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Augrabies Falls NP: Advice

Augrabies, Kgalagadi, Mokala, Namaqua, |Ai-|Ais/Richtersveld
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restio
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Unread post by restio » Sun Nov 26, 2006 4:38 pm

So glad to hear that you've been updating the trail signs, Sandy! ! I think that the hiking trails are one of the best things about Augrabies - I've done large sections of the Klipspringer trail as day-hikes, and loved it.

But you're right: the signage was not at all good. I've done loads of backtracking along the way, which is fine if you're on the Dassie trail, or a day-hike, but probably a bit annoying if you're carrying a full backpack.

Checked out the Dassie brochure; it looks great!

Good luck with the rest of your sign updating. For once, I don't envy you, because it must be a blazing hot job!
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

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GVIAugrabies
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Unread post by GVIAugrabies » Mon Nov 27, 2006 8:18 am

Restio,

You are so right that it's blazing hot out there! I definitely understand why the Klipspringer trail is closed from October through March because it would be entirely too dangerous otherwise. We can only put up signs in the morning, and then sit in the office and try to cool down the rest of the day. And even in the morning, we have to wear gloves because the signs and the poles get too hot to handle with bare hands! Imagine how hot the rocks in the gorge get after being in the sun all day!! And the backtracking is a pain - I don't envy the folks who have to do it with backpacks on (I walk the trail in portions also since I've been working out the signage so I luckily only carry a daypack). But that's why management approved the signage proposal, so next year the Klipspringer will be ready for hikers!!!
Mara le Mahieu
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Augrabies

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Unread post by GVIAugrabies » Thu Dec 21, 2006 11:21 am

This is a sad week for me at Augrabies Falls National Park - my last work day is tomorrow, 22 December. I will miss everything about this park so much: the beautiful scenery and plant life; watching the dassies and klipspringer, Augrabies flat lizards and geckos, pale-winged starlings and red-eyed bulbuls (I could go on almost forever here); giving park presentations to both school groups and visitors; talking with visitors and answering questions; updating displays and creating new ones; and being a member of the wonderful Augrabies Falls community.

I'm signing off today as the Augrabies Guru and signing back on as yksandy (hopefully, if that name isn't already taken). I apologize for not getting more info up on the website about Augrabies Falls, but I hope to continue doing a little of that over the next two months before I leave the area permanently. I also still plan to post my Kgalagadi photos, but won't be able to do that until next month at the earliest. Thank you so much for your wonderful support. It's been great fun being the Augrabies Guru even though it was only for such a short time.

I'll be moving to the Langebaan area next March, so if you happen to be in that general vicinity, look me up!

Take care and enjoy the holidays, Sandy
Mara le Mahieu

GVI Volunteer 2008

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Tembe & Kgala
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Augrabies falls level in June

Unread post by Tembe & Kgala » Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:42 pm

Hello , we planned to visit augrabies falls in June , is there a lot of water a that period? we made it once in october , is it better in June? thanks a lot
ps : Maybe it was discussed before , if yes , sorry in advance. I just read so many pages without finding ;o))
Last edited by Tembe & Kgala on Sun Jan 07, 2007 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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arks
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Unread post by arks » Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:47 pm

Hi pucelou and welcome!

If you edit the title of your post (and this thread) and add Augrabies Falls to it, you will likely get more replies. You also might have a look the Augrabies Falls thread and do a forum seach (click on "search" at the top of the page) to find more information. Right now we do not have an Augrabies Falls guru on the ground there (and Sandy, who was our guru, is off traveling for a few months). However, others may have more information. The level of the falls, so far as I know, will depend on the amount of rainfall in the months preceding your visit.
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christo
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Unread post by christo » Sat Jan 06, 2007 6:26 pm

The catchment area for the Vaal & Oranje rivers is in a summer rainfall area. The falls is usually at its best from December to March, depending on rainfall.

The temperatures are much cooler in June though.
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hri
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augrabies leopard trap?

Unread post by hri » Sun Feb 04, 2007 6:23 pm

Hi there, can anyone tell me more about the stone leopard trap at Augrabies? How old is it, is it a Khoi structure, anything at all? I'm writing a story in which it features, would be very grateful for any info.
Thanks!

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restio
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Unread post by restio » Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:02 pm

Hello hri, and welcome to the forum!

I don't recall seeing a stone leopard trap at Augrabies - do you perhaps have a photo to show us what it looks like?

I have seen a stone carnivore trap in the Karoo National Park. It is mentioned on the Karoo NP history page as "a legacy of former hunting methods." If memory serves me correctly it was erected by farmers (not by Khoi), and it's main purpose was to catch "wolves" (early settlers called hyenas "wolves").

However, hopefully another forumite will have more definitive information to offer.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

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restio
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Unread post by restio » Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:03 pm

Found a picture of a stone trap near Williston. The caption refers to "wolves" (i.e. hyenas). This looks similar to the one I've seen in the Karoo National Park.

http://www.karoohoogland.co.za/Willistonpages/trap.htm
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

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restio
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Unread post by restio » Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:19 pm

hri, I have now found an authoritative source. Historical Mammal Incidence in the Cape Province: Volume 1 by CJ Skead (1980) has two pages on "Hyena traps, or wolfhuise." Skead has this to say on page 100:

The depredations of hyenas, both brown and spotted, called for methods of control and destruction. Never easy to hunt, a trap known as a wolfhuis was erected, baited and set for them, a trap which, apart from catching a hyena might as easily have caught a leopard.


Skead then quotes Carl Thunberg, who describes a wolfhuis he saw at Paarl in 1772:

Wolves are caught by an easy and ingenious method. A square or oblong house was erected, either of brick or only of clay, of the height of six feet or more....


Skead goes on to say that some wolfhuise were built more substantially of stone and that the ruins of these remain (as is the case of the one in the Karoo NP and from your description the Augrabies one too).

He further quotes JWD Moodie who described wolf-houses he had seen in the 1820s near Swellendam.

These traps... have either one or two doors as the ends which, by means of a lever, are contrived to fall as soon as the animal seizes the bait which is suspended inside.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

hri
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Unread post by hri » Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:25 pm

Wow, thanks for quick response, and for the excellent pic! Unfortunately I don't have a pic of the Augrabies one, but it was very similar. I have also seen something like it in the Cedarberg, and I believe that was also labelled as a leopard trap on my Cedarberg map. The Augrabies one is actually signposted; it's a short distance off the path of one of the day-hikes (I think off the path that heads to Arrow Point), towards the main river. Would love to know more. Like was it baited with something? Did it work by a person rolling a stone over the open end?
Any archaeologists out there?

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Unread post by hri » Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:30 pm

Hi, I think our posts crossed ... thanks you so much for all this information, I am amazed! This is exactly what I needed.Thanks so much for taking the trouble to look it up, and finding these various sources. I'll let you know if I have success publishing the story...
(this forum is wonderful)

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restio
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Unread post by restio » Sun Feb 04, 2007 9:41 pm

hri, I was quite amazed too! My mom studied archeology and anthropology, and I hung on to Skead despite its size (a serious doorstop of a book) because it is full of interesting stories and tidbits.

Then when I was wondering where I could find out more about stone traps (because you had me intrigued) I thought, well, maybe Skead. And struck gold!

If you would like more info, then PM me and I'll type up some more of it for you.
Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. - Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

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Bannavdm
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Unread post by Bannavdm » Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:51 am

Thanks for the help .
Here they are
Greetings Banna


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Last edited by Dotty on Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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