Wilderness Last Mile
Photo Credit: Lukas Hartmann via Pexels

The Wilderness Search and Rescue team work tirelessly to save people who find themselves injured along the coastline, cliffs and mountains of the Western Cape.


Cape Town, South Africa (11 January 2023) – Summer is well and truly here which means people are actively seeking adventure and outdoor activities. This means lots of hiking, picnics, sightseeing and adventure. Any of these things can lead to an emergency, so it is important to know what to do if you find yourself, someone you love or a total stranger in need.

We have been following several of the rescues done by the Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) Western Cape team. Over Christmas Eve and Day, the team rescued two foreign tourists that had gotten into various situations within the Western Cape. They remain on call as the summer season sees an influx of outdoor adventure seekers.

The WSAR team shared a detailed post on what to do in an emergency which you can read in full here. We have given the basics so you know what to do today! They classify the Wilderness Environment as Mountains, Shorelines, Rivers, Kloofs, Non-mountainous wilderness areas, Caves, Deserts, Forests.

Did you know: There is no charge for rescue services in South Africa. So if you find yourself in danger in the Wilderness, you want be charged to be rescued. You just have to call 021 937 0300 (save that number to you phone) and help will be sent. The number will take you directly to the Metro Control centre who will then coordinate a rescue or assistance depending on what is needed.

  1. The first thing you need to do if in an emergency, is check if you have signal. If there is no signal, someone from your group needs to try find some to get in touch with the Metro Control.
  2. Collect all the relevant information so that the Metro Control can send the correct type of aid. This means providing detail about what type of incident has taken place and where.
    – Detail how many people there are and which of them have injuries (e.g. “one male, head/neck injury” – short and to the point.)
    – Give your location, name of the place you were heading, and if you have GPS co-ordinates.
  3. Once you have all the correct details, call the Metro Control. The operator will do their best to assist you, just remain calm and give the information you have.

The Wilderness Search and Rescue is supported by many volunteer groups. These include Delta Search and Rescue, Hamnet, Hikers Network, K9 Search and Rescue, Mountain Club of South Africa – Search and Rescue, National Sea Rescue Institute, Off-Road Rescue Unit, Overberg Fire Rescue, SARZA and Trail Search and Rescue. They also work closely with local government and its agencies, such as the police force, CapeNature, SANParks, The South African Airforce and Metro Emergency Medical Services.

You can find out more about WSAR via the website here. You can support by becoming a qualified volunteer or contributing to the costs of running the rescue service here.

Sources: WSAR
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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