African game reserves flooded, travelers stranded

game reservesKruger National Park is one of the largest game reserves in Africa and a UNESCO Biosphere location. This week, the park was closed as massive flooding of the once-in-one-hundred-years magnitude stranding American and Canadian tourists who had to be airlifted out yesterday.

After a swollen river burst its banks and washed-out a bridge. “There wasn’t any other way to get out of the park,” Canadian Linda Freeman, airlifted out of the area told Reuters.

Flooding in southeast Africa this week has killed at least five people, forced thousands to evacuate homes and led to an airlift of about 20 foreign tourists in the southern provinces of Maputo, Gaza and Inhambane, weather officials said.

All organized game drives have been suspended as more than 1,500 people have been forced to flee their homes with local weather stations reporting a 267mm rainfall (10.5 inches) in one 24 hour period earlier this week, over five times the classification for heavy rain.




Gadling’s Kraig Becker was on safari in Kruger National Park not long ago and tells us:

“In all, I spent six days in Kruger, and was given the chance to explore it both on foot and by vehicle. In those days, I found that it lived up to its billing as one of the top safari destinations in all of Africa. Not only is the wildlife all that you would expect, and more, but the landscapes are breathtaking as well. In my travels within the park boundaries, I saw beautiful rivers, emerald forests, and stunning canyons. The gorgeous scenery was an element I wasn’t expecting, and it helped to further separate Kruger from the Serengeti.” Read more here.

Flickr photo by Sito Wijngaarden