The Background of the KZN Floods
In April this year, the province of KwaZulu-Natal was under water. Extreme weather conditions were experienced as our home was subjected to inexhaustible flooding. For a week, the rain did not stop, and disaster spread across the region. A lot of people lost their lives, loved ones, their homes and possessions. The KZN infrastructure suffered greatly as bridges collapsed and landslides occurred. The devastation was complete for many people, families, business and communities. Unfortunately, Giba Gorge was not spared.
The impact of the Floods on Giba Gorge
With the damage sustained by the road, the park was forced to close for three days. After the road had been fixed, the park was accessible and we were able to open the restaurant. The damage to the trails, however, had yet to be assessed. As the Giba team ventured out onto the trails we discovered a whole new park. The once small river that trickled through Giba had become the center piece. It tripled in size, and seized any trails in its wake. Despite the destruction, it was quite spectacular to witness the power of water in this way.
Restoration after the Floods
Climbing through deep ravines and sinkholes, we explored the trails that remained. Many of the trails were obstructed by fallen trees, and we concluded that the park would need a lot of work before we opened the trails again. In no time at all, the trail team set out to do the tireless work of restoring the trails back to their original standard. During this time, we appealed to the public who were eager to help, and we managed to get a great team of volunteers together. Together, the trail team and the volunteers did some epic work. In less than a week, we opened for runners and hikers and 4 days later, most of the trails were open to riders again.
Appreciation for Our Helpers
It was a bumpy ride, but the community around us showed up and proved to be the best there is! The hard work, passion and dedication that was bought to the table in these trying times truly made us realize what an incredible Giba Team we have! (Yes, that includes all of our customers.) We could not have reopened the park in such a short time if it wasn’t for everyone that contributed what they could. For that we are eternally grateful.
The Calm After the Floods
Looking back on the flooding, we can appreciate that nature will always run its course. If this was the renovations Mother Nature decided on, who are we to argue? The riverbed has completely changed the Giba Gorge experience in a beautiful way, and while acknowledging the devastation it caused, we are celebrating the reset. These events, although unfortunate, have a way of keeping things interesting. We are, after all, a nature conservancy and anything natural will be embraced at Giba Gorge Adventure Park.
Photos by Steve McCurrach