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SANParks evacuates guests from Kruger National Park as more rainfall expected

More rain is expected in Kruger. (@SANParks via Twitter)

More rain is expected in Kruger. (@SANParks via Twitter)

  • Guests in parts of the Kruger National Park were on Saturday morning evacuated.
  • Heavy rainfall made its way to parts of the park on Friday and is expected to last until next weekend.  
  • No injuries or fatalities were reported. 

SANParks on Saturday started evacuating guests at its Kruger National Park (KNP), who were staying at Lower Sabie, Talamati, Crocodile Bridge, and Biyamiti camps after reports from the South African Weather Services that more rainfall is expected to fall in the coming week.

Various parts of the Kruger National Park in Mpumalanga started getting heavy rainfall on Friday and the inclement weather is expected to last until next Friday. 

Guests with available safe passage out of the park were removed safely from the camps as this is an evacuation route, and no guests will be able to travel through to those camps.

KNP Managing Executive, Oscar Mthimkhulu said no injuries or fatalities were reported, however, on Friday a tourist vehicle got stuck in the water at one of the bridges in the park.

“We would like to once again urge guests not to attempt to cross any bridges that are overflowing as the dangers of being washed away remain high. Guests are further advised not to open or travel on any roads which have been closed and not to use gravel road,” Mthimkhulu said. 

READ | Sisulu warns tourists as floods wreak havoc across the country

Disaster management teams in the park and external role players are on high alert and monitoring the impact of this rainfall.

As a precautionary measure, the teams have closed gravel roads in the south as well as flagged camps since the fall of heavy rains began on Wednesday.

“SANParks said emergency teams are also closely monitoring the situation in the northern part of the park as rivers have also started rising in various parts of Limpopo Province,” Mthimkhulu added.  

The Park said that all camps are open except Lower Sabie, Biyamiti, Crocodile Bridge and Talamati.

Gates/ Ports of Entry

  • All Gates and Ports of Entry are open except Crocodile Bridge.

Access roads inside the park, all tarred roads are open except:

  • The route directly from Lower Sabie to Skukuza which remains inaccessible
  • The route between Satara and Skukuza has been restored and is operational.
  • The water flowing into the Lonely bull bridge is rising; the tar road between Phalaborwa and Mopani will be affected; please be cautious.

The Park said tourists must be extra cautious during this period and call the emergency number for any assistance only on 076 801 9679 or 013 735 0197/4064.

“We will also continue to update the public through mainstream as well as social media platforms in order to ensure guests are informed. We encourage those who have access to social media platforms to also assist by posting valuable updates on SANParks – Kruger National Park Facebook group,” concluded Mthimkhulu.

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