Augrabies is located in the Green Kalahari Region of the Northern Cape Province. Augrabies is located on the R359 road just outside the Augrabies Falls National Park, from which the town is named. The small town of Augrabies and Marshand lie on the banks of the Orange River and are surrounded by lush green vineyards. The towns are mostly populated by workers on the vineyards.
The Khoi people called it “Aukoerebis”, or place of Great Noise, as this powerful flow of water is unleashed from rocky surroundings characterised by the 18km abyss of the Orange River Gorge. The deafening roar of the falls can be heard up to 40 km away.
Augrabies falles under the Kai !Garib municipality and is situated in the midst of a landscape characterized by contrast between semi-desert with plains and wavy hills along the Orange River. Not only is the Orange River the live vain of this municipality, but also boasts with one of the most beautiful waterfalls namely the Augrabies Falls. Kai ǃGarib is an administrative area in the ZF Mgcawu District of Northern Cape in South Africa. The name Kai ǃGarib originates from the Khoi language and means “big great river”, referring to the Orange River that flows through the area.
Augrabies gorge is a nine kilometre granite cleft through which the river plunges 146 m in one short stretch through a series of spectacular cataracts into a deep pool. The main fall and the adjoining Bridal Veil fall which carries some of the river’s flow are both approximately 93 m high. During peak floods which occur approximately every ten years, the flow over the falls exceeds 9 000 m3/s.
The area surrounding the falls has been designated a National Park and is now called the Augrabies Falls National Park with an area of over 15 400 hectares of unique riverine landscape, characteristic of this arid region. The area is popular with both nature enthusiasts and photographers. Springbok, Klipspringers, Eland, Giraffe and Black Rhino are some of the mammals which can be seen in the park together with a wide range of interesting bird life. The hauntingly beautiful landscape with its impressive granite ravines and rock formations makes for excellent photography particularly in the early morning and late evenings when the rustic colours of the rocks and plants are at their best.
The Augrabies Falls are without doubt the most impressive waterfalls along the Orange River and are located approximately 130 km downstream of Upington. The falls occur at a point where the Orange River alters from a wide slowly flowing river traversing sandy soils to a fast flowing narrow river cutting its way through ancient granite’s.
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