24 January 2013

Some Kruger and all Mapungubwe camps still closed

Following heavy rains and flooding in the Kruger National Park and Mapungubwe National Park over the past weekend, several camps, roads and picnic spots remain closed.

With the heavy rains subsided, visitors to the Kruger can once again enjoy the wonders of nature in most areas.

It is not clear when the affected camps and roads will reopen. The Kruger’s disaster management team is currently assessing the damage - Stephens Ledwaba, Kruger National Park PR assistant

Stephens Ledwaba, PR assistant at the Kruger National Park, says things are returning to normal although several Kruger camps, roads and picnic spots remain closed.

Pafuri Gate and Shingwedzi Rest Camp, both in the northern part of the Kruger, are still closed. There are also a host of smaller bush camps, bush lodges and bird hides that remain closed - either due to flooding or because their access roads have been washed away. 

The bush camps, lodges and hides that are currently closed are: Bateleur, Balule, Biyamiti, Boulders, Maroela, Roodewal, Shimuwini, Shipindane Hide, Sirheni, Sable Dam Hide, Talamati, Tamboti and Tsendze.

Also closed are the Skukuza to Pretoriuskop road, the Olifants River causeway at Balule, the causeways over the Sabie and Sand rivers between Skukuza and Tshokwane, the road from Orpen Gate to Satara Rest Camp, and the roads from Shingwedzi to Punda Maria and Pafuri gates. 

The Babalala, Crooks Corner, Gardenia Hide, Kanniedood Hide, Lake Panic Hide, Makhadzi, Matambeni Hide, Muzandzeni, Nhlanguleni, Pafuri and Timbavati picnic spots are just some of the picnic spots and viewing points that are closed.

Ledwaba said there had been no reports of any injuries caused by the flooding. ‘It is not clear when the affected camps and roads will reopen. The Kruger’s disaster management team is currently assessing the damage,’ he said.  

Meanwhile, according to the latest update on the South African National Parks website, all camps at Mapungubwe National Park are still closed due to the heavy rains and flooding over the weekend.

Most tourist facilities remain waterlogged. These include the Interpretation Centre, Tshugulu Lodge, Limpopo Forest Tented Camp, Mazhou, Treetop and Malountswa Pan Hide. 

The R572 from Musina to Mapungubwe  is also closed due to a bridge collapsing at Weipe. 

All 4x4 roads are closed, but the park is open to day visitors with 4x4 vehicles who are able to visit certain areas.

A major clean-up operation is underway and camps are expected to reopen to the public on 26 January 2013. 

For more about the situation in the Kruger, contact the Kruger’s emergency hotline on +27 (0)13 735 4325.

For more information about Mapungubwe contact SANParks on +27 (0)12 426 5000