Tropical Storm Eloise leaves her mark on the Kruger National Park

Posted by Imogen Searra on 25 January 2021

The Kruger National Park has been inundated with water following heavy rainfall brought on by Tropical Storm Eloise.

Parts of the south of the park have been left inaccessible, with various low-lying bridges left completely underwater, including that of Lower Sabie and Skukuza.

‘The situation is deteriorating in the South of Kruger National Park with rivers flowing strongly. Advice is for people to be extra cautious and stay indoors instead of being on the road. Stay away from low lying bridges and gravel roads. Do not drive into roads with a no entry sign,’ said SANParks in a statement on Sunday, January 24.

In the north, flagged camps included Sirheni, Shimuwini and Bateleur Bushveld Camps and Sable Hide. Visitors were required to move ahead of the storm and were accommodated at Letaba, Mopani, Shingwedzi and Punda Maria Rest Camps.

The latest update on the weather conditions currently experienced in the Kruger National Park, as a result of Cyclone Eloise, are:

  • Most of the impact of Cyclone Eloise has been felt in the north of KNP (Nxanetseni Region) on the 24th of January, resulting in flood flows in the Luvuvhu-Mutale, Shingwedzi and Letaba Rivers. Most gravel roads have been closed.
  • Shingwedzi Rest Camp has been evacuated to Mopani Rest Camp, as a precautionary measure, along with the concessionaires in the Makuleke Contractual National Park, on the afternoon of the 23rd of January 2021.
  • Most rains impacted southern KNP (Marula Region) overnight on January 24, resulting in floodwaters in the Sabie, Sand and Crocodile Rivers. Flood warning protocol has been in place for Skukuza and Lower Sabie Rest Camps overnight on the 24th of January.
  • The water level of the Sabie River is rising as of this morning on the 25th of January. The Disaster Management Team KNP is monitoring the situation, but at this stage, there is no flood impact to infrastructure in rest camps or staff villages, although some low access routes are impassable.
  • Moderate rain is currently being experienced in northern KNP, with more heavy rains in southern KNP.

Ike Phaahla, General Manager of Communications and Marketing for Kruger National Park spoke to Getaway Magazine about the current conditions and how it has impacted the park’s animal inhabitants.

‘Animals instinctively move to higher ground even before the storm arrives. Nature normally takes care of itself, we have never had to rescue any animals before but we do a regular flyover to observe infrastructure and should there be a need to assist animals in distress, we will do so,’ said Phaahla.

Visitors are urged to contact the emergency number on their entry permits if they find a displaced or distressed animal.

Image: Twitter/ SANParks

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