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The Klipspringer hike is a three day hike near the Augrabies Water Fall in the Northern Cape. It is in the National Park.
Clearing all the formalities we started the hike from the parks office. The total distance was going to be 39km and for this, the first, day 13km. This is wild, but beautiful country, semi desert, full of interesting features for those that are prepared to look. The hike is rated average to difficult and this first day must have been the difficult stretch. Not much up and down, but lots of boulders to hop up to and down from.
The hike is called the Klipspringer hike, we thus expected to see Klipspringers, a small antelope type animal. We did spot one of them, but also 11.3x109 miggies or midgets, these things would fly into our face and settle on all uncovered body parts. See the picture on the right. Some of them at least gave us nasty stings, my arms and legs are still itchy. As a defence I put on my long pants and wrapped a towel around my head, that way it was bearable. Fortunately the temperature was very mild. Lunch we had on an exposed top of a boulder, the wind kept the miggies away.
The overnight hut, the fish eagle hut, has been solidly built and is very rustic. It had two rooms with 6 beds each, how one gets up and down to and from the top bunk is a mystery, we didn't try it. As a shower we had a water tap out in the open, but there was a proper flush toilet. The kitchen is a fireplace and a bit of a bench. I can't see how 12 people could manage here.
Yes, and we did hear and see the Fish Eagles.
What a great hike, I vote this the best of the three days. It took us down to the Orange River and along its banks, before going up again. At times going was rough and at other stretches easy and, what is very inportant, the miggies kept away most of the time. Nice was the hike back up, away from the river. It followed a dry river bed filled with sand. It gave the impression that at one time the river had been coming through here in geological time.
The overnight hut, the Berg Hut, was constructed the same as the previous one, with the same facilities, i.e. an outside tap for a shower.
Walk, walk,...walk, the walking was easy and no miggies. We stayed mostly on the road, that was because we missed the cut through the mountains. A highlight of this day was the walk over moon rock, a huge piece of granite sticking out from the surrounding. We made main camp by lunch time, which allowed us time to have a look at the Augrabies water fall. The parks board has done a lot of work here having installed a new walk way and view points all along the falls and the gorge. Some of the previous installation had been washed away by the last flood.
And off we went to transfer to the Witsand Nature Reserve.
I have made a youtube video of the hike, to be viewed by clicking video
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