The name Augrabies was given to the Water Fall by a Swede, Hendrix Jakob Wikar, when he passed around the place in 1799. The name for this great park was derived from the Nama word as the Khoi people would refer to “Aukoerebis” meaning the “Place of Great Noise.” As a result of the Orange River water striking its way down the 56 m spectacular main Water Fall.
Augrabies Falls National Park was proclaimed a national park on 5 August 1966 after the various negotiations within the state. The park currently consists of 55 383 hectares and its conservation was to conserve and restore the biotic diversity of the Orange River Broken Veld with its associated plants and animals and to provide opportunities for research of the fascinating wild animals. One of the best tourist’s attractions includes the prolific archaeological features of stone cairns or graves from the later Stone Age.
Nama People are the main settlers around the park and they have stayed here for centuries, cultural tours can be performed here and visitors have a chance to interact with them and learn more than they expect from the different activities including a visit to the traditional domed huts known as ‘matjieshuise’ and a direct translation would be ‘mat houses’. Which are well constructed hence favouring the weather conditions of the area.
Many delicacies unique to this area may be enjoyed here, like home-grown raisins and dried fruit. Traditional dishes like “puff adders” (named after the snake); are intestines with the fatty portion inward, stuffed with minced liver and tortoise stomach net fat wrapped around a small piece of liver are always popular.
A visit to Augrabies Falls is another awesome activity that most of the people enjoy while in this park formed by the Orange River as it floods over making a sound of water splitting down the 56-metre high Augrabies Waterfall is so amazing here. The visit to this falls is done throughout the year. Besides the falls, great other sites to visit are Moon Rock, Ararat and Echo Corner.
The park has got diverse species of birds, around the spectacular granite gorge offers great birding, some small game, reptiles, springbok, gemsbok and giraffe and a fun hiking trail. This makes it among the best parks for bird watching and game drives for the most enthusiastic birders and game drive lovers.
Kalahari River Rafting, this is done along the banks of the Orange River in the Northern Cape, close to Augrabies, full day trips takes a 17 km trip with a lunch break but a half-day trip can be performed either in the morning or afternoon and is 9 km long. The overnight rafting experience is 15 km and ends with a camp along the bank of the Orange River.
Khamkirri Fishing is also done around the banks of the Orange River in the Northern Cape. Khamkirri offers 3 km of Orange River front for fly fishing or bait fishing and this is a try and error activity which is done at pleasure. Large- or small-mouthed yellow fish, barbell lurk, silvers, mudfish, carp or bream can be caught/hooked here.