Augrabis Falls restcamp is situated right next to the gorge and has a restaurant...
Augrabies Falls Restcamp: Our full report
The government-run Augrabies Falls Restcamp is set in very pretty surroundings and offers a friendly welcome. Large and well organised, it is the only place to stay inside Augrabies Falls National Park and so makes a good base from which to explore this lovely park in the northern Cape.
Augrabies Falls Restcamp is well geared up for visitors making a short stop here. The central complex houses a well-stocked shop that supplies a choice of food as well as beer, wine, spirits, souvenirs, books and even local fruits (in season). The restcamp even has its own fuel station.
Accommodation at Augrabies Falls Restcamp is in 59 brick chalets with corrugated-iron roofs. These comprise:
- 24 chalets have twin beds and a sleeper couch;
- 16 chalets 'with view' each have twin or double beds with sleeper couch, and views towards the gorge and mountains
- 10 triple chalets each have three single beds;
- 9 family cottages each have two bedrooms, with two single beds in each room.
All are broadly similar in feel; they tend to have large, simply furnished rooms, typically with bedside tables, a wardrobe and a chest of drawers. Each chalet has its own bathroom with a hot shower, a toilet and a wash-basin. Towels are provided, but don't expect complimentary toiletries! Each chalet also has a kitchenette, where you'll find a plastic table and chairs set on a stone tiled floor. Each is usually equipped with two hobs, a fridge, a kettle, a toaster and a decent selection of kitchen utensils.
In front of each chalet is a solid table with seating and barbecue facilities (locally referred to as 'braai' facilities); great for warm summer evenings!
Like most restcamps in South Africa, Augrabies Falls Restcamp also has a campsite.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the restcamp's large indoor restaurant. This is tastefully decorated with stone tiled floors, stone water features and walls adorned with sepia-toned photos of the Augrabies Falls. There's also the option to eat al fresco on the covered veranda which overlooks well-tended gardens.
An information area has boards describing some of the area's varied flora and fauna, as well as community projects and the history of the park and the falls.
There are also three swimming pools at Augrabies Falls Restcamp, so guests can cool off after an exerting walk around the falls.
Although the restcamp itself is not particularly attractive, in front of it you'll find a network of wooden walkways which link a series of viewpoints dotted along the edge of the gorge. These offer breathtaking views towards the gorge and the main Augrabies Falls. The views alone would be a good reason to stay here!
At sunset, large numbers of rock dassies scurry about, adding to the attraction of the whole area. Keep an eye out also for the birds, as the Augrabies Falls area has a mix of dry (mostly acacia) and riverine vegetation which attracts a wide range of bird species. Orange River white-eyes (as distinct from Cape white-eyes), red-eyed bulbuls, red-headed finches, rosy-faced lovebirds and Karoo scrub robins are all common, whilst golden-tailed woodpeckers, acacia pied barbets, pririt batises, ashy tits and dusky sunbirds are amongst less common sightings.
A big draw at Augrabies Falls is the number of walking opportunities. These range from an hour or two pottering next to the gorge, through to self-guided nature walks with stunning views, right up to a seasonal three-day hike.
Our viewAugrabies Falls Restcamp isn't a fancy place to stay, but it is very convenient indeed for this park – so if you're coming to this park, we'd suggest that you stay here. A stay of two nights is fine to appreciate the starkly beauty of the place – and expect most of your fellow-visitors to be South Africans, rather than overseas visitors.
Ideal length of stay: 2 nights, but longer if you're planning to hike.
Directions: From Upington, keep on the N14 and pass through Kakamas. The park is signposted from town; 10km after Kakamas you will turn right on the R359. Continue for about 30 km then turn right towards Augrabies Falls. From here it is another 3 km to the entrance gate, and a further 3km to the restcamp.
Owner: South African National Parks
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Room Only
Food quality: The pleasant restaurant at Augrabies Falls offers good value for money; on our last visit the food quality was pretty good, but fairly unadventurous!
In the evening, there's an à la carte dinner menu with starters between R25 and R50. Main courses, including kudu goulash, springbok stroganoff, steaks, schnitzels, fish, salads and vegetarian options, range from R45 to R120; all come with vegetables and chips or jacket potatoes. Puddings are around R25–R40.
The restaurant opening times are adhered to pretty strictly:
Dining style: Individual Tables
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Drinks included: No drinks are included.
Birdwatching: Despite its apparent aridity, a wide variety of habitats can be found at Augrabies Falls, including riverine vegetation, reedbeds, cliffs, acacia thickets and rocky scrubland. Because of this, the park has a relatively high diversity of birds: over 180 species. Favourites include Verreaux's eagle, African fish eagle, bee-eaters, kingfishers, falcons and smaller species such as rosy-faced lovebirds, weavers and bulbuls.See more ideas for Birdwatching in South Africa
Walking: The Augrabies Falls area is good stop for walkers. Almost everyone will spend an hour or two pottering next to the gorge, but give yourself half a day and you can tackle one of the park's self-guided nature walks. For the more adventurous, there is the option (in some seasons) of a three-day self catered hike through the gorge.See more ideas for Walking in South Africa
Attitude towards children: Very good
Generally recommended for children: Yes
Notes: Augrabies is relatively family friendly, although the longer walks would prove very tough for younger children – and few of the areas around the vertical drops of the steep gorge are securely fenced.
Power supply: Mains Electricity
Communications: There is cellphone reception at Augrabies Falls Restcamp as well as public phones that accept cards.
Health & safety
Malarial area: No
Medical care: The nearest doctor is in Kakamas, which is about 50 km away.
Dangerous animals: Low Risk
Security measures: Unarmed security guards are at the entrance gate to the park 24 hours a day.
Fire safety: There is a fire extinguisher in every room.
Disabled access: In Place
Laundry facilities: There are no laundry facilities.
Money: Augrabies Falls Restcamp cannot change money; there is a bank in Kakamas.