A Trip to the Augrabies Falls..

An early morning start took us through the grape lands that just never seemed to stop till just short of the Augrabies National Park.. and then the site to see…

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A welcome sight as the short distance just seemed to get longer with every passing kilometre…

A few details about the Falls….

The Khoi people called it ‘Aukoerebis’, or place of Great Noise, as this powerful flow of water is unleashed from rocky surroundings characterised by the 18km abyss of the Orange River Gorge.

Few sights are as awesome, or a sound as deafening, as water thundering down the 56m Augrabies Waterfall when the Orange River is in full flood.

The Falls: As the Orange River approaches Augrabies Falls it divides itself into numerous channels before cascading down the 56 meter high waterfall. The river then continues its path through an 18 kilometre gorge. The sight and sound of the power of the water will not be easily forgotten.

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The Orange river is susceptible to flooding and when one looks at the channels it flows through, it is an awesome sight when full as all that water is channelled into a single gorge… below is a snap shot using Google earth showing the falls area…..

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I took a few photos of photos that show what it looks like in flood…

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Grape Growing in the Kalahari….

Bordering on the Orange river for a great distance lie the grape producing farms of the Northern Cape… Wine, table grapes and dried fruit (currents and raisins) is the order of the day…

South Africa ranks as number two behind Chile in terms of raisin production in the Southern Hemisphere and it is regarded as a producer of high quality raisins for export market. About 70 % of grapes for drying are grown in the Northern Cape, along the Orange River (Lower: 12,003 Ha) and
Upper (26,000 Ha) and in Namaqualand (1,319 Ha), with the remainder coming from some parts of Western Cape. The most widely grown grape cultivar for raisins is Thompson seedless at 7,188 Ha.

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The Northern Cape Province weather is typically that of desert and semi-desert areas, characterized by high summer temperatures ranging from 33 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius with warm winter days and cooler nights and these weather conditions are ideal for seedless grapes, as they allow the fruit
to ripen properly.

There are about 1,250 sultana-grape growers in the Northern Cape Province producing three raisin types, that is the: Sultana raisins, Golden raisins, Thompson seedless raisins and these raisin types rank among the best in the world.

I sneaked onto a farm to get a few photos and to taste a few grapes…..

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Nothing seems to be wrong with the crop this year… except they were still a little sour, those that I tried…

The lands in places are protected by Dykes as flooding a couple of years ago did cause a bit of damage….

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When harvested the grapes are laid out in the sun to dry… they are spread on huge concrete floors and it does look strange… I hope they wash them before they pack them… (don’t worry they do, no bird poop in our packets)..

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It came as quite a surprise to me, to learn that we had in 2010, produced just short of 50 000 mega tons of raisins alone…. Wow…


Oranjerus Resort ..

Arriving at the Resort we found wonderful accommodation for the two families… luxury… air cons.. and all the box and dices that one would need… right on the river edge…

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Our view of the river was magnificent….

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My son had decided it was time his city dwelling nephew, had to learn to fish… and he took to it like a duck to water.. the real pro…

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Even his Father got involved… with no luck, but there were others trying their luck as well….

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The Grand Daughters modelled for Grand Dad…..

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The Orange river splits up into so many different channels in this area that there are islands that people live and grow grapes on….. now that’s what you call flat lands….

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And then the sun set… to bring on the lighting of fires for the meal to come…

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Tomorrow we will go further….

Red billed Spurfowl… a Photo set that speaks for itself…

The Red-billed Spurfowl (Pternistis adspersus), also known as the Red-billed Francolin.

One that is not easy to capture on camera… this one walked right up to me hidden behind a tree…. it was a big tree luckily…

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