Updated: Jul 29
Augrabies Falls is an arid park, meaning it is a park with little rainfall, dry and with less vegetation. Despite this, it is full of life. It also has a 18km Orange River Gorge flowing through it, the word meaning "a place of great noise".
Our adventure started 4am Friday morning. Excitement in the air and all packed and ready the night before.
We set off in the dark, empty roads and slowly watched the sun rise as we drove over the Piekenierskloofpass. We prefer the early start. Its easier for our kids and us, no traffic delays and we generally do long distances at the beginning and end of a trip. Driving to Augrabies from Cape Town is an 8-9 hour drive, excluding pit stops. We stopped for lunch and snacks and toilet breaks, about a 10 hour trip.
In between chatter, snacks, music, and device time the kids are happy with the long day on the road, most the time - certainly at the start of a holiday. They have all grown up with it. Having Google maps give a count down to arrival, there are no "are we there yet" questions.
This was our first camp in Augrabies. We expected cold weather but it was very pleasant with the kids fitting in a swim. The camp sites are clean and well maintained with sites around a large green lawn. You camp on sand/gravel but its easy to set up. The toilets/showers and ablutions are clean and regularly serviced. There is also a bird hide in camp.
We settled in with an early supper braai. It is a preference of mine to eat supper earlier when camping, it keeps the kids happy and means we can enjoy the fire later without the need to work/prep or clean. On this trip we brought cards and Monopoly deal with and it proved to be a great evening dose of competitive family fun. Some of you may know we love collecting wine and have it displayed at home. Our collection is built up over many different wine estate visits where we like to get a bottle as a memory. When we do our bigger trips, we like to take some down off the walls to enjoy on our trips, giving us a chance to enjoy/compare and when home again, to visit more farms to replace. A holiday tradition.
Augrabies Falls has a lot to offer. Wonderful scenic drives in the park and fabulous walks at the rest camp. It was such a restful 2 nights, eat, sleep, meander, repeat. On Saturday we enjoyed drives in the park, walks both in the rest camp and park as it is one of the few that allow you to get our the car anywhere. There is a variety of birds and animals to keep photography enthusiasts happy and incredible scenery. There is so much near and around Augrabies too. A scenic drive to Riemvasmaak, wine tasting, farm stalls and amazing beauty all around. On this trip we where merely doing a 2 day stop over on route to Kgalagadi so missed out on the surrounds. We are never disappointed here though, and will be back!
2022 has proven to be a notably challenging year. This trip was much needed and anticipated with Augrabies being only the beginning :)