South Africa’s Kruger National Park has reopened its gates and is mostly back to normal after last week’s floods, which saw park officials having to evacuate 60 tourists who were stranded while out on safari drives.
In a statement issued on Monday, South African National Parks (SANParks) said that all gates to the park were now open, as well as almost all tarred roads within the park, and that most of the park’s safari camps were open and operational.
Kruger National Park is South Africa’s largest wildlife reserve, covering almost 19000 square kilometres – roughly the size of Wales – and is also the country’s premier safari destination, drawing around 1.3-million visitors from around the world every year.
SANParks said it was busy repairing the damage caused by the floods, adding that some services “might still be down or disrupted during this period. We apologise for inconveniences that might be experienced, and we promise to do everything in our power to minimize the disruptions”.
Park spokesman William Mabasa told news agency AFP that the park’s animals were not affected by the flooding, and that no death’s or injuries to the park’s visitors were reported, although six tourists whose car was washed away had received treatment from the park’s doctors.
SANParks urged guests “to use water sparingly, as camps/gates and picnic spots in many areas operate on emergency pumps and boreholes with limited capacity. Guests are Satara also requested to use electricity sparingly, as the Eskom supply line at Balule was washed away and the camp is operating on a standby generator.”
For the detailed list of facilities still affected by flood damage, see: www.sanparks.org/about/news/default.php?id=1794.
SANParks thanked all the South Africans and overseas guests for their messages of support during the floods. “Your patience, assistance of other tourists, and tolerance did not go unnoticed and is highly appreciated.”