Augrabies

From Fish River Canyon, Namibia, we drove down and crossed the border back to South Africa on our way to Augrabies. Along the way we made a little pit stop and while we got out of the car we saw rock dassies running and jumping on the rocks next to the road. We tried to get a closer look at them, but they are very shy and they were hiding between the rocks. Sterre and Wessel started climbing the rocks to get closer, while we were trying to get a glimpse of the dassies from below. From down below we had better luck and we saw some on the top of the rocks. We had heard about these dassies and were happy to spot them. We continued to Augrabies; where the water forming the Oranje River falls down with enormous power. Augrabies means “place of great noise” and indeed, the waterfall is coming down so loud, you hear it long before you see it.

When we arrived at the campsite and later, when we were walking along the gorge and the falls, we saw so many rock dassies and from so close by, we had to laugh about our intense attempt to spot them earlier this day.

It was incredible to see the power of water as we were walking along the waterfalls. We started at the end where the water has formed a huge granite gorge and the water is rapidly streaming through. The further we walked towards the main fall, the louder the noise and then finally we arrived at the spot where we could see the water thundering down. We saw the wild white water coming down with such power, speed and quantity, splashing down so hard the water came back up in a kind of mist.

The next day we walked along a trail in the area of the waterfalls which included a lot of rock climbing and some water crossings. Again we saw many rock dassies. I still don’t see how, but apparently they are closely related to elephants (and they are NOT rodents). Along the trail we also did some spoor tracking and found spoors of the eland, mongoose and baboons.

Augrabies was a very pleasant place to stay, although the nights were very cold and at the campsite we were accompanied by vervet monkeys and baboons. But we also got to spot some beautiful birds and different kind of mongooses and as we have books with all African animals and birds we got pretty serious in identifying any living being we spot. All in all a very nice entrance back into South Africa.

 

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