Skeleton Gorge Table Mountain

At 17h30 on Friday the 6th of September 2019 the Peninsula Wilderness Search And Rescue (WSAR) was activated after a caller reported that a 30 year old male visitor from the USA required assistance after suffering severe dehydration while hiking on Table Mountain.

Metro Medical Rescue Technicians, Rescue Mountaineers and Logistical support crew were dispatched to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in order to search for the stricken party who had apparently veered off the dedicated path by following a “mountain goat trail” while ascending the popular Skeleton Gorge route. The “goats’ being referred to are the Himalayan tahr which had managed to establish an expanded herd after a pair escaped from the Cape Town zoo below Rhodes Memorial as far back as the 1940s.

The hikers found themselves scrambling up a rock face after following a lone tahr in the distance. They were fortunate enough to navigate themselves back onto the ravine path where they were discovered by the rescue crew. Darkness had already set in by this time.

Once the casualty had been offered sustenance, he was able to proceed on foot down the gorge to safety at Kirstenbosch gardens. After no further assistance was required, the tourists left via private transport.

WSAR would like to thank the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) as well as the Security Command Center at Kirstenbosch for their ongoing support during search and rescue operations on the east facing mountain slopes above their gardens.


WSAR urges the public to please:-

  • use registered Mountain Guides should you be visiting from abroad
  • carry a Slingsby map in the party
  • use dedicated and well worn paths only
  • familiarise yourself with the route that your party would like to explore
  • retrace your way as soon as you feel that your party has lost the path

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.



Please click here if you would like to support the WSAR Trust, thank you.