Nico Fourie, the director at department Public works in charge of the Bloodhound track preparation for the Northern Cape sent us these pictures last week.
The Kalahari has had a very dry summer season, traditionally the rainfall for the area is normally from about November until March. This year almost no rain fell in this entire period, that is until Easter weekend. I have spoken to the farmer adjacent to the Pan and he tells me that they recorded 60mm of rain on his farm and does not expect that any less would have fell on Hakskeenpan.
Because many rivers flow into the Pan in the rainy season it is also expected that the Pan will continue to collect water from Namibia as there too, heavy rains fell.
How long will it take to dry? Well this is not such an easy question as the data we have for previous years was based on the fact that the Pan filled up with water as early as December and then it continued to rain throughout the season, this then took three to four months to dry. Speaking to the locals they still expect that it could take up to two months to dry this time because the daytime temperatures are not as high as they have been previously. If it does not rain again perhaps we can expect the Pan to be completely dry by mid or late June.
This is a very positive step towards preparing the track as we needed for large amounts of water to stand on the Pan for a period of time to repair any damage we might have caused in the preparation process.
Personally I am very excited to see the result of the repair done by the recent rain. We will have to keep you posted about the accessibility of the pan considering the planned wheel test which was due to happen in the beginning of May.