The Kruger National Park (KNP) in conjunction with South African National Defence Force (SANDF) will demolish four artificial water holes in the southern part of the Park in the week of 27 - 31 May 2013. Explosives will be used to demolish these structures; after which the rubble will be removed as part of the rehabilitation process.
The water-holes to be closed will be: N’watimhiri and Nhlotini – both on the S21 tourist road (Nwatimhiri road from Renosterkoppies to the Skukuza - Lower Sabie tar road). Also Manyavula and Bejwane – these water-points are located along the southern side of the N’waswitshaka River and west of the S65 gravel road (not open to the public). The area around the target structures will be cleared to ensure animals and human beings are safe; all roads in the areas will also be temporarily closed.
“Management of the KNP’s diverse ecosystems is in line with the current approach to wildlife management in the park. KNP has been closing artificial water points for the past six years, with the last closures having taken place near Mopani Rest Camp in October 2012,” said the Head of Communications and Marketing, Mr William Mabasa.
Artificial water holes where water did not previously occur have led to numerous ecological problems such as erosion and other environmental degradation. This also resulted in a negative consequence for the rare herbivore species such as roan and sable antelope, increasing grazing competition by the more abundant herbivores. Conservation management has taken drastic steps to rectify these negative consequences by closing and demolishing certain artificial water holes. These will be replaced by naturally occurring water holes in the area, where possible and where negative ecological consequences are not likely.
“With the continuous research data at our disposal, we have gradually changed our outlook on biodiversity management over the years. With this data available, policies and procedures can be revisited and revised and this is evident in the change in policy regarding water distribution in the Park” concluded Mabasa.
HOD: Public Relations and Communication, Kruger National Park
Tel: 013 735 4363; Cell: 082 807 3919