SANParks rangers on high alert after robbery on trail in Wilderness

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South African National Parks (SANParks) rangers and South African Police Service (SAPS) are on high alert following the mugging of a Dutch couple in Wilderness 19 February.

‘We received the news with shock at about 14:30 yesterday and immediately responded by increasing the number of rangers patrolling the Brown Hooded trail’ says Paddy Gordon, Park Manager of the Garden Route National Park.

A Dutch couple was robbed of valuables whilst walking the Brown-hooded trail in Wilderness. They are staying in a private establishment close to the National Park. Upon hearing news of the robbery, SANParks rangers and SAPS immediately went to look for suspects as described by the victims.

The couple is expected to attend a trauma debriefing session organised by the Police.

While SAPS continues to search for the suspects, SANParks has escalated the number of patrols on the trail and continues to engage the Policing Forum for Wilderness.

While this is the first criminal incident reported on Wilderness hiking trails this year, SANParks is requesting all visitors to its trails to not make expensive valuables visible while on trails. This includes jewellery, cameras, cellphones and others.

The Brown-hooded trail is a three- hour linear route which is about 5km. It goes through forest patches and hikers get to cross the Duiwe River at least 5 times whilst on the trail.