Palmiet Saturday Outing

Report by Elena Russell

Palmiet was a wash-out but great pics of the raging Palmiet!

The Saturday outing to the Palmiet Nature Reserve was rained out. I drove through Westville in pouring rain which eased off slightly as I arrived at the reserve. Four hardy souls had also ventured out in the hopes of some birding.

We walked down the concrete path to the river crossing (stepping stones) but here we were met by the raging torrent of the Palmiet River – lovely photos by James Wheeler.

No hope of crossing the river.  From the debris on the banks it looked like the river had risen much higher during the night and as I write this on Sunday morning the rain is pelting down so the river must still be rising and racing down to the sea. We wondered where the source was and does it flow into the Umbilo River and then down into the harbour?

We also walked a little way alongside the river path but it was slippery and muddy and altogether not very pleasant – by this stage we had seen about 3 birds – no Mountain Wagtails, not too many rocks or stones visible for them to hop around on – so by mutual consent we called it a day!

Is there some other way to cross the river besides the stepping stones?

Here’s hoping for better weather for the June outing.



Comment from Lesley Frescura:

Hi Elena,

You should see the river this morning after all last night’s rain and continuing!!

There is no other way to cross the Palmiet other than by the stepping stones – the bridge was washed away a few years back and the municipality says it does not have the budget to build another one.

The Palmiet becomes a raging torrent very quickly and also subsides very quickly so that has to be taken into account – it’s not only the water but the debris that washes down and then catches on the side of any bridge until the build-up becomes too great and the bridge is washed away.

Thanks for the pics.  Hopefully the drought is now over – never seen so much water in the 13 years we’ve lived here.

Lesley Frescura

One Comment Add yours

  1. Dave Rimmer says:

    Unfortunately the drought is by no means over. Very little, if any rain fell in the inland catchment areas so water restrictions will be with us until at least Christmas. The summer rain predictions do not look good either so the haul could be even longer. SAVE EVERY PRECIOUS DROP!!!

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