After three days of searching, the missing hiker has been found in the Jonkerhoek Mountain Reserve.
“The body of Pieter Morkel (35) was found on Friday morning in the Stellenbosch Berg when a technical team searched a gorge,” said Justin Lawrence from CapeNature.
“Mr Morkel went on a solo hike in the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve near Stellenbosch on Monday afternoon, 21 October, and was planning to spend the evening in the mountains. He was reported missing late on Tuesday evening.
“A team made up from Wilderness Search and Rescue, South African Police Services, Volunteer Wildfire Services and CapeNature had been searching for him since Wednesday morning. Numerous volunteers and a Skymed rescue helicopter had combed the Stellenbosch area and his body was found on Friday. Mr Morkel is believed to have fallen off a steep cliff to his death.”
CapeNature Acting CEO, Dr Kas Hamman, expressed his condolences to the Morkel family.
“On behalf of CapeNature, we wish to express our condolences to the Morkel family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this difficult time,” said Hamman.
Incident manager Donny Dunn said: “We want to thank all the family, friends and volunteers who searched tirelessly since Wednesday morning. Our condolences go out to the family.”
With the summer hiking season almost upon us, being prepared is the key to having a safe and enjoyable experience and we urge all hikers to make safety a priority before heading out on any trails.
Before heading out, check your equipment, the terrain, conditions, local weather and ensure you have the necessary permits. Even if you are headed out for a short period, an injury, severe weather or a wrong turn could become threatening. Never hike alone and pace your hike to the slowest person in your group.
For more safety guidelines visit capenature.co.za.