The level of the river began rising sharply last weekend at Stampriet, near its source, and reached the settlement of Gochas, 72 km downstream, on Wednesday afternoon.
The General Manager of the Auob Country Lodge, Maureen De Villiers, told Tour Namibia this morning, the river was flowing the full width of its course and the water level was still rising.
De Villiers said the campsite at the lodge was flooded (Wednesday, 26 January) and that the rising level of the river has since forced the lodge to close the campsite. The Lodge however is operational.
She said the level of the Auob was about 1 m below the causeway at Gochas early yesterday evening, but this morning the river was flowing strongly over the causeway – preventing some of the learners at the village from getting to school.
De Villiers expects the river to begin subsiding in about two day’s time.
Meanwhile, Mr Jannie van der Merwe of the farm Kinkel near the Mata Mata border has told Tour Namibia the flood water is not expected to reach the border before Monday – if the flow is strong enough.
The Auob River is a vital component of the Kgalagadi ecosystem as the subterranean water supports a lush growth of Camel Thorn trees. Regular floods are essential to recharge the underground water which is extracted to provide water to the herds of Springbok, Gemsbok (Oryx), Blue Wildebeest and Red Hartebeest occurring along its course.
Water of the Auob River last reached the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the year 2000. The Auob River eventually joins the Nossob River at Twee Rivieren at the park’s southern entrance.