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 Post subject: Rabelais Dam
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 10:18 pm 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: On the Congo River estuary...
Hi

I am a KNP visitor who visits the Orpen area, as often as possible...which... IMHO... is the best in the Park! However...

Please can someone tell me what is the background and reasons for the demise of Rabelais Dam/ Waterhole?

It used to be such a wonderfull place to park and have few drinks and snacks..just to "chill"
I can recall epic gameviewing encounters at this dam, through all seasons, on all my visits.
I visited Orpen this past December, went to the Dam ... and no water... just grass! Strange, considering the heavy rain preceding my visit.
I gather the pump is not feeding the Dam anymore - Why?
Perhaps a KNP Guru will be kind enough to reply.

Thanks

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2006 11:10 pm 
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Fizzpop wrote:
I gather the pump is not feeding the Dam anymore - Why?

Hi Fizzpop. If you read the Rabelais Hut topic, you will see that Johann said in one of his posts that "the Rabelais waterhole has been closed due to severe erosion" and in another that "they have closed the borehole so no more water at the wh". :?

Hope this at least gives you an idea of the situation there. :)

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 1:26 am 
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If my memory serves me right the soil structure is not suitable for a dam, creating erosion at the overflow and the vegetation would/could not cope with the pressure of constant grazing. I also miss the dam, but understand the reasoning behind the closure.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:14 am 
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Junior Virtual Ranger
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Location: On the Congo River estuary...
I appreciate your replies. Thanks.
While i can understand the pressure to habitat that a Waterhole can have on an area, what was so different with Rabelais dam, than others, which surely have similar problems?

Was there not a case for providing a "waterhole trough" in the area where the original pan was/is, if the dam itself was eroded?

I am just a little peeved that one of the few permenant water-point places within 20km of Orpen Camp, where you could sit with a good view point is gone. The other waterholes in the area for "game viewing" (not counting the one at Orpen Camp), are a joke... just not visible or condusive to sitting and waiting!
Anyway, look forward to further comments. Cheers

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KNP: 03 Jan to 12 Jan 14 (Berg n Dal, PKop, Croc Bridge)
KNP 10 May to 17 May 2013 (Malelane, Satara, Skukuza)
KNP 16 July to 26 July 14 (Croc Bridge, Tamboti, L Sabie )


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 7:35 am 
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Maybe Rabelais needs special consideration. It has an important history... wish we knew more.... and it has a following.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:47 am 
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Thank you :wink:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:10 pm 
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Thank you KNP Spokesman. I appreciate your reply.
I did not look out for the info when i was there at Orpen, or ask questions! Will definately do so next in April.

You are right, that area on the right (dam on left) is always been good area when - very lush and green when good rains are about.
What are the chances of the dam wall actually being taken down/ removed to re-create the natural look of this spruit, and allow us view of the trough?

Regards

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KNP: 03 Jan to 12 Jan 14 (Berg n Dal, PKop, Croc Bridge)
KNP 10 May to 17 May 2013 (Malelane, Satara, Skukuza)
KNP 16 July to 26 July 14 (Croc Bridge, Tamboti, L Sabie )


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 6:47 am 
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Fizzpop wrote:
Thank you KNP Spokesman. I appreciate your reply.


Nah uh, not KNPSM but Jannie. Iiiiiit's Jannie!! :lol:

Thanks Jannie! :wink:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2006 10:36 am 
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Jannie wrote:
When you go to Orpen again, have a look on top of the door at reception there is a whole explanation of why waterholes in the KNP have been closed.

And it was posted on the site by KNPSM, but I cannot find it!

But, google is your friend, here are a few snippets I did find:
Quote:
In the 1960s, in an effort to boost game numbers, the Water for Wildlife project was started and erected about 300 windmills in the park. The waterholes attracted game into the area. At first this seemed a good thing; only decades later did the results show that with the impalas and zebras the waterholes attracted also brought more predators into the area. Before the waterholes, these dryer areas supported roan antelope, which are much easier for lions to catch - the roans weren't able to compete. The park has started to close the waterholes, and let nature take its course.

Angela Gaylard is doing her doctorate on the impact of elephants on Kruger's riverine vegetation through the University of the Witwatersrand. In an ideal world, she says, park conservationists should close the existing artificial waterholes and force the entire ecosystem, including elephants, to depend on the seasonal fluctuations of the rivers. This would keep numbers in check through natural forces, and the elephants' impact on vegetation would no longer threaten regional biodiversity. In fact, she maintains, it may even enhance it.

Even so, elephant expert and former director of conservation development at SANParks, Dr Anthony Hall-Martin, considers megaparks and closing the artificial waterholes in Kruger the most realistic, natural and potentially effective of the options.

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Last edited by DuQues on Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Rabelaisdam
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:10 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 12:34 pm
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Location: Pretoria
I just love the Orpen area!
We were in the Park two weeks ago,slept one night at Tamboti.
What is going to happen with Rebelaisdam? :?:
It was one of the best game-spotting points in Kruger!
I know they are talking about over grazing,but where isn`t it a problem!
Is money the problem for not rebuilding the dam?
If it is,can we try to establish a fund?
I hope someone out there shares my feeling?
Thank you.
Hennie Theron


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 9:07 am 
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I think this was in the forums somewhere before , but I cant find it .

The problem is rabelias was in a particualarly bad spot , because of soft soils , and sweet grasses , so was heavily overutilized all year , with no break period , as the animals still didnt move away in winter , as they used to before the dam , when it was a seasonal pan/river .

The park has no intention of rebuilding it , even if it is funded externally .

It will be sorely missed , I can remeber watching lions drinking there , with knob billed ducks swimming in front of them , and cheetas just up the road .

Welcome to the forum Hennie :D


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:48 am 
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Location: GAUTENG , S.A.
Hennie , I'm also adicted to Orpen and sorely miss the Rabelais dam spectacle , especialy for a late afternoon drive spot off the overcrowded H7 .
Since the 2000 floods I have seen 2 cheetah males on an Impala kill because game does still visit the windmill fed dam and concrete trough (in lesser numbers) . But I think it's days are numbered too , with the waterhole closing policy now in full operation .
In the far north I noticed sharp declines in animals at previously abundant waterholes . And what will happen when there is another drought and there are very few waterholes ?
Animals will have grazing but no water possibly !

I also have a nasty suspition that the waterhole in front of Orpen camp (with the defunct webcam) is also closed because on my August visit there were very few animal / birds - will see again on next trip later this month !

It's almost as if the management want tourists to sit inside their luxury bungalows consuming air-conditioned air at 6000 BTU's looking at the walls instead of parking under a tree looking at game . And I don't think that is what the affluent overseas tourist market wants either .
NO WATER = NO ANIMALS AND BIRDS = NO TOURISM REVENUE


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:35 am 
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Bit confused here
In the rabelais dam area i saw a natural dam with a nice body of water.
Is this natural or what.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 11:44 am 
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Location: Red sand, why do I keep thinking of red sand?
Image

The sign explaining why the dam isn't there anymore.
Image

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Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c


Last edited by DuQues on Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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