Skip to content

SANParks.org Forums

View unanswered posts | View active topics






Post new topic Reply to topic  Page 1 of 2
 [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Origin of the Kruger dirt roads
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:02 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:08 am
Posts: 2152
Location: Leeu Valley
As I was going through my Kruger map last night and looking at the various road systems in place, it got me thinking about the origin and history of some of these dirt/sand roads.

I started noticing (probably old news to veterans) that the numbering of the roads are not in numerical order, so I made the assumption that how higher the number of the road the newer the road. For example the S145 would be newest and S1 one of the first etc. I have also read that some of these roads were once service roads or roads for staff camps etc.

I would love to learn more about the origins and history behind some of these roads. How old are some of them? Why and how were they put in place like they were?
What historic stories are behind these roads we travel so often on?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:35 am 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:44 pm
Posts: 2760
Location: Welkom
FAC Member (2012)
Indeed a vey interesting topic. I also put the same question In this forum a couple of months ago but received only a speculative reply. My question was, why did the old Parks Board and/or Sanparks close roads. On my 1990 map the S133 is shown running from the S47 to the H14. That road is now closed. Earlier, the S128 continued in a northerly direction to join the H1-2. That was before the H10 was built

There must have been a good reason from a conservation point of view why certain roads have been closed and new ones opened.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:37 am 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Posts: 5296
Location: Chasing down the rarities
In Afrikaans:
S = most probably "sand" (sand)
H = "Hoof". (main)

Many of these roads were build by Stevenson-Hamilton using with the help of Mozambicans trekking through Kruger illegally. They were given the option of either going to jail or be fined or to work for him. Very few decided on option 1.

:lol:

_________________
656
Latest Lifer(s): White-winged Flufftail, Dickinson's Kestrel, Senegal Coucal, Three-banded Courser, African Broadbill, Thrush Nightingale, Rufous-bellied Heron.

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:38 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 11:49 am
Posts: 92
Location: Vaal
My guess would be that a lot of them were put in place to enable access to, for example, historic sites, dams etc. Others probably to take in some of the better scenery of Kruger.

All I know is that in peak season, which seems to be all the time these days, it is better to travel these roads, as the most people tend to stay clear of them.

_________________
Kruger rocks !!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:05 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 11:49 am
Posts: 92
Location: Vaal
Another question is why are there so little roads from Shingwedzi upwards.

If you look at the maps, there are vast areas that are unexplored.

If it has something to do with the amount of visitors, then it makes sense, but also contributes to the lesser amount as well.

I for one would not like to stay in a camp for a week and have to do the same roads over and over again.

Just to clarify my feelings.... I would hate to see the north turned into a zoo as well.

_________________
Kruger rocks !!!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:27 am 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Posts: 5296
Location: Chasing down the rarities
I would say that there are mainly two reasons:

1. The monotonous habitat.
2. And more importantly. The vast areas there would be difficult to patrol and if someone should get into car trouble it would be difficult to get help for that person.

These vast open areas do host a 4x4 trail and also hosts a breeding camp for roan.

_________________
656
Latest Lifer(s): White-winged Flufftail, Dickinson's Kestrel, Senegal Coucal, Three-banded Courser, African Broadbill, Thrush Nightingale, Rufous-bellied Heron.

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 12:48 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:38 pm
Posts: 966
Location: Port Elizabeth
The reason why the roads in the north are mostly on the east side and at the most some are in the centre is because the vast majority of the Ellie breeding herds are in the Northern region in sections like Shangoni (no tourist Roads and woodlands (only Bateleur, Silvervisdam, Rooibosranddam etc) It is too dangerous to have roads there in the west area as a section ranger once told me and we were heavily chased one week end delivering a puppy to the incumbant Shangoni ranger many years ago to back this up. My youngest son of 3 at that stage (now 22) is still terrified of ellies after experiencing that from the back of a bakkie with his mother :shock:

_________________
2009
Punda Maria Sept 27,28
Bateleur Sept 29,30 (free award)
Tamboti Oct 1,2,3,4
Biyamiti Oct 5,6,7,8

FGASA Local Area Guide

Nikon D700 FX, Nikkor 24-70 G f2.8, Nikkor 70-200VR f2.8, Nikkor 200-400 VR f4, Nikon 1.4 & 1.7 Convertors


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:33 pm 
Offline
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2005 3:04 pm
Posts: 537
Location: Nottinghamshire UK
It would be interesting to get an up to date account of the elephants in the north. There used to be huge gatherings - and the literature that the Parfuri camp put out still describes them being seen in that area. But I suspect that this no longer happens - I certainly have not seen any evidence of it for many years despite always visiting the north extensively.

There are also several roads and areas in the north that I would love to see made more use of. The 4x4 trail from Babalala to Parfuri goes through a unique part of the Park, with several bird and plant species only seen there. And a good chance of seeing roan (though I of course failed to!!). It would be great if part of this could be opened to ordinary cars.

The nyala drive at Parfuri used to go much further west than it does now (before the flood of 2000). Why has this not been reopened?

And there are some beatiful areas around Punda off the Mahonie loop; but you can only get to them if you go on a drive or walk. Shame.

Still there are slow improvements. Crooks corner being one.

Richard


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:07 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Posts: 14219
Location: Pretoria, RSA
Many of the roads in KNP pre-dates the park by many many years. Many started as animal tracks. Those who have had the privilege to walk in the bush will know that you get "elephant highways". This is broad tracks, which is used by many animals to move from one area to the next.

Quite often the next stage was that the early human inhabitants started to use these tracks, turning them over time in to human "roads". When the first black people arrived they continued with this, followed by white hunters and traders.

Many of the modern roads in the KNP are just the successors of these roads. Where roads were changed it was sometimes done because the old route just did not fit the needs of the park, went through areas where flooding was a problem, or went through ecologically sensitive areas. Some were developed with the aim of providing better game viewing.

Then there were politics as well. In the time of the border wars, public access was diverted to keep visitors away from the borders.

Even today new roads are being made. This mainly happens in the concession areas, where roads are created to provide exclusive game viewing. (Maybe that eco-holiday is not that green?)

It is interesting to note that many management roads were created. This divided the bush in to 456 burning blocks, in the time when block burning was practised. Since 2000 many of these roads have been decommissioned, by combining three or four of these old blocks in to new burning units.

It is estimated that 1.5 % of Kruger is affected by direct road affect. This is the area including the road and twice its width to both sides. The main influence is on small animals, and also on plant growth due to changed run off of rainwater.

_________________
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparkshr.org


One positive deed is worth more than a thousand critical words.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 6:44 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2007 1:16 pm
Posts: 1861
Location: Fairest Cape
Thank you, Imberbe, very interesting !

Another question -- when the roads were first tarred, were they changed in any way ? I seem to remember the old Phalaborwa / Letaba dirt road being a lot more twisty and turny than it is now. (Or maybe it just feels that way in reverse with a large ellie at your front bumper :shock: )


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 7:40 pm 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Posts: 14219
Location: Pretoria, RSA
The average width of a dirt road in KNP is 6.5 m and that of a tarred road 12 meters. So, extensive work was done on the roads when they were tarred.

I do not know how many routes were changed at that time though. I can imagine that there must have been quite a few minor changes.

_________________
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparkshr.org


One positive deed is worth more than a thousand critical words.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:20 am 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Posts: 5296
Location: Chasing down the rarities
i've worked this out a month or two ago...

The tourist roads alone cover in tar: 850km. And in gravel: 1444km. That is a total of 2294km.

Lets convert everything to m and then to m².

2294km x 1000 = 2,294,000m of tourist roads.

The Park is 22000km² or 22,000,000,000m². (km² = km x km therefore 1000m x 1000m = 1,000,000m². 1,000,000 x 22000 = 22,000,000,000m²).

Now lets say that the roads are on avg 6.5m wide.
Tourists roads cover 2,294,000m x 6.5m = 14,911,000m².

(14,911,000/22,000,000,000) x 100 = 0.0677%.

Multiplying it by 5 would be 0.3389%. Is this correct?

Quote:
It is estimated that 1.5 % of Kruger is affected by direct road affect. This is the area including the road and twice its width to both sides. The main influence is on small animals, and also on plant growth due to changed run off of rainwater.


To illustrate the area we as tourists manage to see of Kruger from the roads alone lets say for argument's sake that we can see on avg 200m far into the bush.

2,294,000m of road x 200m visibility = 458,800,000m².

(458,800,000/22,000,000,000) x 100 = 2,085%.

That is an awful small percentage and we all should regard ourselves as very fortunate to spot anything from the tourists roads.

_________________
656
Latest Lifer(s): White-winged Flufftail, Dickinson's Kestrel, Senegal Coucal, Three-banded Courser, African Broadbill, Thrush Nightingale, Rufous-bellied Heron.

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 1:53 am 
Offline
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:28 am
Posts: 14219
Location: Pretoria, RSA
@ WTM: This time of night my head is too flat to even think about doing the sums. (Good excuse! :lol: ) So why don't you do this one.

The length of all roads in KNP is (plus minus) 7 926 km (as in 2003).

_________________
Imberbe = Combretum imberbe = Leadwood = Hardekool = The spirit of the Wildernis!

Want to know more about the SANParks Honorary Rangers? Visit www.sanparkshr.org


One positive deed is worth more than a thousand critical words.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 10:20 am 
Offline
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
User avatar
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Posts: 5296
Location: Chasing down the rarities
I have the distance from hereas: 6494km.

Quote:
Today there are more than 850 kilometers of tarred roads in the Park, besides 1 444 kilometers gravel roads and more than 4 200 kilometers of fire breaks.


Anyhoo...

Length: 7926km = 7,926,000m.
Width: 6.5m
Surface: 51,519,000m²

Park size: 22,000,000,000m²

Percentage of area covered by roads:
( 51,519,000m²/22,000,000,000m²) x 100 = 0.2341773%.

Now: Multiplying the roads' width by 5 to give a road impact factor: 32.5m.

Surface: 32.5 x 7,926,000 = 257,595,000m².

Percentage of area affected road surface cover:
(257,595,000m²/22,000,000,000m²) x 100 = 1.1708%.

How does that sound?

:twisted:

_________________
656
Latest Lifer(s): White-winged Flufftail, Dickinson's Kestrel, Senegal Coucal, Three-banded Courser, African Broadbill, Thrush Nightingale, Rufous-bellied Heron.

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:04 pm 
Offline
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:44 pm
Posts: 2760
Location: Welkom
FAC Member (2012)
Regarding the use of elephant "highways", that is what the builders of the Kariba dam did. I have read a book about the Zambezi river and the Kariba dam where it is written that when they decided where to build the dam, they had to look for a route to build the road to the site. Then someone came up with the idea to follow the ancient elephant migration routes to the Zambezi. Apparently the ele's found the shortest route but also the one with the most gradual drop in elevation from the highlands to the Zambezi valley.

What is also very interesting is that the elephants remembered their routes. According to the writer of the book, it was reported by a person that was involved in operation Noah(to save the animals that was trapped by the rising waters of the Kariba lake) that an elephant approached the lake where its path entered the lake and started to swim across the vast Kariba. They thought that the ele would drown so they followed it by boat. The elephant swam right across and....exited the lake on the exact spot where its path continued on the Zambian side.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group

Webcams Highlights

Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Addo Nossob Orpen Satara
Submitted by Mellory at 17:45:51 Submitted by Aristocat at 21:34:19 Submitted by Michelle_K at 22:50:55 Submitted by ritad at 23:12:45