Technical and high-altitude rescues are carried out under a joint protocol between the Mountain Club, KZN Wildlife, and the provincial Health Department. The Mountain Club forms the backbone of all technical rescues. Most rescues are supported by helicopters of the South African Air Force and on some occasions by private helicopters or the SAPS Airwing. Some easy, non-technical rescues are carried out by the ranger-in-charge and these usually involve stretcher parties or horses. In the case of a missing hiker or a known death, the operation is carried out under the authority of the police. Part of your entry fee that you pay when entering the park is allocated to Drakensberg mountain rescue.
In the Drakensberg mountains the reporting party should try, at first, to contact the nearest ranger’s office, either by cell phone or by going there in person. As a second choice, phone 0800 00 5133 and report that there is a “mountain rescue” required. The operator will then contact a Mountain Club Rescue Organiser and a rescue will get underway.
Remember that in rescues in remote areas of the mountains, it will take some time until help can get to you. In the case of a low-key operation near to civilization, this may be less than an hour. In the case when a large powerful helicopter is needed, at least two or more hours, or longer, will go past before it arrives. This can be even longer if the weather is bad and a rescue team has to drive to the mountains and then hike to the scene.
Cell : 082 990 5876
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