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Africa Geographic Travel

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I’m in Augrabies Falls National Park now, which is still very much in the Kalahari region, although not in the typical sandy dunes that typifies much of this immense geological feature in Africa.

The heat here at Augrabies seems more intense than in the dunes further north, because of the huge amount of granite rock in the area. It absorbs the enormous amount of sunlight and heat and reflects it back like the devil’s personal pizza oven being used at full capacity on a particularly hungry night in hell.

Looking east up the gorge from Oranjekom viewpoint, those granite boulders at the bottom of the gorge are about the size of a bus!

I think the scenery is among the best in the country. Nothing in South Africa looks similar to it. And although the main falls are quite impressive, plunging 56 metres down into a plunge pool that is over 150 metres deep, I still think that Arrow Point and Twin Falls are more interesting.

Twin Falls is on the short walk towards Arrow Point. I wish I was here during flood season, because the sound of raging water must thunder through these gorges. After all, Augrabies comes from the word “Aukoerebis”, a Khoi moniker for the phrase “Place of great noise”
To me, this is one of the best views in Southern Africa. Arrow Point is at the confluence of the the two gorges downstream of the main falls. It’s a short walk from the main restcamp, but if you want to see this view, then you’re going to have to ignore the no entry sign at the end of the path, and then clamber along a narrow ridge of rocks to this view. It’s not for the faint-hearted, because if you slip and fall off, you are dead.

All three of these are within walking distance of the rest camp. The main falls are never going to compete with Victoria Falls or even Maletsunyane Falls in Lesotho, but I think the gorge below the falls is quite a sight, and certainly one of the most intimidating views I’ve seen.

Augrabies Falls itself… looks rather tame in this photo, but seen up close from one of the several viewing decks, you quickly realise the POWER of the place. When the river floods, man oh man, it must be incredible to see.

Further west are the viewpoints of Ararat and Oranjekom. If you drive into the game viewing area, they can be reached within twenty minutes. Here the gorge opens up to reveal a wider river, but no less powerful one. Spot all the immense granite boulders that lie in the middle of the river, deposited there by raging waters of the past millennia.

Looking west from Ararat viewpoint.

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Photojournalist Scott Ramsay focuses on exploring the national parks, nature reserves and community conservancies in Southern Africa, taking photographs and interviewing the experts who work in these protected areas. Through his work, he hopes to inspire others to travel to the continent's wild places, which Scott believes are Africa's greatest long term assets. For more, go to or Partners include Ford Ranger, Goodyear, Cape Union Mart, K-Way, EeziAwn, Frontrunner, Hetzner and Globecomm.

Africa Geographic Travel
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