Iconic Whale Trail shuts due to flooding

(Photo: Hanlie Gouws)
(Photo: Hanlie Gouws)

Cape Town - Heavy rains along the South African coastline has temporarily shut the iconic Whale Trail in De Hoop Nature Reserve in the Western Cape. 

CapeNature reserves confirmed the trail's closure on Wednesday morning, 27 July, saying "due to localised flooding, the Whale Trail is temporarily closed". 

The Swartberg pass and all hiking trails in the area were also shut for travellers on Tuesday, 26 July, but has since been reopened.

Hikers in the area are urged to proceed with caution in the adverse weather conditions, CapeNature says. 

Justin Lawrence, spokesperson for CapeNature, told Traveller24 that hikers with reservations on the Whale Trail will be accommodated as best possible.

"We are currently contacting all the people that are booked on trail, and will try to reschedule their hikes to future dates," Lawrence says. 

Hikers booked on the trail contact the CapeNature call centre on 021 483 0190, or the De Hoop Nature Reserve on 079 528 3549

South African National Parks on Tuesday evening also urged hikers and fishermen to stay clear of coastal recreational areas in the country, as heavy rain has resulted in unstable ground and slippery surfaces. 

SEE: SANParks urges hikers, fishermen to stay clear of coastal areas

According to the South African Weather Service, the severe weather is expected to intensify over the western parts of the country and continue until Thursday, 28 July. 

More heavy rain leading to localised flooding is expected in places over the north-eastern parts of KwaZulu-Natal, as well as the northern parts of the West Coast District and southern parts of the Namakwa District in the Western Cape. 

In response to these weather warnings, the Western Cape Disaster Management Centre (WCDMC) says it is preparing for severe weather conditions along the Cape coastal regions. Cold to freezing conditions can be expected to carry through to the following week.

What to read next on Traveller24:

PICS: Snow-covered mountain passes re-open, travellers urged go slow

PICS: 'One of the coldest nights of 2016' hits SA

Weather Update: More floods, thunderstorms and high seas expected

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