Flash flood at Afriski Mountain Resort in Lesotho. Photo: screenshot

Afriski was hit by its most brutal flood ever, with 60mm of rainfall measured in 30 minutes… which is equivalent to one-tenth of Johannesburg’s annual rainfall in half-an-hour. This is the first time that flooding has occurred at the Lesotho resort since it opened its doors in 2000. The damage to internal roads, infrastructure and buildings is extensive; but fortunately no lives were lost.

Afriski said in a statement on Tuesday that staff and guests have remained safe, although the “destruction caused by the floods will amount to millions of rands“.

Afriski has recorded unprecedented levels of rainfall in the Maluti Mountains of over 800mm since December 2020, while recording only 400mm the previous year. Although the floods have come as a shock, rain can be scarce in this area and remains vital for the entire operation.

WATCH VIDEO: Flash floods at Afriski Mountain Resort, Lesotho

The tourism industry has been shattered by the Covid-19 pandemic with Afriski Mountain Resort suffering like so many others; plus enduring the additional obstacle of border closures and travel restrictions in both Lesotho and South Africa for a year now.

However the resort remains always positive! Afriski Managing Director Peter Peyper says: “Despite the pandemic and the closed borders, Afriski has made every successful effort to remain open during the last year, and this is not a simple undertaking when it comes to the winter season and providing snow in Africa. Afriski remains positive and hopeful that we will continue to welcome back our loyal guests this year.”