:thumbs_up: Thanks Senyetse for the update. Will be spending one night - end April - at Bontebok so will make sure to look in at the picnic site to see what changes have been made.
My 5c! WRT the riverview sites - I do hope that SANParks does decide to re-open them as soon as is reasonably possible. I do understand that flooding can cause major damage and the cost of a huge cleanup is probably enormous - but it's been months now and things seem to be happening very slowly.
The riverview sites were extremely popular and I for one am sooo looking forward to be able to camp there once again.
I took your wish to the Park Manager, Carli Venter and she responded as follows:
The area damaged by the severe flooding in November 2008 was cleaned up and repaired within 3 months. Flooding however is a seasonal occurrence, from June to September these sites are “flooded” virtually on a weekly basis due to high river levels. Due to staff constraints and the extensive time spent on mopping up and maintenance at the lower bank, management decided it more efficient to move our sites without power into the main camp on the higher level permanently. The 2008 flood also highlighted the risks in allowing visitors to set up camp below flood lines.
These sites have been in place within the main camp for the past year. We do understand some of our regular visitors would love to camp right next to the river, but this change has not deterred them from returning to the Park anyway.
The move has meant that there is more space available on the river bank, giving fair usage of the area to our campers preferring to camp with power as well as the occupants of our chalets. The Park has seen continued growth in visitor numbers, and the new arrangement is beneficial to the majority of our visitors.
A few other changes – we don’t allow any vehicles down at the river. This is a safety arrangement as we do have a lot of children up and down the dodgy little road down to the river. Fishing inside the camp is also prohibited in peak times – children swimming, people in canoes and fishing just don’t mix that well. We have identified a dedicated fishing spot, with shaded parking, further up river – reports on catches at the new spot have been excellent.
The rule remains that we don’t allow day visitors into the camp. Due to construction at our Day visitors area we did allow it temporarily over the past year, but things are now back to normal with the day visitors area open again.
I can assure you that management don’t take any decisions affecting our visitors lightly, and we appreciate any feedback and responses.
Park Manager: Bontebok National Park