The flood waters of the Hardap and Naute dams caught a hiking group of 14 by surprise on their way to Ai-Ais. The group had set off on their five-day hike on 5 May, one day before the Ministry of Environment and Tourism ordered the canyon to be closed for visitors. The hiking group in the canyon was cut off by masses of water, but nobody came to harm. MET rangers in canoes brought the hikers to an emergency exit one by one through which they were able to leave the canyon.
There was no need, however, to stop Gondwana’s mule trekking tours in the northern reaches of the canyon. At times, when water levels in the Fish River were high, tour guide Manilow Beukes chose alternative routes for his groups. In return the canyon landscape is particularly lush and beautiful at the moment, he says.