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24th January 2012
South Africa's biggest national park has officially reopened after heavy rains and flooding last week left tourists stranded and camps damaged
Kruger National Park is back to working order after last week's floods, which saw roads damaged, camps closed and 60 tourists stranded on safari drives. A number of travellers were airlifted out of the park after a swollen river burst its banks.
In an official statement SANParks – the body which manages South Africa's national parks – has said that all gates to the park are now open, as are most tarred roads.
While most camps are now open to visitors, some camps have remained closed, while others are working with limited facilities. A full list of camps that are still closed to travellers can be seen here.
On their official website, SANParks 'urge' visitors to the park to use water sparingly as the supply is mainly being supported by emergency pumps with 'limited capacity'.
The website also states, “SANParks is busy recovering and repairing the damages caused by the floods and some services might still be down or disrupted during this period. We apologise for inconvenience that might be experienced and we promise to do everything in our power to minimise the disruptions.”
Initial reports have revealed that no animals have been affected by the flooding.
American and Canadian tourists had to be airlifted from South Africa's Kruger National Park yesterday after a swollen river burst its banks and washed-out a bridge. Rescued from the severe weather and floods, Canadian Linda Freeman told Reuters: “There wasn't any other way to get out of the park.”
Gates at the national park are now closed to visitors after floods ripped up roads, rivers have burst their banks and some camps have lost power.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not amended its travel advice, although warns: “Severe flooding in Kruger Park has resulted in some roads being impassable due to fallen bridges, and a lack of power in some camps. You should monitor local media reports.”
Mozambique has been worst hit by the floods, reporting at least five deaths since the start of the torrential rains. More than 5,000 people have been forced to evacuate their homes, weather officials reported.
Officials have not confirmed when the national park will reopen. However, forecasters have warned of more storms and rain to come. For up-to-date information on which camps are open and accessible, and which camps are closed check out the South African National Parks website here: www.sanparks.org.
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