|Makapansgat, Limpopo Province

Brief summary of venue Makapansgat is about 100 kilometres South of Polokwane (formerly Pietersburg) near Mokopane (formerly Potgietersrus) in the Strydpoort mountain range, making it an ideal weekend trip or a handy alternative if you’re rained off Blouberg. It’s an all-trad venue with a super easy walk-in, very exposed, wild and beautiful camping, deep pools, high waterfalls and easy-to-access cragging. There is lots of new route potential.
 Permit/ permission info Due to the paleontological sensitivity of Makapansgat, the MCSA was denied admission for almost twenty years. However, access to Makapansgat has recently been granted based on the goodwill of the Limpopo Provincial Government following hard work by the MCSA JHB Section. Access is granted on the following conditions: 1.Only MCSA members and guests allowed. Each party must have at least one MCSA member. 2. Before visiting, phone: JT Mmako, Site Manager Makapan Valley World Heritage Site on 015 293 8443 to confirm your attendance. Please note: Neil Margetts has a copy of an agreement letter between the Limpopo Provincial Government and MCSA granting access. Contact Neil on info@saclimbingacademy.co.za 3. No bolting allowed. 4. No littering, including cigarette butts. 5. No unnecessary damage to plants. 6. No animals, including dogs.
Approximate travelling time from Johannesburg Three to three and a half hours.
 Parking information Shady parking available about 10 to 15 minutes walk from camping
 Info on walk in It’s a 10 to 15 minutes walk to the base of the climbs from the campsite, with no path. From the parking walk North West up to a shallow neck, then walk North past a tall old Aloe and down through scrubby thorn trees until you run out of ground at the cliffs.
 Accommodation The campsite is about 10 to 15 minutes walk from where cars are parked. Camping is right on the lip of the cliffs, offering many superb spots.
Availability of water for drinking The river is perennial but the water quality is not guaranteed. If you’re worried its best to take your own water.
 Climbing route guide Hector Pringle: ‘Makapansgat – a Climber’s Guide to Limpopo Cragging, South Africa’, available online:www.climb.co.za/wiki/index.php/Makapansgat.
 Climbing information There are 5 climbing areas with a range of multi and single pitch routes:· The Gulley: 20 to 50 metres high, 16 climbs ranging between grades 9 and 22, in the shade. Twin Cracks: 50 to 100 metres high, 7 climbs ranging between grades 16 and 19, north facing so in the sun.· Waterfall Area, Left: 70 metres high, 1 climb, a grade 19, north facing so in the sun. ·Waterfall Area, Right: 50 to 80 metres high, 4 climbs ranging between 17 and 23, east facing so gets morning sun.· Jackal Pinnacle: 20 to 60 metres high, 13 climbs ranging between 15 and 22, east facing so gets morning sun, though many of the shorter routes are in the shade.
 Child friendly Not suitable for young children as camping is within 5 metres of cliff edge.
 Swimming Yes.
 Camp fires Fires are allowed but bring your own wood and keep fires controlled.
 Other attractions Wild and beautiful setting, deep pools and high waterfalls.
 Dangers None
 Contacts For permission, contact: JT Mmako, Site Manager Makapan Valley World Heritage Site: 015 293 8443.
    • Message from National Search & Rescue:Notice regarding Mountain Rescue during the COVID-19 lockdown

      We are all aware how Public Health guidelines have urged the public to 'flatten the curve' of the COVID-19 virus, and our President's announcement of lockdown is a welcomed show of courageous leadership that South Africa needs at this time.

      The Mountain Club of SA's Search and Rescue teams support this approach categorically.

      1) If engaging in some last minute pursuits this week, please engage in ultra-low-risk activities only. Please also respect closures already in place by SAN Parks and Ezemvelo.
      2) Please respect the lockdown unconditionally.
      Because it is the right thing to do.
      ...and accidents do happen, no matter how expert you think you may be.
      The MCSA's search and rescue team make themselves available because we believe in the value of responsible enjoyment of the wilderness, and in supporting our outdoor colleagues and community.
      Where life and limb is at stake, our members may still come to your aid.

      HOWEVER, during this crisis:
      - Healthcare infrastructure must be reserved for only the most critical, necessary cases.
      - Your own exposure to the virus will be significantly higher while being rescued and receiving healthcare.
      - Our search and rescue volunteers are not 'essential healthcare workers'. Don't be selfish!
      If our members must respond to a call-out during the lockdown period, they invalidate their and their family's quarantine activities during this critical time and that may have an impact on their ability to return to work.
      - S&R response may in fact be limited - our approach to incident management will be to coach and support self-rescue, or to send minimum-team responses.

      We look forward to a time soon where we can all enjoy our wilderness and natural areas together, assured of the safety and well being of our loved ones at home.

      Thank you.
      MCSA Search & Rescue


  • MCSA Office is closed.
  • CityRock is closed.
  • Contact  
    This Newsletter is our primary method of communication with you. Please notify us if your email or other contact information has changed: admin@jhb.mcsa.org.za.
  • Communications will still be sent out via this medium.
  • "It is with further consideration of isolation that all MCSA meets have been cancelled pending further notice" steve Hoffe. Chairman.