Augrabies Dassie Trail, Northern Cape

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Nestled within the heart of the Augrabies National Park is the Dassie Trail – a picturesque hiking experience suitable for the whole family. Unlike its more challenging counterpart, the Klipspringer…

Nestled within the heart of the Augrabies National Park is the Dassie Trail – a picturesque hiking experience suitable for the whole family. Unlike its more challenging counterpart, the Klipspringer trail, which demands three days of rugged trekking, the Dassie Trail offers a gentler, yet equally captivating journey.

Overview of the Trail

Starting Point
Augrabies National Park, rest camp

Ending Point
The trail is circular, so you’ll wind up back at the rest camp.

5 km

Fitness Level

Expert Tip
If you’re visiting during the scorching summer months, it’s best to embark on your hike early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the intense midday heat.

Experience the Dassie Trail

The charm of the Dassie Trail lies in its family-friendly nature. Its modest length and mild challenges make it an ideal option for families, even those with children. Beginning at the park’s primary camp, this self-guided trail winds its way through a series of geological marvels, each more striking than the last.

As you embark on your journey, prepare for a bit of scrambling. Certain areas of the trail can be slippery, and there are sections close to the gorge’s edge, so it’s crucial to keep a close eye on the younger ones.

One of the trail’s early highlights is the path along the gorge leading to Arrow Point. Here, prepare to be awestruck by expansive vistas, with the iconic Quiver trees painting a distinctive silhouette against the horizon.

Your next stop, the Potholes, offers a unique geological spectacle. These circular indentations in the rock may appear mysterious, but they are the result of pebbles swirling in water over eons, gradually eroding the rock beneath. Their depth might be tempting for the adventurous, but it’s wise to exercise caution, especially with children around.

Perhaps the pièce de résistance of the Dassie Trail is the Moon Rock. This vast granite exfoliation dome, stretching approximately 700 meters by 100 meters, stands as a prominent beacon within the park. Those who venture to its peak are rewarded with unparalleled panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

As you loop back towards the camp, keep your eyes peeled for some of the park’s native inhabitants. The trail’s namesake, the dassie or rock hyrax, often makes an appearance, as do Broadley’s flat lizards, Verreaux’s eagles, and the majestic mountain zebras.

The Augrabies Dassie Trail is more than just a hike; it’s an immersive experience, bringing together family, nature, and adventure in the heart of South Africa’s breathtaking wilderness.

Popular activities, tourist attractions and points of interest near Augrabies Dassie Trail

The Augrabies region and its surrounding areas are not only rich in natural beauty but also offer a myriad of activities and attractions for tourists.

Augrabies Falls
Just a stone’s throw away from the Dassie Trail is the main attraction of the park – the Augrabies Falls. This dramatic waterfall is where the Orange River plunges down almost 60 meters into a granite gorge. The roar of the falls is a sound to behold, giving it its name which means “place of big noises” in the local Khoi language.

Game Drives
Augrabies National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including springbok, giraffe, and the endangered black rhino. Scheduled game drives provide an opportunity to spot these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Night Drives
For those looking to experience the nocturnal side of the park, guided night drives offer a chance to spot elusive animals like aardvarks, porcupines, and nocturnal birds.

Bird Watching
With over 100 species of birds, including the black eagle and Namaqua sandgrouse, Augrabies National Park is a bird-lover’s paradise.

Rafting on the Orange River
Adrenaline junkies can indulge in white-water rafting experiences on the Orange River, which offers varying grades of rapids suitable for both beginners and experienced rafters.

Khamkirri Adventure Destination
Located near the Augrabies Falls, this destination offers various adventure activities, from river rafting to archery and quad biking.

Riemvasmaak Hot Springs
Situated about an hour’s drive from Augrabies, these natural hot springs are nestled between giant granite cliffs. It’s a perfect place to relax and rejuvenate.

Local Vineyards
The Northern Cape, especially around the Orange River, has several vineyards where visitors can taste and buy local wines. Some vineyards also offer guided tours to show the wine-making process.

Cultural Tours
Immerse yourself in local history and culture by joining a guided cultural tour. Learn about the indigenous Khoi-San people, their traditions, and their way of life.

Hiking outside the Park
Apart from the Dassie and Klipspringer trails within Augrabies National Park, there are several other hiking trails in the vicinity. These offer varying degrees of difficulty and allow hikers to explore different terrains and views.

Local Craft Markets
The area boasts local markets where visitors can buy handcrafted items, souvenirs, and local produce, making it a perfect place to pick up a memento of your trip.

The Augrabies region is a goldmine of natural wonders, cultural experiences, and adventure activities. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adrenaline seeker, or someone looking to relax and soak in the beauty, the area around the Augrabies Dassie Trail has something for everyone.


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