Cape Town hiker missing in the Drakensberg

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Missing hiker Johann van Coller.PHOTO:
Missing hiker Johann van Coller.PHOTO:

The family of eco-explorer Johann van Coller is sick with worry after not hearing from him.

He’s been out of reach in the last ten days after leaving for a solo hike at Witsies Hoek in the Drakensberg.

Capetonian, Johann van Coller (32), is an adventurer by heart and this was one of the many adventure challenges that he had decided to conquer. Coller started his overall journey when he left on a solo hike on February 1, at L’Agulhas, which is the most Southern tip of Africa with plans to finish at the highest tip of Africa, Kilimanjaro.

Missing hiker Johann van Coller.PHOTO:

Lizanne van Coller, Johann’s sister, said he is experienced and knows the type of terrain, but it would have been his first hike across the Drakensberg.

“We had a deal made that he would check in at least once a day, and if that was not possible, he would contact me or my mom on the third day, but we have not heard anything and his last known whereabouts was when he left for Witsies Hoek in the Drakensberg.”

Johann is an entrepreneur and adventure athlete.

Lizanne told the Ladysmith Herald that his phone has been off for more than a week with no response from him.

“That alarmed us as he has always checked in as discussed”.

She added that he has been away from the family for long periods of time, while doing expeditions, but never without making contact.

“We are devastated, worried sick and exhausted. As you can imagine, when someone you love just suddenly disappears, it has a major toll on all of us as we are a tight knit family.” added Lizanne.

She added that there has been an amazing response from all over, the rescue teams on the ground, the friends willing to assist, and social media has exploded with his story.

“We are so grateful and truly appreciate all the efforts, and pray that he is found safe,” she said.

Missing hiker Johann van Coller.PHOTO:

A missing persons case was opened on Tuesday, October 26, at the Ntabamhlophe Police Station in Estcourt, after the family was instructed to do this by the rescue teams.

Lizanne said the last conversation they had was that he would be going into the mountains, but with no confirmation on where he would start from or go to.

“If anyone knows his whereabouts or has seen him, please contact the Ntambamhlophe police station in Estcourt on 036 3534003.”

Johann van Coller’s last entry made on his Facebook page, Barefoot Magicman, was that he was at Giant’s Castle, Imbabazane area, Estcourt. He also made mention that he had met up with Round Table members from Winterton.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Daily Poll
The IFP has called on the Education Department to ban all matric ‘pens down’ celebrations. What are your thoughts on this matter?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Ban those parties. We’re in a middle of a pandemic
59% - 20 votes
Don’t ban them, they are a rite of passage
9% - 3 votes
I never approved of such parties anyway
32% - 11 votes


Read the digital editions of Witness here.
Read now