get an eagle’s view over the park. Deep gorges and cliffs add interest, and the otherworldly-looking kokerboom or quiver tree is dotted around the landscape.

Weather & Climate

Extremes of temperature are part of Augrabies Falls NP’s semi-arid nature. Winter (May to September) brings frosty mornings and dry conditions, with little rainfall. You’ll need to wear your warmest clothes if you venture outside in the early morning or evening. Summer (October to April), on the other hand, gets ridiculously hot, with average daytime temperatures of 36°C/97°F.

Best Time to Visit

The Augrabies waterfall is at its most spectacular in the Wet season from February to April. But as it is extremely hot at this time of the year, you might want to consider visiting during the cooler Dry season (May to September). There’s still plenty of water going over the lip of the falls at that time, to make a trip here worthwhile.

Want to Visit Augrabies Falls NP?

Augrabies Falls NP Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Waterfalls and wildlife
4/5

The main attraction of this arid park is of course the waterfall for which it is named. The main falls thunder 56m into a narrow, rocky chasm and are easily accessed by wooden walkways leading from the main rest camp. Look out for vervet...

Latest User Review
Bryan  –  
South Africa ZA
Reviewed: Oct 9, 2018
3/5

Augrabies primary claim to fame is the scenic beauty of the Augrabies Falls and the Orange river as well as the fascinatingly rugged desert landscapes of the surrounding countryside. Wildlife sightings are likely to be limited to a few...

Full Review