17 January 2013

Mapungubwe National Park strongly affected by heavy rains

update (22 Jan 2013): SANParks has made some new updates about the current situation in the Mapungubwe National Park available:
  • The rain has stopped.
  • All the camps are closed.
  • R572 from Musina to Mapungubwe is closed due to the bridge at Weipe that collapsed.
  • The R572 to Pont drift / The town of Alldays is accessible by normal 2x4 vehicle.
  • All the roads in the park are still closed except the main road from the main gate to treetop.
  • All staff members are safe and no injuries have been reported in the park.
  • Most tourist facilities are still underwater, eg. Interpretative Centre, Tshugulu Lodge, Limpopo Forest Tented Camp, Mazhou, Treetop, Malountswa Pan Hide.
  • The Electricity has been restored.
  • Telephone lines are now working.
  • Some animals have died.
  • All 4x4 roads are closed.
  • The park is open to day visitors with 4x4 vehicles to limited areas.
  • The clean-up operations has started.
  • The camps will be open to the public on Saturday (26 January 2013).
  • The park is full of water everywhere.
  • The Limpopo river is still full to capacity.
  • Staff accommodation affected are Limpopo Forest Tented Camp, Rhodes Drift, Schroda, Samaria Farm are still under water.
  • Staff members at Samaria Farm have lost all their personal belongings and the road to the farm will not be accessible by road at least  for days to come.
  • All staff members will receive counselling as many are visibly traumatized.
  • The following roads are closed: * Schroda, All river roads, all 4X4 roads, Denstaat road, Tshugulu road, The road to the tented camp and Samaria road.

update (21 Jan 2013): All tourists in the Mapungubwe National Park have been safely evacuated and are accommodated in Leokwe Camp which is currently not open to the public.
Staff trapped in the following staff villages are being air lifted by the Limpopo Emergency Medical Services (EMS):
  • Samaria
  • Limpopo Tented camp
  • Rossdrift
The following facilities are also affected:
  • Vhembe Trails camp
  • Limpopo Tented camp
  • Confluence
  • Tree top

update (21 Jan 2013): The Mapungubwe National Park is currently inaccessible from Musina, as roads leading to the area are washed away. More rain is expected over the next two days and SANParks is therefore advising all customers with confirmed bookings in the immediate future to contact the reservations office about the status of their bookings as the Park will be temporarily closed until further notice.

update (17 Jan 2013): SANParks has uploaded some photos of the floods in the Mapungubwe National Park to facebook!

According to a media release issued by South African National Parks (SANParks), the recently opened Mapungubwe Interpretive Centre in the Mapungubwe National Park has been temporarily closed due to the heavy rains in the area. The park, located in South Africa's Limpopo province, received about 212mm of rain over the past two days and experts are expecting the heavy rains to continue at least until Sunday (20 Jan 2013).
Some roads in the Mapungubwe National Park have already been washed away and SANParks is therefore strongly advising visitors not to make use of those roads and to avoid crossing any low-water bridges, especially if they are using small vehicles.

The roads listed below should be avoided at all costs for the safety of SANParks visitors:
  • Confluence(4X4 only)
  • Tree top walk (4X4 only)
  • Limpopo Tented Camp (4X4 only)
  • Mazhou (4X4 only)
  • Vhembe (4X4 only)
As of today (17 Jan 2013), only the Tshugulu Lodge and the Leokwe Camp can easily be reached by 2x4 vehicles.

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