Emergencies in the Drakensberg

Emergency Situations

Remember to fill in the Mountain Rescue Register’s and to take the tear-off slip with contact phone numbers with you on your hike. Confirm with the entry staff that these numbers are correct and will be available. Record any additional numbers on the slip if necessary. Transfer these numbers to at least one cell phone that you will be taking with you.

Watch the weather: A bright sunny morning can end in a severe thunder storm with freezing conditions. Extreme weather condition combined with exhaustion can lead to dehydration (extreme heat), hyperthermia (extreme cold) and possibly death. Know the signs and seek shelter immediately, get into dry warm clothing give warm drinks (not alcohol) and seek help immediately.

Protect yourself adequately from not only extreme cold, but also from the sun.

In a thunderstorm don’t seek shelter directly under a solitary tree or rock, rather spread out and sit down, keeping yourself as low as possible.

Keep together only travel as fast as the slowest person in the group. If you getting lost stay together in a group and consider your options as a group. I poor visibility rather stay where you are and report your situation by cell phone rather early than later.

Carry a compass and map of the area and know where you are on the map. This saves valuable time in a real emergency.

In case of a fire, seek refuge in a river, forest, or rocky area, or light the grass at 90° to the wind and move into the burned area. Fire burns very fast up a slope. On a flat area run through the fire at 90° to the flames, covering yourself with a jacket, hold your breath or breathe through your clothing.

Mountain Rivers can flood very quickly and even small streams can be dangerous to cross when flooded. Any strong flowing stream with a water level higher than ankle level can be potentially dangerous.

There are 3 potential dangerous snakes in the area; the Puff Adder, Berg Adder and Rinkhals. The Rinkhals is able to spit and in case of poison in the eyes rinse immediately with water, milk or urine. In case of a snake bite, keep them calm and reduce their movement and seek help immediately.
Do not apply a tourniquet, instead wrap the limb firmly, starting at the top in order to slow but not stop the blood circulation in the limb.

The “Right to Risk” is yours to go where you like, but remember that a rescue team may have to risk their lives to save yours, so please act responsibly while enjoying the World Heritage Site.

• Stabilise the injured person.
• Leader to switch cell phone on and keep it on after reporting the emergency.
• If there is no cell coverage, send two people with a written message to raise the alarm.
Include in the message:
• Name and cell number of the leader.
• Number and ages of members in the group.
• Details of the problem.
• Exact location.
• The contact number of the person sending the message (keep your phone switched on).

Conservation Manager Royal Natal: 036 438 6412 / 082 459 0279
Conservation Manager Cathedral Peak: 036 488 1880 / 084 777 0877
Conservation Manager Monks Cowl: 036 468 1103 / 083 608 3742
Conservation Manager Injasuthi: 036 431 7850 / 072 251 3028
Conservation Manager Giant’s Castle: 036 353 3707 / 084 363 8660
Mountain Rescue: 0800 005133
Emergency Medical Rescue: 10177 / 082 911

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