Wildlife resorts devastated by floods

2013-01-23 22:36
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Flooding in the Lowveld

As Mpumalanga and Limpopo experience high rainfall, entire towns have been affected by extensive flooding. See the pictures.

Johannesburg - Several wildlife resorts were devastated by the heavy rains and floods that battered Limpopo province in the last few days, tourism officials said on Wednesday.

Limpopo Tourism Agency spokesperson Mike Tauatsoala said some of its resorts were left inaccessible after a bridge leading to the area was washed away.

"The most affected include Mphephu Resort, Makuya [Singo] Park, Eclipse Tented Camp and Nwanedi Resort," he said.

While the extent of the damage had not yet been established, Tauatsoala predicted it would have a great impact on the province's tourism sector.

At the Kruger National Park, gravel roads and some camps were closed at the weekend due to the heavy rains.

SANParks spokesperson Reynold Thakuli said on Wednesday that the Crocodile Bridge, Lower Sabie, Malelane, Mopani via Lethaba, Olifants, Orpen, Pretoriuskop, Thundamaria and Skukuza camps were now accessible.

Electricity and water had also been restored.

"We are now prioritising getting the roads fixed, as well as the fences that were brought down by the debris," he said.

"Safety measures have been to taken to ensure that animals do not get into the camps where the fences have come down."

Thakuli said visitors should stay on the park's tarred roads and avoid travelling on gravel tracks.

"The Mapungubwe National Park in Musina [which is not part of the Kruger National Park] also experienced disruptions.

"The park is not accessible from the R572 because of the bridge that has collapsed," he said.

While all the staff members and visitors were accounted for, staff accommodation was damaged.

Thakuli said the SA National Defence Force, police and emergency workers had done an outstanding job in carrying out evacuations at the flooded parks.

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