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Augrabies Falls NP: Advice

Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mokala, Namaqua, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld
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GVIAugrabies
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Augrabies Flat Lizards

Unread post by GVIAugrabies » Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:03 pm

Those are the Augrabies flat lizards (Platysaurus broadleyi) or Augrabies plat akedis (in Afrikaans, but my spelling is horrible - at least that's what it sounds like to me!). The males are brightly colored with greenish-blue heads on top, dark blue throats, either bright yellow or orange shoulders, and either bright orange or red hips. On the other hand, the females are brown.
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Unread post by reinette » Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:11 pm

Thank you very much Sandy. Don't worry about the spelling, there are a lot of forumites who won't even know By the way, you only missed one 'k'.
We saw the little brown ones as well, but couldn't manage to capture them.
Here is a pic of one, they are really amazing to see:
Image

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sable
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Unread post by sable » Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:38 pm

Hi Sandy,
during our visit in August last year there was as few water at the falls as you can see on these nice pictures from Justin.
Is there usually more water in November?
Additional pics from our last visit...
Image

and this one was waving us "Good bye" on our departure
Image


You see, I didn't have a zoom cam for my last visit. But this year I will be well prepared to get the picture with the smile on the Klipspringer's face.
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Horns And Stripes - A Day in MZNP, Up in the Air - Camdeboo Impressions,
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GVIAugrabies
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Unread post by GVIAugrabies » Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:25 am

Hi Sable,

The future water level is always difficult to guess, but unless we have a lot of rain in early spring, I would expect the water level to be at the lower end of normal in November (50 cumecs or so). But though I'm saying that, we're running over 7 times the normal amount of water right now so one never knows. This year was a very rainy year with some floods in different parts of the country so who knows what this spring will bring! Since I've been here, I've seen the river go from about 400 cumecs up to 1,983 cumecs, down to 30 cumecs, and back up to 391 cumecs! And I find that each level has its own beauty - I had no idea how rugged and beautiful the gorge is just above the Main Falls until the level went down to 30 cumecs!

Congrats on the zoom lens! You'll definitely love having it here.

We train the klipspringer to greet and farewell our guests here at the park. OK, I'm just kidding but it does almost seem that way sometimes! I had one visitor tell me that she thought the park had put up klipspringer statues to please visitors until she saw one move its head! I laughed so hard when she told me that and even used it in my presentations the rest of the week.

Hope you have a wonderful visit in November!
Mara le Mahieu

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Augrabies

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Unread post by BunduBoi » Sat Sep 16, 2006 11:07 pm

On a post in another thread I read about a succesful land claim took place in the park - how much was taken and when did it happen?
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Unread post by GVIAugrabies » Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:09 am

You are correct that we had a land claim which has changed the layout of the park. I'll have to double check the dates and get back with you, but I have read that we had the first land claim that went in after 1994 for the Riemvasmaak community! We gave back a large portion to the Riemvasmaak community on the northern bank of the river, and ended up extending west along the southern bank. When I get back to you with the dates, I should also have the size changes.
Mara le Mahieu

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Augrabies

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Unread post by BunduBoi » Tue Sep 19, 2006 4:12 pm

Thanks, Gvi Augrabies, also did this affect the black rhino population on the northern banks?
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Unread post by GVIAugrabies » Wed Sep 20, 2006 8:25 am

Yes and no.

The animals which were introduced into the park had to be moved to the remaining northern bank area or to the southern side of the park. So in that respect, they were effected.

On the other hand, it was determined that there are two subspecies of the black rhino: the eastern subspecies and the western subspecies. Turned out that the breeding program we used to have here consisted of the eastern subspecies, so it was decided to move that breeding program to Addo Elephant National Park. Meanwhile, once we acquire some land from one of the farms west of the park, we'll be able to finish the fencing of the western section in preparation for black rhino of the western subspecies. Don't know when this will be completed, but we're pushing to have this done by the end of next year. So though we currently have no black rhino in the park, the land claim didn't really effect that decision.
Mara le Mahieu

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Augrabies

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Unread post by GVIAugrabies » Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:27 am

Christel,

Just saw these posts, and you should definitely count on 5 hours from TR to AFNP. Plus, if you do grocery shopping in Upington along the way (much better selection than in Kakamas or here), figure that time in extra.

Nicky, the GVI Volunteer at TR, and I actually hiked the last day of the Klipspringer Hiking Trail, showered, and drove to TR all in one day. (I don't recommend adding a hike in the morning though, as we were quite tired by the time we got to TR.)

Augrabies Falls is definitely worth a visit! Of course, I am a little biased...
Mara le Mahieu

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Augrabies

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Unread post by DebM » Fri Sep 22, 2006 12:59 pm

Christel, Augrabies Falls is definitely a must

GVIAugrabies, pleased to hear that Black Rhino will be returning at some point. Did the Black Rhino adventure a few years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, even it we didn't cross the river in the boat due to the flood waters.
Last edited by DebM on Sun Sep 24, 2006 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post by GVIAugrabies » Sun Sep 24, 2006 8:23 pm

Mark,

Of course, you're completely right about that. But I must admit that I was so excited to finally complete my "Big Five" list by seeing the black rhino here. And then I was totally bummed out to discover that the breeding program had been moved!!! We get quite a few visitors who have older travel books that still talk about the breeding program here, and then they get quite upset when they find out we don't have any here right now. It will be so wonderful to have them back in the park again sometime soon. With that, though, they definitely won't take anything away from the waterfall!
Mara le Mahieu

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Unread post by christelsabine » Sun Sep 24, 2006 8:40 pm

@GVIAugrabis
& Bouf

Thanks to both of you. I made some closer maths with the distances and routes and shall stay there for one night to enjoy all. It's better than just to rush by car from one point to the next.

Just convinced myself any my family to do a 14-instead of a 10-days trip to SA - Yippeee! Will see more under less time pressure. No matter where I go - the YR will be tied on my car, I hope to see some faces of this site down there to say Hello!

Can't wait to pack my things, really.... - need to look for a better cam, perhaps I will be able to produce some trip report

Christel

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Unread post by GVIAugrabies » Sun Sep 24, 2006 9:17 pm

The distance we normally see the water falling is 56m. But the pool etched out under the waterfall is another 130m deep! Shame we only see the water falling 56m, but the river has to be almost completely dried up to see the full 186m...
Mara le Mahieu

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Augrabies

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Unread post by GVIAugrabies » Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:23 am

Christel, one day will be fine at Augrabies. I see that you're coming from KTP to Augrabies on the 12th, so I'm guessing that you won't be getting here until the early afternoon. I recommend visiting the falls first (probably a given), hiking the Dassie Trail (if you have the time - plan for at least 2 hours and take lots of water as it's already getting hot), and spending a sundowner on the last platform overlooking the gorge (furthest from the waterfall) or at Arrow Point as the sun sets. If you don't have time for the Dassie Trail, then I recommend doing a quick game drive to visit the most scenic viewpoints in the park.

I'll be here on the 12th unless some emergency comes up that requires me to go to Kakamas or Upington. My work hours are normally 0730-1600, so we should be able to meet! BTW, where in Germany are you from?
Mara le Mahieu

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Unread post by DuQues » Mon Sep 25, 2006 8:27 am

You will need a camera with a wide angle lens on it, or, if you can't get one, a camera with a normal lens and a tripod. You can make a panorama photo then, which should be great. I wrote a bit on panoramic photography here.
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c


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