And so the day arrived. With a heavy heart we said goodbye to Canyon Roadhouse and we started off on the leg of the trip that would see us make our way back to South Africa. Namibia is a country that sneaks into your heart. It might not have wildlife in abundance like its neighbor Botswana, and it’s definitely far behind South Africa when it comes to urban development but the mountains and the desert gives it a different kind of beauty and magnificence.
|Happy Campers Namibia 2017 – Travel log Day 13 & 14|
|Place||Augrabies Falls National Park, Augrabies, Northern Cape, SA|
|Type of lodging||Camping (fenced)|
|Water at site||No, communal tap point|
|Kilometers travelled||464 km|
|Diesel top-up||70.70lt – R900-00|
We left Canyon Roadhouse by 7:30 on day 13 and we took the C12 towards Grunau, and then onto the B3 (tar road) going to Karasburg. Shortly before reaching Karasburg we got pulled over in a routine road block by the Namibian Police Force. We got out all our papers and passports, knowing that everything was in order and we waited for the official to complete his admin. To our great surprise, he asked us to pull to the side at the road as there was some sort of issue. Turns out that my other half never checked the vehicle license disk before we left home, and that it has expired two months earlier! BOOM just like that we got hit with a fine of N$1000 which we could pay at the police station in Karasburg. Needless to say, the fine quelled any love my husband had for Namibia in an instant, but then again, it was his own negligence. At least he warmed up to the Namibians again after he was done cursing himself…
We also got a quick bite to eat at the Spar in Karasburg and then we were on our way to the Onseepkans border post just outside Pofadder. The border procedures were very simple and easy to follow and before we knew it, we were back in sunny South Africa. We joined the N14 which took us all the way to Kakamas and Augrabies. We arrived at the national park by 14:00 in the afternoon and after a painless check in procedure at their reception we were heading down to their camping grounds.
A lot was said on online forums and other blog posts re the monkey and baboon problem at Augrabies so we decided to set up camp on the other side of the ablution blocks as it had a lot more shade covered stands, and we said that we would deal with the primate issue as and when it happens. By now we know not to keep food in the tents or even ammo boxes so we made sure during the duration of our stay that we lock up any food and drinks, and we kept all small and loose items out of sight. We got lucky as we weren’t bothered by any of the monkeys, even though they took up residence in the trees next to our camp site. Our (noisy) neighbors weren’t so clued up and they were robbed blind as they left their food all over their camp site.
The facilities at Augrabies was of a very high standard, with large ablution blocks and well thought out dish washing and laundry facilities. They’ve got a shop at the reception where you can buy almost anything you would need when camping as well as souvenirs to take back home with you. We also went on a night drive with one of their game rangers and it was highly informative, even if we didn’t see any wildlife bar a hare or two. Unfortunately this was the theme of the visit as we didn’t see any wildlife up close. We saw their giraffes in the distance but they weren’t even close enough for me to take a proper picture of them but that’s about it. Not sure if the animals migrated to a different section of the park but we got as far as Hollenbacht before we turned back to camp and sadly there were no animals to be seen.
The park itself is absolutely beautiful with standout features such as Moon Rock and Echo Corner. We also really enjoyed the viewpoints that was dotted along the abyss of the Orange River Gorge, it was amazing to see how the landscape and features of the gorge changed as you traveled further away from the falls. The landscape scenery definitely did not disappoint and we left Augrabies in awe of the beauty of the Northern Cape. Just one more thing about the park, there is a beautiful cottage situated at the Oranjekom viewpoint that can be booked for stay, if I’d known about this cottage, I would have definitely booked a “honeymoon” night for me and the husband. It’s called the Oranjekom Gorge Cottage and is available for booking via the Sanparks website.