This is where the mighty Orange River is at its most impressive as it thunders its way through a ravine and cascades down into a pool of sheer granite, 60m below. Few sights are as awesome or sound as deafening as water thundering down the mighty Augrabies Waterfall when the Orange River is in full flood. During which the average flow rate at the falls have exceeded 7,800 cubic metres of water per second. This is more than four times Niagara Fall’s high season annual average and even greater than Niagara’s all-time record of 6,800 cubic metres per second.
The Falls derived their name from the Khoi word ‘Aukoerebis’ meaning ‘place of great noise’. 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 Hartmann’s mountain zebra, springbok, gemsbok and giraffe.
Travelers wishing to only nip in, to see the main falls, often find themselves exploring the strikingly beautiful 50,000ha unique revine ecosystem for hours. The 18km gorge offers splendid viewpoints from which to survey the dramatic landscape that unfolds below.