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 Post subject: Phabeni Gate
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:27 pm 
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I will be staying close to Skukuza.
Last time I went to this area, I entered at the Malelane gate and travelled to Skukuza along a main route and it was great.
Saw lots of stuff, including mating lions.
On my way back I tried the Phabeni gate route.
It was in the heat, a bad time of day and i WAS TIRED.
The only excitement was when I fell asleep at the wheel and found myself in a group of amazed Impala.
Do you think it might be worth giving this route another go?
The other option, of course, is Kruger Gate.
If I leave very early I can go via the Orpen gate and fall asleep in a bigger group of Impala.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 5:06 pm 
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MM, I have had great luck with Phabeni.
Wild dogs, Saddlebilled stork, Rhino, Impie with half his liver hanging out, the list goes on...
People that traveled there a day before me saw Lions with cubs at Nyamundwa Dam, a must go to sit for a few hours.
Most of my traveling there was also in the heat of the day, so you must have had a bad day...

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2005 8:41 pm 
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bushjunkie wrote:
I found the S1- tar road to Phabeni a surprisingly good road.

I traveeld it inthe late afternoon while staying in skukuza trying to avoid all the traffric- and twice saw wild dogs-


That's my road and my gate!!!!

Also saw wild dogs on it over the easter weekend.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2005 6:52 am 
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Phabeni was good to me ... I would recommend it to myself again :lol:

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 Post subject: Nyamundwa Dam on the S1
Unread postPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2006 9:44 pm 
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Nyamundwa Dam on the S1, looking south.
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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 9:26 am 
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Photo of Phabeni Gate

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 3:33 pm 
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We came in the Phabeni gate last month and thought it was great.
The people were friendly and we saw lots on the tarred road..Buffalo, Black Stork and Elephant within the first half an hour.
We were also pleased to be in the park sooner than if we had gone along the long road to Kruger Gate!


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:06 am 
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Location: South Africa, Mpumalanga, Middelburg....289km from KNP!!!
We entered through Phabeni gate @ about 4pm, not expecting to see much.
Took a nice slow drive & came across 3 buffalo bulls grazing on the side of the road, further on an elephant breaking branches.
drove along & saw lots of impala, zebra, kudu & giraffe.
then in the distance of the road saw a small traffic jam, hoping it was a lion or leopard :D , but it was a Rhino
saw more game as we drove up to Skukuza.
stretched our legs, bought some refreshments & decided to head back down the S1 to Phabeni gate because we were staying in Hazyview, anyway saw more giraffe, impala, zebras, warthogs & Kudu.
As we approached the waterhole we came across a pride of Lions, adult male, sub adult, 3 females & 5 cubs :D .
A great sighting, they were sitting on the road (will post the pics :wink: ) it was 18:10pm & unfortunately we needed to move on...we couldn't believe our luck, 4 of the big 5 in less then 1 & half hours then suddenly a LEOPARD, walking on the side of the road just before the Albisini ruins turn-off
we stayed with the leopard till he walked out of sight.
Luck was on our side :D
in 2hours we spotted the Big 5
IMO the S1(Doispane) @ Phabeni is a fantastic road to take :wink:


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:33 am 
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MaroelaMan wrote:
I know that compliments etc. go elsewhere on the forum, but I am posting it here anyway!
Was in the Kruger area yesterday on a business trip, and decided to spend 2 hours in the park, entering at Phabeni gate.
Sharrell Ngomane, greeted me with the biggest and friendliest smile that made my day! So hats off to you Sharrell and Phabeni gate!!! :D


Hi MaroelaMan

Thanks for the feedback.
I just happened to spot this and will certainly pass on your comments to Sharrell and everyone else that should hear this - it certainly makes a difference when we hear that guests really appreciate our efforts.

Just on this subject, a short history of Phabeni Entrance Gate:

After the floods that caused so much damage in 2001, many facilities in Kruger needed repair.

It was also shown that Skukuza was nearly cut off by the floods.
Paul Kruger bridge under water, the road bridge at Hoxanne near Mkhuhlu (on the road between Hazyview and Kruger Gate/Skukuza) washed away and the approaches to Skukuza via Lower Sabie and Satara (H4-1 and H1-2) were also impassable due to the rising of the Sabie River.
The only road route in and out of Skukuza was due south on the H1 - 1 and then H3 via Afsaal and Malelane.

Compounding the matter was the fact that the bridge at De Laporte Windmill was also very close to being washed away (you can still see signs of the extensive repairs and strengthening).
The S114 was also impassable because of a low water bridge that you get to on the way to Renosterkoppies Dam.
In other words, Skukuza was on tender-hooks and the ONLY way in and out was over the river at De Laporte.
Had that bridge washed away, the only way to resupply Skukuza would have been by helicopter!

The South African Government came to Kruger's assistance at that time and funding was granted to repair what had been damaged.

The idea for an entrance gate was on the table at the time but the floods graphically showed KNP management that a gate at Phabeni might be the answer as an alternative to totally cutting off Skukuza.

Funds were made available and work started on the gate at around that time.
The gate was officially opened in December 2002.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:51 am 
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Thanks for this most interesting historical background, KNP Spokesman 8)
It's really interesting to know why Phabeni was chosen as the site for a new gate.

I must also add that I also had an excellent experience when I used Phabeni for my grocery run to Hazyview on 4 May 2006.
My passage out and back in was a breeze, with a great welcome each way.
I also stopped on my return to have a look around and was most impressed by the extremely attractive reception area, as well as the gardens outside.
And the staff on duty (I didn't note their names, unfortunately :redface:) were both extremely professional and wonderfully welcoming.
For anyone entering KNP here, these gentlemen would be sending them on their way in the best possible frame of mind!

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 8:09 am 
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Johann wrote:
KNP Spokesman wrote:
The idea for an entrance gate was on the table at the time but the floods graphically showed KNP management that a gate at Phabeni might be the answer as an alternative to totally cutting off Skukuza.


I hear what you are saying KNPSM but have my doubts :wink:
Went to KNP a few times last year and I remember not being able to enter at Phabeni due to the bridge being completely underwater.
Think it was during the trip to Satara beginning of March.
Somebody's caravan even got thrown off the bridge by the water's force according to one of the gate staff members when I phoned for an update. (Had been raining for a week or so)
The water at Kruger gate was flowing wildly but not close to the top of the bridge yet.
The water from the N'waswitshaka going towards Skukuza was very close to bridge level but not quite there yet.
The bridge on the H1-2 over the Sabie was also closed down.

Now correct me if I'm wrong but the bridge at Phabeni (first one when you've entered) is very low, the lowest in the area I think.
So how come that would be the only safe alternative left if everything else is closed?
Surely that would be the first one to be closed?

Please don't misunderstand me, I love the gate and the S3 up to Kruger gate is one of my favourite roads. Just asking that if this was suppose to be an alternative or emergency entrance/exit to Skukuza why the bridge wasn't built any higher then?


Hi Johann

I can get the exact elevations of the various bridges for you, but I am pretty sure the Phabenispruit is higher than the Sabie River, as it is a tributary to the Sabie River (using the principle of "river flows downhill").
If a large amount of rainfall does fall in the catchment area of the Phabenispruit, it stands to reason that there will be problems, but we feel that the chances of this happening are fewer than the chances of the Sabie River coming down in flood and, perhaps more importantly, cutting the three key bridges away.
The simple reason for this is that the catchment area of the Sabie River is SO much bigger than the catchment area of its tributary Phabenispruit.
Because of the higher elevation, a Phabenispruit flood will also clear quicker than a Sabie River flood, enabling us to open it before (say - and touch wood it never happens again) the river washes away the Paul Kruger bridge.
It just so happens that at that particular time (I remember it pretty well) the Phabenispruit did come down, causing problems but we don't think this is going to happen every flood, simply because of the elevation of the land.
With rivers and bridges, I guess it is always a gamble as to what to do as nature has a tendency to throw a curved ball every now and then (remember the Laingsburg flood, and various other examples), but if you look at a relief map of the area, the Phabeni - Doispane route is definitely higher than the Hazyview - Skukuza route which certainly makes sense as an alternative.
And now there is always the question of whether to build a full size bridge (a la Paul Kruger Gate, Malelane etc) or whether to build a low water bridge (a la Croc Bridge, Phabeni etc) and the guiding principle is usually budget (but is often environmental considerations).
We are not saying Johann that the problem will disappear completely, but what we are saying is that the Phabeni route might be Skukuza's trump card the next time a flood of the scale of 2001 comes down.

Hope this clarifies.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:16 am 
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Makes sense to me , I suppose that to build a bridge over the phabeni spreit would be pretty easy also , being a small non perenial river.


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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:33 pm 
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Thanks meneer.
That sounds like a good enough reason :lol: and explains a lot.
When driving around there you think everything is at the same level.
Suppose you don't realise the lay of the land. :)

We just have to hope it clears before the others every time.
But don't think I'll mind too much if I get stuck in the Park.
Good excuse to stay away from work. :lol:

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2007 6:34 pm 
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Just to stir the pot here (and for historical accuracy :wink:), wasn't that catastrophic flood in 2000, not 2001? :? I was in KNP in July/August 2000 and there were still closed roads and a lot of evidence of flood damage.

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 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:29 pm 
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Elsa wrote:
Yes, the big flood was in February 2000, in fact I remember seeing the news on the night of my birthday, that chaos was reigning in the park to coin a pun!!! :roll:


Hi Everyone

You are all 100%.
It was 2000! My mistake :redface: ,
I always get confused.
When I look back on the flood era, it was all a mad rush :shock: .
I was a journalist then at a local newspaper and I remember going to cover a rescue attempt on a river nearby the Riverside Mall in Nelspruit.
I had just had a foot operation so I was on crutches :cry: .
My camera also got drenched and it needed a new chip.

And it was because of that operation on my foot (February 2, 2000) that I couldn't go to Mozambique to cover the story there :twisted: .
I got to do the follow up stories on Kruger 8) , the human interest stories like how five families lived in one home and how the church became a dormitory.
I also interviewed various ecologists about the effects of a flood on the ecology which was absolutely amazing.

Anyway, amazing memories for me.

Kind regards
KNP Spokesman

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