Skeleton Gorge Table Mountain

At 14h35 on Sunday the 23rd of June 2019 the Peninsula Wilderness Search And Rescue (WSAR) was activated after the South African Police Services (SAPS) requested a mountain search based on information that they had received.

A 21 year old Mozambican male who resides in Cape Town had been reported missing earlier in the week. It was  confirmed that he had entered the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in possession of a small back pack. The possibility that he had gone on a hike in the Table Mountain National Park was considered, and this is when SAPS, Metro Medical Rescue Technicians, Rescue Mountaineers, K9 unit, Kirstenbosch security and Metro Police assembled at a designated area which became the Incident Command Post (ICP). As members reported to the ICP, teams were dispatched to search as many paths as possible while making use of the last hours of daylight. This search yielded no clues or sign of the person, and by nightfall, all teams were withdrawn from the mountain.

The operation resumed at 09h00 the next morning when multiple fresh teams were tasked to search specific areas. At approximately 13h30, a team that was scanning a section of Skeleton Gorge was informed by hikers who were ascending the route, that they had noticed what may be signs of a person. The hikers directed the rescuers to the scene, and on arrival, the person was unfortunately confirmed to be deceased. Once it was positively known that this was indeed the subject of the search, the operation then progressed to that of a body recovery.

Due to the location where the body was discovered, Rescue Climbers had to make use of rope and other equipment in order to retrieve the body before it could be packaged and loaded onto a stretcher. The deceased was then carried down the gorge to a jeep track and placed in a vehicle which transported the body to the ICP where it was handed over to the Forensic Pathology Services.

WSAR would like to convey sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased.

  • The assistance of the City of Cape Town Disaster Risk Management unit on this operation is much appreciated.

WSAR urges the public to please:-

  • inform a responsible person regarding your hiking plans
  • not walk on your own

WSAR is a volunteer based organisation.

Call 021 937 0300 or 112 for any wilderness or mountain rescue response.

In association with the Western Cape Emergency Medical Services.


WSAR is a member of the International Commission of Alpine Rescue.



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