Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Augrabies Falls, South Africa

Now its Nopi's turn to nag me ;-)
She has always wanted to see the Augrabies Falls ....
I love the way she pronounces it......
AWE--XRAH--BEES, where X is the sound of the ch in 'Loch'

Where is that?
Well Marti, it is
a waterfall on the Orange River, South Africa, within the Augrabies Falls National Park.

The falls are around 60m in height.

The original Khoikhoi residents named the waterfall Ankoerebis, "place of big noises", from which the Trek Boers, who settled here later on, derived the name Augrabies.

The falls have recorded 7,800 cubic metres (280,000 cu ft) of water every second in floods in 1988 (and 6,800 cubic metres (240,000 cu ft) in the floods of 2006).

This is over three times the average high season flow rate of Niagara Falls of 2,400 cubic metres (85,000 cu ft) per second, more than four times Niagara's annual average, and greater than Niagara's all time record of 6,800 cubic metres (240,000 cu ft) per second!

The gorge at the Augrabies Falls is 240 m deep and 18 km long, and is an impressive example of granite erosion.

Amit hopes to see Rock hyrax (dassie); Broadley's Flat Lizard; Klipspringer; Verreaux's (Black) Eagle and the African Fish Eagle; Springbok; Black Stork and Pygmy Falcon.

We have been told that few sights are as awesome or a sound as deafening as water thundering down the 56-m Augrabies Waterfall when the Orange River is in full let's see for ourselves!! Let's go on a hike.....

The Falls: As the Orange River approaches Augrabies Falls it divides itself into numerous channels before cascading down the 56 meter high waterfall. The river then continues its path through an 18 kilometer gorge.

The sight and sound of the power of the water will remain with us forever!!

The 28 000 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 springbok, gemsbok and the endangered black rhino.

The most characteristic plant in the park is the giant aloe called quiver tree (kokerboom), Aloe dichotoma....we know all about the quiver tree by now, don't we? Let's check out the rest of the park.....WOW!

We walked to the summit of Moon Rock: (A massive exfoliation dome or "whaleback" which is a prominent landmark of Augrabies Falls) to get the best views of the park and its surroundings.

Swart Rante: These foreboding black hills are a distinct landmark in Augrabies.
Quartz-poor, these igneous rocks seem to form a natural border between the harsh environment of the gorge area and a more fertile area on the other side. The contrast between the two landscapes can best be seen from the top of Swart Rante.

Oranjekom & Ararat: These viewpoints gave us the best opportunity to observe the massive gorge area as well as the wildlife that makes it their home.Stunning!
Amit has spotted nesting Verreaux's (Black) Eagles, which prey on the abundant rock hyrax populations, as well as the Cape clawless otter.

Echo Corner: The furthest view point from the Rest Camp, the road to Echo Corner took us through some of the park's most stunning scenery. Of course all of us had to test the echo....... so we screamed and it worked.....Sita was unimpressed because we scared the deer she spotted nearby.........sorry Bambi :-(

This has been an awesome experience. We love Mother Nature!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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