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).
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.
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.
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.