Monday, October 27, 2008

ROBBEN ISLAND MUSEUM TWO-WEEK MAINTENANCE CLOSURE – an informational message from 2AFRIKA’s Founder & President, Kenneth R. Hieber


Robben Island Museum will close for two weeks from between November 01st and 16th, 2008 to carry out essential maintenance and other improvement projects to:

1. Repair and replace tour buses
2. Refurbish vessels
3. And, manage the invasive European rabbit population.

Following an intensive consultation process initiated by the Robben Island Museum, that included the Cape of Good Hope SPCA, the State Veterinarian and Cape Nature, immediate action will be taken to avert an ecological crisis on the Island as a result of rabbit overpopulation.

While the precise number of rabbits is unknown, the current population is so large that it threatens to permanently damage the Island’s sensitive vegetation, and poses a serious threat to other fauna species, both alien and indigenous. They also threaten historical buildings and heritage sites on the Island. Unchecked, the large number of rabbits in an environment without much natural water will result in the harrowing death of many rabbits through starvation and thirst over the coming dry season.

After considering all the options available within the regulatory framework, a decision was made to implement a two-pronged approach that aims, firstly, to relieve stress on the Island’s ecosystem through a humane culling program and, secondly, to sustain a small, manageable population of rabbits through a sterilization program over the longer term. The programs will be carried out by Robben Island Museum in partnership with veterinary experts from the SPCA, the State Vet and other qualified practitioners and volunteers.

The decision to cull the animals was a very difficult one; however, there are no other alternatives available to restore ecological balance on Robben Island and to save important heritage sites from further degradation.

With 2AFRIKA, INC., you are always the first to know!

For further information on this informational Blog post or any Safari in the 2AFRIKA Collection, visit us on the web at, INC. remains committed to Corporate Social Responsibility in Tourism.