Cape Town – Although all day and multi-day hiking trails, including the world famous Otter trail in the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park (GRNP) are open, the Jubilee Creek picnic area remain closed.
Trails in and around Goudveld were still closed at the time of publishing, but are under assessment and will be reopened as soon as possible, Nandi Mgwadlamba for the GRNP told Traveller24.
The Ebb & Flow Rest Camp in the Wilderness section of the Park is also open and operating. However, the trails in this area are being monitored due to high water levels, particularly the Half-collared (7,2km) and Brown-hooded trails (4,1km).
GRNP manager for the Knysna area Johan de Klerk said, “Roads in the forestry areas in Knysna (Kom-se-Pad) are drivable and trees, debris and water have cleared. Water in the Natures Valley camp has also subsided.”
Water is expected to drain into the rivers and oceans even more in the coming days, which means the GRNP will be fully operational in the upcoming FREE SA National Parks Week stretching from 14 – 19 September.
General Manager of the GRNP, Jill Bunding-Venter has assured all visitors that “all planned activities for SA National Parks Week will proceed.”
Traveller24 on Tuesday, 9 September, reported that initial flooding occurred on the first day of Spring when the Grootriver in Nature’s Valley came down heavily, flooding the entire Nature’s Valley Camp in less than three hours.
Hikers who were on the famous Otter trail at the time had to make use of an alternative route, via a dangerous river crossing, in order to escape the flooding and get to their destination safely.
The Otter trail was closed on 1 and 2 September for hikers who had to start on those days.