Normality Returns to Tourism Camp

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By Staff Reporter WINDHOEK Sesriem camping site became operational again on Friday after some 80 percent of the campsites became covered in mud following recent heavy rains. Heavy rainstorms last Wednesday resulting in 85 mm of rain in the Sesriem/Canyon area caused torrents of water to flood the valley beneath the Naukluft Mountains. As a result, the Sossusvlei Lodge and Sesriem Rest Camp had some of their rooms covered in mud and silt. The flash floods that swept through the rest camp damaged some refrigerators and computers, while some goods in the shop were also damaged after being soaked. The storm also uprooted fences and disrupted electricity and telephone lines temporarily. Nampa quoted the workers of the Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) at the rest camp as saying that the floods were the worst in that area since 1997. NWR’s public relations officer, Peter Mietzer said last Friday that some of the camps had already been cleared and that visitors were welcome. Mietzner however cautioned guests to drive carefully as the rain damaged the main road to Sossusvlei. “The road is easily passable by 4×4 vehicles, but should not be used by small sedan cars,” cautioned Mietzner. He said fuel was also available at the camping site as the fuel station at Sesriem/Sossusvleei was inspected by technicians from an oil company which has determined that the fuel was not contaminated by the ingress of water. No person or animal was injured or killed following the floods, although the costs of repairs could be quite high, said Nampa. Both the camp and the lodge are located near the Sesriem Canyon about 170 km northwest of the town of Maltahohe towards the Namib Desert, where heavy rains are a rare occurrence.