Greater Kruger Area Flooding


Jan 18th, 2012, 08:44 AM
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Greater Kruger Area Flooding

I have some info on the flooding in the Kruger region:

Notice from The Africa Incident Management Centre as well as the Managing Executive of Tourism Development & Marketing SANParks -

There has been some very severe flooding in these regions today. There are unconfirmed reports of over 250mm rain in 24 hours. Many clients are talking about floods worse than those in 2000 in the area. Major destinations severely affected are the Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands, Timbavati and surrounding reserves, Hoedspruit and Acornhoek. Hoedspruit is currently completely isolated and travel in and out of the town not possible. Many lodges are calling for evacuations by air as the water is either threatening or has flooded their properties.

Following heavy rains encountered in and around the Kruger area, this is an urgent warning. The following areas have been affected:

The entrance gates listed below have been closed until further notice:

Entrance Gates:

•Crocodile Bridge
•Giriyondo Border post
The road between Letaba and Olifants is not accessible. All gravel roads and low level bridges must be avoided.

Currently, the following three facilities are closed:

•Biyamiti Bush Camp
•Shimuwini Bush Camp
•Talamati Bush Camp
•Tshokwane Picnic site
Road between Letaba & Phalaborwa flooded and Letaba Camp without electricity – generator room flooded.
Causeway on road between Skukuza and Malelane/ Pretoriuskop (6km from Skukuza) flooded.

The Tinga Private Lodge is currently being evacuated and guests that were on the Sweni Wilderness Trail have already been evacuated. The National Parks helicopter is currently being used for evacuations where necessary.

Causeway on road between Skukuza and Malelane/ Pretoriuskop (6km from Skukuza) flooded.

Herewith some additions:

1. Tar road between Nwamanzi Lookout and Olifants River Highlevel bridge on H1-4 extensively damaged and closed
2.Causeway over Nshawu River on tar road between Mopani & Letaba (H1-5) flooded.
3.Causeway over Letaba River on tar road between Mopani and Phalaborwa Gate (H14) flooded.
4.Causeway on tar road between Letaba and Phalaborwa Gate (H9) near Letaba flooded.
5.Phalaborwa Gate closed.
6.Causeway on tar road between Skukuza and Malelane/ Pretoriuskop at Delaporte Waterhole flooded.
7.As a result of above Olifants and Letaba cannot be accessed at the moment.

Issued by:
South African National Parks (SANParks) Communications
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Jan 18th, 2012, 10:14 AM
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I was looking at the SanParks webcams this morning, and it is raining hard. Hopefully the permanent damage is minor and when the rains end, things get back to normal quickly. Such a shame. Too much water in arid regions.
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Jan 18th, 2012, 11:04 AM
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90alert, thanks for the link with pics. A few more pics are also at

christabir, looks pretty bad. I'm with you in hoping that permanent damage is not extensive. Right now though, what a mess!
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Jan 18th, 2012, 02:11 PM
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Tony Williamson at Mohlabetsi (near Hoedspruit) reports that the town has had 400mm of rain from Cyclone Dondo. He says their reserve (Balule) is like an island and the roads leading in and out are flooded. A dam wall on their largest waterhole has burst.
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Jan 18th, 2012, 06:39 PM
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Sabi Sands is seriously affected. Mala Mala is closed for a full week minimum and Singita closed till at least Sunday (source Safaritalk and links to their Facebook pages).
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Jan 18th, 2012, 09:47 PM
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I just read about the flooding on the SanParks forum. It was a bad night, but all seems to be calming down a bit. The dams have held, for now, but water is breaching many of them and lots of debris. Troubling. Blyde River Canyon dam is at 118% of capacity - it better hold, or everyone downstream is in trouble. As of now, no known loss of human life. Already sightings of some very wet lions.

The Lower Sabie tents had water under them. We stayed there in June - they are pretty far from the river. Wow. Gives me some perspective of what they are dealing with.

Many roads sound passable, so more reports will come as daylight comes.
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Jan 19th, 2012, 05:00 PM
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Mostly good news:

"Kruger Park 80% functional - CEO

2012-01-19 15:20

Johannesburg - The Kruger National Park was 80% functional by Thursday afternoon after heavy rains earlier in the week, SA National Parks (SANParks) said.

"A few tents were damaged, but our tourism facilities stood the test of the flood," chief executive David Mabunda said.

Water pumps and pipelines along river banks were damaged, but the park's engineering team was already working to restore the water supply to affected areas.

No deaths or serious injuries were reported, although six foreign tourists - four Italian and two British - were washed away in their car near Hamilton tent camp, he said.

People cut off

The tourists were taken to doctors at Skukuza for treatment.

In the north of the park, 26 people remained cut off and rangers were re-routing them to safety.

Another 22 people remained trapped at Biyamiti camp - one of the smaller accommodation sites.

Some guests who were trapped in cars had been rescued by Thursday morning. SANParks had kept their families updated on the situation.

Mabunda said no animal casualties or fatalities had been reported.

It appeared that the wildlife had sensed the approaching danger as most had migrated to higher ground days before.

Anti-poaching measures continued despite the floods, and Mabunda warned poachers that the wet ground would make it easier for rangers to track them.

The heavy rains were a "large infrequent event that tests the resilience of the ecosystem".

Positive effects of the flood were that previously dry areas were hydrated, while sediments and invasive plants were washed away.

‘Nature replenished itself’

Aquatic species were also afforded the opportunity to recolonise by the unusual conditions.

"Nature has replenished itself... events like this recharge the environment," Mabunda said.
In terms of future tourism revenue, the flood was likely to have a positive effect because "whenever an event of this nature occurs, we usually get more visitors".

Early projections from the chief engineer indicated that the park infrastructure would be completely fixed within six months, he said.

The Talamati, Buyamiti, and Shimuwini camps were still cut off, spokesperson Reynold Thakhuli said in a statement on the SANParks website.

The Talamati and Balule camps were flooded, while six tents at Lower Sabie had to be evacuated.

The staff village, camping site, swimming pool, and filling station at Letaba were swamped.

At Skukuza, a staff house was flooded and the indigenous nursery was damaged, but the water level had come to rest on the boundary fence. No serious damage had been reported at the rest camp.

Guests evacuated

The road between Skukuza and Tskokwane was still closed with the high level bridge intact, but blocked by debris.

The Crocodile Bridge road remained shut, but the rest camp of the same name was undamaged as the water had stopped rising 50m from the fence.

All gravel roads south of the Letaba River were still closed.

On Wednesday, precautionary evacuations were carried out in low-lying areas, including staff accommodation and river-view chalets.

Some guests had to be evacuated to accommodation outside the game reserve.

Residents supplied by the Ntunda, Sibange, Langeloop, and Masibekela water treatment plants would be provided with water, said Mpumalanga co-operative governance spokesperson Simphiwe Kunene.

Department head David Mahlobo and Nkomazi mayor Thuli Khoza had conducted an assessment of flood damage in Nkomazi, he said.

The areas most affected were Tonga, Block A, B and C, Masibekela, Driekoppies, Mangweni, Steenbok, Naas, and Sibange.

"Fourteen families have been affected and need reallocation, while 16 families were affected without needing to be relocated," Kunene said.

All the families would receive food parcels and blankets.

The municipality posted signs to redirect traffic on roads and bridges deemed unsafe after heavy rains on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Kunene said his department would engage with the department of public works and the SA National Roads Agency Limited to repair damage, such as debris and potholes caused by the flood.
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Jan 20th, 2012, 03:56 PM
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There is another tropical storm moving west at 9 mph, winds between 85 - 115 knots. If it tracks and stalls that will spell DISASTER for the all from Zambia to South Africa. Mozambique coastal areas are going to take a soaking. Not good, not good at all.
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Jan 20th, 2012, 04:41 PM
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Thanks everyone for the updates, please keep them coming.

regards - tom
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Jan 20th, 2012, 05:58 PM
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Yes,I am following all of this also.

Thanks for the Information.
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Jan 20th, 2012, 07:08 PM
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More updates: (better than expected)
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Jan 21st, 2012, 05:21 AM
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Another major storm hits Mozambique. Tropical storm Funso.
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Feb 9th, 2012, 08:37 PM
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The damage seems pretty bad:
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Feb 11th, 2012, 10:29 AM
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We had to move guests from Londolozi Granite Suites to Singita as the structural damage was not safe.

Yours on Safari
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