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Four South Africans missing in Namibia’s Fish River Canyon

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Four South African tourists have gone missing in Namibia‘s Fish River Canyon, one of the world’s largest canyons, Namibia’s state-owned tourism company reported Monday.

They were part of a group of 10 South African tourists who sent out a distress call on Saturday when they could not find their way out of the canyon, prompting a helicopter and ground search-and-rescue operation.

Six managed to get out on their own, but four remained missing by Monday afternoon in t he canyon 600 kilometres (370 miles) south of the capital Windhoek, Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR)’s spokesperson Nelson Ashipala said.

The NWR “is aware of the four tourists that have been reported missing in the Fish River Canyon,” he said.

It’s not the first time that people have got lost in the rugged iconic and treacherously steep terrained canyon.

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In 2016, two German nationals, a 47-year-old woman and her 28-year-old daughter, went missing and died in the Fish River Canyon after they visited Namibia to collect cremated remains of two family members who had perished in a car crash.

In 2001, a French tourist died after a fall in the canyon while hiking in scorching conditions.

The canyon located next to the border with South Africa, is the largest on the continent and constitutes a 160-kilometre (99 miles) long ravine spanning 27-kilometres (17 miles) in width and dropping around 550-metres (1,800 feet) deep.

Tourists flock to the area for its majestic but ragged hiking trail considered to be one of the most popular in Southern Africa.