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Rivers of Life: Most utilised?

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Grantmissy
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Re: Dry rivers

Unread postby Grantmissy » Mon Mar 28, 2011 9:33 am

With all the rain we had the past few months I think the Kruger rivers should be flowing strong. We cannot wait for our visit during May as it is also nice to see the Park in a year when the rains are good.
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Low levels in dams and rivers

Unread postby KTM KWAGGA » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:57 pm

The water level in the rivers and dams seems very low. I visit the park at least once a month and I can't remember it being so low at this stage of the winter. The rain normally only starts falling in October (3 more months). Will it be an extremely dry few months? What is your opinion?

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Re: Low levels in dams and rivers

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:38 pm

Hi KTM Kwagga,

I have to disagree here. We returned from an 8 night stay in Kruger and found the Letaba, Olifants and Sabie rivers quite full.

In fact the Letaba was fuller than what it was right after the flood in February!

The Olifants is more full than what I have seen in years!

The Levuvuh was fairly normal for this time of the year, the Limpopo was empty at Crooks' corner and the Shingwedzi was fairly dry, except past the dam wall to the east where there was quite a fair amount of water.

Dams like Sunset(good to see the water a normal coloration again), Stapelkop, Sable and Pioneer held good water too.

Klopperfontein was hammered by huge herds of zebra, elephant and buffalo. Not sure how that will look in month's time.
Last edited by wildtuinman on Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Low levels in dams and rivers

Unread postby KTM KWAGGA » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:08 pm

brogan wrote:I have jjust come back from Kruger, and in some areas it does look dry, but not that dry we have to worry about it. Sumset dam is a good indication of water in that area. and it looks low, but I have seen it worse and i dont think its anything to worry about at this time. the extreme south of Kruger does look dry, untill you go closer to rivers, where you find the vegitation is still palitable. possibly the worse looking dam in the South of Kruger is the lookout off the S28 just after the Duke turn off. there is no water there, only wet/damp mud infront of the lookout.


We were in these area the weekend. I hope my worries are unfounded!

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Re: Low levels in dams and rivers

Unread postby cheetah2111 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:22 pm

It is dry, yes.
But that is just the way things are. Wet cycles advantage some animals, whereas drought favors others. :hmz:
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Olifants river cleaner after Jan 2012 floods.

Unread postby Rooies » Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:12 pm

According to Andre Botha of the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT), the floods during Jaunuary cleaned up the Olifants river, which were found to be one of the 'sickest' rivers in South Africa because of all the pollutants that were collected as the river passed the mines.

However, came the January floods and everything was scraped clean.
A study was done during the last week of June and a bird count was made.
Last year only 6 Pied Kingfishers were counted along a 55km stretch but this year 30.
The number of Fish Eagles increased from 7 to 12.
Other signs of improvement were also mentioned in his report, but too long to mention here.

However, Botha added that the problem is not over and that pollutants will eventually make its way back into the system again.
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Re: Olifants river cleaner after Jan 2012 floods.

Unread postby Scipio » Tue Aug 28, 2012 5:39 pm

Sorry, it was 15 April 2011, and just above the Selati River, that flows into the olifants in the immidiate region.

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It was a goo full of Mica, probably about a trillion other chemicals, that actually irritated the skin on touch. :evil:

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Re: Olifants river cleaner after Jan 2012 floods.

Unread postby Dabchick » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:07 am

I'm just wondering... how many of those extra birds are hunting in the Olifants at the moment only because there are so little water further north? :hmz:
Is it really only because the water is supposedly cleaner after the floods, or have the bird numbers increased because at least there is water...

(I'm fairly sure I saw and heard much fewer fish eagles than usual along the Shingwedzi in June...)

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Re: Olifants river cleaner after Jan 2012 floods.

Unread postby Grantmissy » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:02 am

I hope something will be done with a long term view (by those responsible) to keep the life sustaining rivers and water healthy in SA, including the Olifants River.

Dabchick wrote:O, and note to mother nature... may the far north get the rain this year please...


I am with you on this one Dabchick :thumbs_up:

I wonder what the long term forecast for Kruger is regarding possible rainfall?
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Re: Olifants river cleaner after Jan 2012 floods.

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:24 pm

Then we need more regular floods!
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Re: Olifants river cleaner after Jan 2012 floods.

Unread postby Ifubesi » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:49 pm

In the end the long-term health of the whole Lowveld ecosystem including Kruger will depend on how the main rivers running through the area are managed and protected.
South Africa have some of the best water acts/laws in the world but the issue comes in with the implementation of these laws... :wall:

My hope is that one day our government will realise how vital healthy rivers are to the future of our country and that competent and passionate people will be appointed to enforce these laws.
At the moment the situation doesn't look so positive however... I guess it is also up to us normal citizens to help create awareness about these issues and also to be public watch dogs on this matter.

Just think if we can have a strong flowing Letaba river all year round again!
Cleaner and stronger flowing rivers will also have many positive spin-offs in Kruger that we don't always think about.
For instance, even more man-made waterholes could be closed which will help restore more natural animal distribution patterns and help re-awaken age-old migration routes.

Of course there are initiatives such as the Kruger to Canyon movement which specifically focus on the catchments of the Olifants and other low veld rivers.
I would be very interested to hear from some forumites that are involved in this, on how that initiative is going?
13 Dec 2012 Pretoriuskop
14-15 Dec 2012 Lower Sabie
16 Dec 2012 Tamboti
17-18 Dec 2012 Satara
19-22 Dec 2012 Shingwedzi
23 Dec 2012 Punda Maria

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Status of Olifants River - annual EWT bird census.

Unread postby gmlsmit » Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:42 am

Andre Botha of the EWT (Endangered Wildlife Trust) has reported over the Afrikaans radio station (RSG) that they have completed their annual bird census along the Olifants River in the Kruger National Park.

During the previous week two teams moved along on either side of the total length of the river from where it enters the KNP south of Phalaborwa until where it flows into Mozambique.

All stationary and birds flying downstream as well as crocodiles and hippos were counted and recorded.

All the collected data still has to be processed and analysed.

He reported that after the floods during the period 2012 – 2013 the riverine bush changed dramatically, much of the growth and debris had been washed away.

The scrubbing away of the silt and accumulated pollutants that had settled over many years, his mentioning this was really good news was as much of the algae that was visible also seems to have been washed away by the floods.

The above is all very good news as the Olifants River system is the most pollution pressured in our country, it starts just west of Gauteng and ends up in the Limpopo in Mozambique, with much industrial, agricultural, mining and human effluent ending up in this once clear and unpolluted system.

He reported that three pairs of Pel’s Fishing Owls were sighted, the number of Storks, Herons and Darters appeared to have increased. No comment was made about Hippos and Crocodiles.

As a closithat took place after the mine spillage of slimes into the Selati River west of Phalaborwa, earlier this year.
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Re: Status of Olifants River - annual EWT bird census.

Unread postby Lepardfan » Mon Jun 30, 2014 1:11 pm

Thanx for the update gmlsmit.

Would be interesting to se the full report.
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Re: Status of Olifants River - annual EWT bird census.

Unread postby norms » Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:57 am

gmlsmit - Thank for this interesting post.

I would like to read the final report when published - :thumbs_up:
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Re: Status of Olifants River - annual EWT bird census.

Unread postby salamanda » Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:20 pm

Thanks gmlsmit. Nice to have a bit of good news. I too would be interested to see the report when it comes out.


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