Road Along Gariep (orange) River Closed

23 Feb 2023

Those who want to drive from the Noordoewer border crossing to Rosh Pinah in southern Namibia will have to take a long detour. The DR 212 road along the Gariep (Orange) River is now closed again until further notice, Namibia's Roads Authority (RA) announced at noon.

The stretch further downstream on the MR 118 from Sendelingsdrift to Oranjemund is also closed as a precautionary measure.

The RA said the reason was the flood wave of the Gariep (Oranje). It is expected that the water levels will reach or even exceed the levels of the turn of the year. At the end of November and the end of December, the river had overflowed its banks and flooded some sections of the gravel road.

South Africa had declared a state of emergency a few days ago due to widespread flooding in seven of its nine provinces. This was triggered by unusually heavy rainfall, which is attributed to the climate phenomenon La Niña.

In southern Namibia, travellers must now drive from Noordoewer or Aussenkehr via Keetmanshoop and Aus to Rosh Pinah. This also applies to visitors to the Fish River Canyon

The ferry at Sendelingsdrift is likely to stop operating, as is usual when the water level is high. Oranjemund is only accessible from the South African town of Alexander Bay due to the closure of MR 118. There, a bridge spans the Gariep.

The only passable public road connection to Oranjemund: The Ernest Oppenheimer Bridge over Gariep (Oranje) River near the mouth into the Atlantic Ocean.  
Photo (February 2021): Sue Cooper, OMD 2030

Sven-Eric Stender

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