Nocturnal life in Augrabies Falls is abundant, especially during the warm summer months, and many animals take the opportunity to wander and feed during the cooler nights.
Typical night-time hunters such as the African wild cat, bat-eared fox, free-tailed bat, aardwolf and the small spotted genet will often be spotted during night drives in the park. Additionally, many antelope species as well as the giraffe are often active during the night, making an encounter even more special. The stealthiest predator in the park, the leopard, is rarely seen but a sighting remains an ever present possibility.
Temperature fluctuations in the region have resulted in unique adaptations in animals. The animals in Augrabies can survive in extreme high and low temperatures. Smaller animals make use of whatever shade is available as well as burrows, rock crevices and fallen trees. The types of animals that have made these adaptations are the slender mongoose, the yellow mongoose, and rock dassies. An interesting mammal found in Augrabies is the cape clawless otter; their presence in the park indicates that the river ecosystem is relatively healthy.
The giraffes found in Augrabies are lighter in colour than those found in the regions of the east, as a counter measure for the extreme heat. One of the most often seen antelope is the klipspringer, which are normally seen in pairs. Other antelope found in the park are steenbok, springbok, gemsbok, kudu and eland.
Predators in Augrabies come in the form of leopard, black backed jackals, caracal, the bat eared fox, and the African wild cat, and the elusive leopard.
Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra (Equus Hartmannae) is also present in the park and due to their endangered status are closely monitored by the park rangers.
A total of 49 mammal species, including a number of rodent species, have been recorded.
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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
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