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NC park takes top honours at awards

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Augrabies announced National Park of the Year at the Arid Achievement Awards

The Oranjekom Gorge at Augrabies Falls National Park. File picture

Augrabies National Park took top honours as National Park of the Year at the annual Arid Achievement Awards ceremony held at Mokala outside Kimberley on Thursday night.

Grootkolk Wilderness Camp at the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, which is tucked away in the dunes overlooking a waterhole and is situated 20km from Union’s End where South Africa, Botswana and Namibia meet, was announced the Best Performing Camp (for a small camp).

The camp has a 98 percent occupancy rate throughout the year.

The Best Performing Ranger Post of the Year went to the Richtersveld.

The awards event coincided with the 10th anniversary of Mokala, which was established after the old Vaalbos National Park was subject to a land’s claim.

The park is named after the magnificent camel thorn tree and is home to a number of endangered and rare species. Mokala was officially opened on June 19, 2007.

Stretching over around 30 000 hectares, Mokala and the nearby breeding stations at Graspan serve an important function as breeding stations for many endangered species, including buffalo and roan and sable antelopes.

There are two rest camps, one at Mosu, which has 14 units as well as a restaurant that is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the other at Lilydale, which has 10 units.

Activities include fly-fishing at the Lilydale section of the park, dining under the branches of a 400-year-old camel thorn tree, game drives and a visit to a 2 000-year-old rock engraving.