The Orange River is by far the longest river in South Africa and is not navigable anywhere by commercial vessels. Just before the Augrabies Falls, the wide river flows gently through a great gorge.
This massive expanse of water is channelled through a narrow gorge, from which it bursts explosively and plunges 65 metres into a deep pool. The churning black cauldron at the bottom of the Augrabies Falls is said to contain a fortune in diamonds washed down by the river.
Over the next nine kilometres the river descends more than 300 metres in a series of minor falls and rapids in a ravine worn from solid granite.
The Augrabies Falls National Park is well organised, with several driving trails to view various sections of the river from lofty vantage points. There is a pleasant café, paths to strategic viewpoints of the roaring waterfall and overnight chalets with swimming pools for residents.