Well-known hiker feared missing in Drakensberg

Posted by Anita Froneman on 26 October 2021

Adventurer and hiker Johann van Coller, also known as the ‘Barefoot Magic Man’ has been reported missing in the Drakensberg area. Van Coller is on a solo journey hiking from Cape Agulhas to Mount Kilimanjaro, but has not checked in with his team at the agreed-upon date and no one is currently able to reach him.

He is presumed to be somewhere between the Amphitheatre and Giants Castle in the Drakensberg. He was last seen at Witsieshoek on 18 October, Facebook hiking groups reported.

Search teams have been called off, however, his friends and family have said they are not giving up hope just yet.

‘After in-depth discussions with experts in the field of Trail hiking in the Drakensberg, we have decided to call off the Search and Rescue. According to them, there is no reason, apart from Johann not communicating, to start panicking. This trail can last between 5 – 10 days if he is not in a rush (which I doubt he is). We are now on Day 8,’ a friend posted on Facebook.

‘So, we will have to wait and see and just hope that he is in good health and just enjoying his trip as always. They have not stopped rangers etc to be on the lookout and everyone is still on high alert.’

Anyone with any information is urged to contact Madeleine de Villiers on 072 074 5394.

Picture: Johann van Coller

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