Tourists who were reported missing in Namibia’s Fish River Canyon have been found, according to local authorities.
A search was launched for the hikers over the weekend though it was not clear their actual number.
They included a South African couple who were said to have sent out multiple distress signals, prompting the rescue mission.
But on Monday, a Namibian government tourism official told local newspaper The Namibian that the whereabouts of the couple and others who had been reported missing were now known and that nobody was missing.
An official of the Namibia Wildlife Resorts (NWR) told the Informanté publication that six of the tourists exited the park without “clocking out”.
Environment and Tourism executive director Teofilus Nghitila had also reiterated the same message saying to Eagle FM: “They did not arrive on time. No one went missing there. Yes, they are found.”
He added that the case was no emergency as had been speculated. “It is just normal. I don’t know who is pressing the alarm button. It was just a delay,” he stressed.
“I spoke to the regional head, who informed me that there is no reason to panic at this stage. Everything is okay, and no cause for alarm.”
Officials have urged all tourists and hikers at the canyon to register before continuing to their respective destinations.
The canyon, which is situated along the lower reaches of the Fish River in southern Namibia, is one of Africa’s most impressive natural wonders.
It’s Africa’s longest canyon and the second largest in the world, after the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
The intense 85km (52 miles) hiking trail on the floor of the canyon is only accessible from May to mid-September because of the soaring desert temperatures.