Floods at MalaMala – January, 2013

West Street Bridge

West Street Bridge

As a consequence of heavy rains over the past 48 hours, MalaMala Game Reserve has taken a decision to close the reserve with immediate effect and for a minimum of 5 days (to Saturday 26 January 2013).

Upstream from West Street Bridge

Upstream from West Street Bridge

Over 196mm (7½ inches) of rain has fallen and many of the rivers and usually dry tributaries, including the Sand River, are in flood to the point where they cannot be crossed by vehicle.

This decision has not been taken lightly but our environment is at huge risk should we attempt to traverse any part of our reserve in vehicles. Long term environmental damage is our greatest threat and we view this as a non-negotiable.

Causeway

Causeway

We are therefore extremely sorry for any inconvenience caused to guests by this sudden closure and we hope that you will understand the importance of remaining ecologically sensitive at all times.

Whilst the tourism operations of MalaMala Game Reserve have been suspended with immediate effect for 5 days, please note that should the assessment of our road infrastructure dictate a further delay, we may well elect to postpone the opening of the camps but we will advise any affected parties on Friday morning.

MalaMala closed during the floods of 2000 and 2012 consistent with our view that MalaMala’s ecological integrity is our greatest asset and it would not benefit the reserve were we to place our commercial interests ahead of the environment.

Flooding on one of the roads

Flooding on one of the roads

Parts of the road have been washed away

Parts of the road have been washed away

Road damage

Road damage

The following series of photographs was taken in 2011, 2012 and earlier in January, before the heavy rains. They illustrate the changing nature of the river during different seasons.

December 2011 from Maxims Lookout

December 2011 from Maxims Lookout

January 2012 from Maxims Lookout

January 2012 from Maxims Lookout

August 2012 from Maxims Lookout

August 2012 from Maxims Lookout

January 2013 from Maxims lookout

January 2013 from Maxims lookout

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.