Heavy rains breathe life into Kruger Park

Drought in Kruger Park. (News24)
Drought in Kruger Park. (News24)

Mbombela - Despite flooding which closed roads in the Kruger National Park, management has expressed relief that the heavy rains in the area have brought solace to animals dying from the severe drought which has plagued the park for the past several years.

Areas of the park received their highest rainfall in more than a year over the weekend, with the South African Weather Service (SAWS) recording 92mm of rain at the park's Skuzuza headquarters in Mpumalanga.

"Rain has fallen steadily over the past few days and we appreciate it hugely. Waterholes and rivers have filled up again and we hope that this is just the start of a decent rainfall season for us,” said SANParks acting head of communications William Mabasa.

Tourists posted numerous photos of the rainfall on social media, with some roads, campsites and entrance gates closed due to the flooding.    

Theresa Richards, a visitor to the park, posted on January 7 that she had to extend her stay: "We couldn't get out of the park in time to drive to Bloem, due to flooding. Main road south from Skukuza still closed. Both Phabeni and Kruger gates were closed at the time we wanted to leave. Sounds like Pretoriuskop got huge amounts of rain too. Had to pack up our tent in torrential rain, but loving all the rivers in flood.''

Wildlife expert Lex Hes said that the rains in the Kruger Park would have an immediate effect on both the welfare of the animals and the game viewing prospects of tourists.

"It’s very simple, actually. Once the natural progression of drought is over and the rains come, the plants grow and there is more food for the animals. Animals which were dying of starvation, such as buffalo, now have access to all the nutrients and minerals they need to survive.

"In terms of game viewing, the animals are now more widely dispersed throughout the park, and are not only confined to permanent waterholes. Heavily overgrazed areas now have the chance to recover as animals move to other areas," he explained.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Until the matric exams are over, my family is:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Self-isolating to ensure we don't miss any exams
12% - 137 votes
Following Covid-19 safety protocols, but still going out like normal
54% - 594 votes
Business as usual, we're not worried about the virus
33% - 368 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.23
(+0.68)
ZAR/GBP
21.04
(+0.58)
ZAR/EUR
18.92
(+1.02)
ZAR/AUD
11.42
(+0.86)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.90)
Gold
1878.25
(+0.54)
Silver
23.65
(+1.57)
Platinum
845.68
(-0.30)
Brent Crude
38.07
(-3.48)
Palladium
2206.01
(+0.99)
All Share
51684.70
(-0.41)
Top 40
47472.92
(-0.22)
Financial 15
9459.76
(-3.04)
Industrial 25
73439.58
(+1.04)
Resource 10
47245.91
(-1.21)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo