Nature’s Lung

The Olifants River in Kruger National Park has been described as one of the most environmentally polluted rivers in Southern Africa which is located next to the Palabora mine pit, the largest copper mine in South Africa. Untreated water can be used for many purposes including irrigation, recreation, consumption, and domestic purposes, and The famous “Big Five” wildlife, especially elephants, are often seen around the Olifants River. The pollution problem has plagued the health of local residents and wildlife for the past decade.
        The pollution was caused by a long-term drought in South Africa that caused groundwater to backflow, carrying harmful elements from the mine into the river and sediment.At the same time, due to the excessive weathering of the land caused by the drought, the polluted sediment is easy to accumulate on the riverbed in the flood season, which accelerates the shrinkage of the river in the dry season and the reduction of the water retention capacity of the river.


Sanne van den Breemer
Filip Geerts
Ilmar Hurkxkens

Director of Studies

Salomon Frausto


Nigel Alarcon(MX), Pooja Bhave(IN), Mariano Cuofano(IT), Fabiola Cruz(PE), Alonso Díaz(MX), Xiaoyu Ding(CN), Ines Garcia‑Lezana(ES), Sandra Garcia(ES), Martino Greco(IT), Sebastian Hitchcock(ZA), Alejandra Huesca(MX), Yesah Hwangbo(KR), Takuma Johnson(US), Yi-Ni Lin(TW), Paola Tovar(MX), Cristhy Mattos(BR), Preradon Pimpakan(TH), Adi Samet(IL), Raymond Tang(US), Kulaporn Temudom(TH), Danai Tsigkanou(GR), Jesse Verdoes(NL), Rongting Xiao(CN)