The section proudly owns a number of mountain properties
- Lady’s Slipper near Port Elizabeth,
- Cockscomb and T'numkwa cave,
- Witte River in the Baviaanskloof,
- Formosa Hut in the Tsitsikamma forest,
- Hoeree servitude in the Kouga mountains near Smutsberg.
Did you know??
All members also have access to properties and huts owned by other sections of the MCSA throughout South Africa, as well as mountain chalets and huts in many parts of the world through the MCSA's affiliation with the UIAA (International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation) and their Mountain Hut Exchange Program.
With the exception of Lady's Slipper, access to all our properties is restricted to MCSA members. To find out more about becoming a member, see the membership page.
For access arrangements and permits please contact our Hut Warden, Werner Illenberger, on 083 6261917 or complete the form below.
This beautiful mountain reserve is the property of the Mountain Club of South Africa and, although clear and fairly well maintained, the path to the peak is a rugged track rather than a manicured trail. It is steep and loose in places, so should be undertaken by fit and sure-footed hikers. The rocky peaks, pristine fynbos and magnificent quartzite outcrops are sure to impress. It is the easternmost extent of mountain fynbos!
Not suitable for children under 8 years; no dogs; open daily from 8am to 5pm (6pm in summer).
Directions to Lady Slipper from Port Elizabeth
Driving on the N2 towards Humansdorp, take exit 713, R102 (R334) Uitenhage/Van Stadens Pass. Turn right and continue towards Uitenhage, 200m after crossing the railway line turn left onto a dirt road. Look out for the signs to Falcon Rock (1.2km). A permit is required, costing R20 per person, and is obtainable at Falcon Rock. Safe parking and ablution facilities are available, as well as a restaurant/pub where you can obtain refreshments (for opening times see www.falconrock.co.za).
Falcon Rock are independently owned/operated, for inquiries contact Falcon Rock 041 956 0151 or 083 273 456
The Lady Slipper trail starts at Falcon Rock and climbs steeply up the mountain through the fynbos. About a third of the way up, you come to an open rock platform from where there are great views and this is a good spot for a breather. The gradient eases for a short while and then the climb begins in earnest as you make your way up a rugged section to the base of the rock cliffs. From here continue eastward (towards Port Elizabeth) to the shoulder (or "nek"). The path turns sharp left (West) to the summit. The Groot Winterhoek mountain range dominates the skyline to the north, with Cockscomb at its western end. To the south you can see the coast from Port Elizabeth to Cape St Francis and beyond. Return the same way, taking it easy on the way down – it’s very easy to slip.
The trail will take two hours up and down. But allow time to enjoy the view. Be sure to take water and a windbreaker.
Cockscomb and T'Numqua Cave
This beautiful mountain peak is the highest of Groot Winterhoek mountain range at 1758m. This mountainous MCSA property is a regular event on the club's outings. There are various routes up the peak, all with some level of exposure. The breath-taking 360° view from the top looks down the Elands Valley to the east, Baviaans to the West and the Karoo to the North. On a clear day many of the other great peaks can be seen as far as Graaff Reinet.
T'Numqua ("Mountain of Mists") cave is situated just north of Cockscomb peak at 1300m, equipped with a fireplace, water tank and long-drop, and offers special evenings next to this magnificent peak.
The Cockscomb and the kloofs leading North from it, such as Pinnacle and Momentum, has excellent climbing routes - both Traditional and Sport.
It was in 1950 while climbing Cockscomb via Waterfall cave that Dennis Moore conceived the idea of forming a club which became the Eastern Province Section of MCSA. Later in 1970 the club purchased its portion of the Cockscomb mountain.
Witte River - Baviaanskloof
The Witte river flows through Poortjies as you enter the Baviaanskloof Reserve from Patensie. This MCSA property is a pristine kloof in the Baviaans with crystal clear pools and one of the few remaining privately owned properties inside the Baviaanskloof Reserve.
In 1972 Gwen Skinner, a member of the Mountain Club, discovered and collected specimens of an unusual flowering bulb. These proved to be a new species endemic to the eastern Bavianskloof, and was named Cyrtanthus montanus in honour of the Mountain Club. And in August 1981 Witte River was purchased in order to protect the habitat of this rare plant.
In 1960 the club entered into an agreement with the then Department of Forestry to build a hut in the Lottering area. This picturesque hut below Peak Formosa in the Tsitsikammas serves as a basecamp when kloofing and has been the venue for many festivities. You must be a member of the Mountain Club of South Africa to visit this Hut. Here's how you become a member.
Go to our History page to see some photos taken while building the hut.