Another group of animals that is thankful for the diverse habitat Augrabies Falls National Park (AFNP) offers is the reptiles.
Unfortunately reptile enthusiasts can only expect a glimpse of the many interesting creatures during the summer months. AFNP is home to 41 reptile species, the most famous being Broadley’s flat lizard, locally known as the Augrabies flat lizard. The lizard is only found within a 100 km radius of the falls and is guaranteed at every view point of the falls on warm days. Various agamas (Ground, Anchieta’s and Southern rock) are a common sight basking on the boulders, so be on the look out for those since they are so excellent at blending in with their environment.
The most infamous snake found here is arguably the black spitting cobra and is most often spotted during the early mornings or late afternoons. Many snakes enjoy sunbathing on the rocks in the morning; nevertheless they are very difficult to spot. Other snake species that can be found here are: cape cobra, horned adder, desert mountain adder, Beetz’s tiger snake, Karoo sand snake and several others. For your information no snake bites have ever been documented at AFNP.
Look out for the Nile monitor who can also be found next to the main river and the smaller streams flowing through the park and at night time the helpful thick-toed gecko’s come out to relieve us from unwanted insects. Regularly seen is the often massive leopard tortoise (adults weigh up to 20kg) which enjoys feeding on the fresh grass and aloes of the campsite.
A complete list of all reptiles & amphibians can be found at AFNP reception desk.
5 reptiles to spot:
- Broadley’s Flat Lizard (Platysaurus broadleyi)
- Nile Monitor (Varanus niloticus)
- Leopard Tortoise (Geochelone pardalis)
- Black Spitting Cobra (Naja nigricollis woodi)
- Cape Cobra (Naja nivea)
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Sunny< br>Min: 8°C / Max: 23°C
Did You Know?
- that the first European to "discover" the falls was a Swedish-born soldier in the service of the Dutch East India Company named Hendrik Wikar? Having deserted his post at the Cape, he came across the site and drew the first maps of the river