Kruger After the Floods 2012 – Lower Sabie to Skukuza

I drove this stretch of road over a few days so this is a collection of images…

My first post from Kruger showed the Lower Sabie bridge with water flowing over it. That was on Sunday. When I got back here on Tuesday, the water had subsided and the Park was clearing the debris. By late Tuesday, the bridge was open again. I’m excited about this as it means I can use the route I want to on the way back from Satara on Monday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The view from Lower Sabie Deck: Most of the sand islands are still not back and the riverbed reeds are flattened or gone. There is a lot of debris.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunset dam is nice and full! Can’t get much fuller than this. Happy hippos 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the view looking up the Sabie River just before the Lubyelubye bridge. The river is a lot more open at this point now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lubyelubye river: I haven’t seen this much water here, if any. Very nice to see. This is a good spot for leopards. Let’s hope they still like it 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nwatinwambu river flowing strongly! I have seen leopard from this low-level bridge, but there is not normally much water at all – perhaps just a few small pools.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tar is completely ripped off in this short section – it looks like it was literally peeled back by the water. The pieces are lying next to the road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got a big surprise when I saw N’watimhiri dam… The water level here varies over time but it is only once every so often that it has much water at all.. So when I saw it looking like this, I was so pleased. Although, the next day when I drove past, I did smell something awful – something must be dead in the water. It had me gagging badly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The view from Nkhulu picnic site! Wow! This is not normally so wide and there are normally more reeds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nkhulu picnic site had water flowing over the wall in the photo below. There was a little damage to the site but it is fully functional.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a beautiful, tranquil spot on one of the viewpoints along the H4-1. The river is a lot wider and there has been some damage to trees here.

 

Pictures of the riverbed along the Sabie:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The high-level bridge below Skukuza (H12). This bridge was quite badly damaged as you can see from the pictures below. The riverbed looks a lot different from normal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the viewpoints on the Sabie river near Skukuza. There is a lot of debris and the view is much more wide open now.

 

The two photos below are a comparison of the same viewpoint along the Sabie. The first one I took on the 5th January, and the second on the 24th. Quite the difference in the riverbed! Pity I didn’t have another lion in the second shot 🙂


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last causeway before the turn-off to Skukuza is still closed. You will see why in the next photo – the road has been washed away… I hope this is fixed soon as it is one of my favourite causeways.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The view from Skukuza deck:

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there has been quite a bit of structural damage that will need repairing over the next few months. Like I mentioned before, all the dirt roads between Lower Sabie and Skukuza are currently closed. I spoke to the Media Relations Practioner today and the Park is busy assessing all the damage and starting to fix things. As yet, they can’t give a date when things will be fixed, which is understandable as it has only been a week and the damages are from north of Letaba right to Crocodile Bridge.

But things are also looking healthy. The Park was in need of water and enough that would last through winter. It could have been spread out over a few more days though! The animals are all looking healthy, and hippos and crocs are back in the water. A lady I spoke to at the Day Visitor’s area outside Skukuza said that they all moved out the water to safety when the water levels started rising.

My next post will look at the road between Skukuza and Satara… And a surprise interview by the SABC news! Apparently I may be on the news tonight (Thursday) so if you’re in South Africa, and you happen to be at home at the time, you can see me!

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