Short holiday at Augrabies and Khamkirri

Jan 13, 2010, 10:54 AM |

We decided we'd like to expierience Augrabies again in December 2009, just like two years ago.  Fortunately this decision came too late, we could not find accommodation in tha National Park again.  Fortunate, because that made this holiday not just a carbon copy of the previous one - and we discovered Khamkirri!   "Place of the Leopard" - a holiday on the other side of the Orange river (North) than the Augrabies National Park   It is exactly opposite the river from the little village of Augrabies, which is in turn 10 km up-river from the falls.  Khamkirri is 50 km from Kakamas, of which 30 is a gravel road.  To get to the falls, you have to go back to Kakamas and then go down-river again, maybe a total of 110 km.

This is what Hut No. 1, where we stayed, looks like.  Quite primitive, the way I like it - the quantity of crockery etc. that is supplied could have been more, but on the other hand - if you don't wash a glass, then you don't have a clean one!  At least there is a hot shower, a small bar fridge and a ceiling fan.  The first evening we got acquinted with a few critters:  A scorpion, a worm that though he was very funny and later even rats trying to steal our food.

The little boat moving people to and from the village is very photogenic.  Look carefully at the river: the main stream is coming from the left, from the other side a side branch going around a big island is joining it. Later I saw cattle grazing on the island.

There is another small river, dried up at the moment, joining the Orange.  This foot bridge has to be crossed every time from the huts to reach the office or restaurant.

The Friday we went to the Falls as soon as possible, because we heard they only allow 150 day visitors in the park.

No matter how many times you've been there - you won't turn back without another picture of the main fall.

Is this a heron?  If you look closely at the rock, it seems to be using this rock for a specific purpose...

If you are a few million years old, shouldn't you expect having a few wrinkles?

Somewhere, under the rainbow?

Down below, the water is seething and whirling, you can watch it for hours.

Do you see anybody there?

Jan Spies, dearly beloved South-African writer, story-teller and professor started a TV ad for Cremora coffee creamer with the words: "An annoyed chap phone me the other day ..."  Now I'm wondering if one could start a story with "An annoyed rock told me the other day ..."

I've  heard many times of Sakke se Arkie, (Sakkie's Little Ark), a restaurant on the Orange River in Upington, but never visited them yet.  Just because their bus was such a lovely bright red, and to remember the URL, I took a picture.  Go have a look on – beautiful pictures and tourist information there!

The Augrabies National Park, apart from the waterffall, also has a big game park.  We went driving around there again, but unfortunately the  game did not show themselves very much, maybe because of the heat. Two years ago I showed a picture of a quiver tree that looked  like it was damaged by giraffes.  We encountered the giraffes close to the river where they "belong", but further on I took this picture where I can count at least 6 dead quiver trees.

This time around I went to see the co-called Moon Rock. I was carrying a hiking GPS when ascendig it, I think it was about 400 meters from where we parked to the top. The GPS coordinates are S 28.59775 E 20.31834.

After taking pictirs at the place called Ararat on the ravine 2 years ago, we now found that in the mean time wooden decks and barricades have been erected here.  Makes one wonder, what should come first - people who don't know how to be careful, or conservation of a natural wonder, the way it was?

Close to Augrabies village

Like last time, we visited the village called Augrabies again, actually I wanted to see if I could find the landing spot of the Khamkirri boat on that side.  Between the landing spot and the village,  I took this picture, vineyards with Renosterkop in the background. ("Rhino Head" in English.  Any small rocky hill is called a "kop" or "koppie" in Afirkaans.) 

Back at Khamkirri

On the Saturday morning Tharina and myself took a quad bike ride in a small game camp at Khamkirri.

During the bike ride I saw that the river a little bit up stream from the camp looked like a paradise to an old river-child!  As we already had something else planned for the afternoon and it was our last day, I took a long walk on the heat of the day and came back with a handfull of pictures.  The rocks you see here are on an island.  One almost can't avoid taking pictures here without including Renosterkop on the other side of the river.

A litle more close-up. Here at least two water birds can be seen and a side current coming around an island.

In the evenings, before making a barbecue at the hut, its nice to first have a drink on the deck at the Khamkirri Castle Corner. (Castle is a South-African beer.)

With a beautiful view of the river!

The Saturday we went on a game drive on a farm name Tierkop. ("Tiger Head", the old folks in South-Africa did not know tigers, because we don't have tigers indigenously, they called a leopard a tiger.)  We saw lots of game, mostly too far to take good pictures, but I might share a few later.