|Castle Gorge, Magaliesberg

Brief summary of venue Castle Gorge is a hidden gem for hikers, featuring beautiful waterfalls, crystal clear pools and weathered rock formations that are great for swimming and photographing. There are also a few good trad climbs for die-hard climbers.
 Permit/ permission info Paid-up MCSA members do not need permits. All non-members need to apply for permits to the Johannesburg Hiking Club (JHC). JHC will also supply directions and gate codes. Allow three days before your weekend outing for EFT payments to clear and emails to arrive. - Contact admin@jhbhiking.co.za
Approximate travelling time from Johannesburg One hour.
 Parking information Shady and secure parking available.
 Info on walk in While the walk in to Castle Gorge is one of the longest, it’s also one of the most beautiful. A fairly steep walk from the car (with plenty of shade to rest under) levels onto a sunny plateau before dropping into the Gorge. The path is excellent which makes the going relatively easy and as such the hike can still be done in a comfortable hour. The final descent into the Gorge is a little tricky and exposed.
 Accommodation Plenty of beautiful camping spots available next to the stream and pools.
Availability of water for drinking Plenty of water available.
 Climbing route guide The MCSA Johannesburg Section has published a route guide of the rock climbs, available on our website here.
 Climbing information Castle Gorge has 23 trad routes between 30 to 45 metres long ranging between grades 7 to 23. A few of the routes are star graded and very worthwhile doing. Descents are via gullies.
 Child friendly Yes, though the walk in is long.
 Swimming Yes, some great spots both above and within the Gorge.
 Camp fires No.
 Other attractions A photographer’s delight.
 Dangers The area above the waterfall is slippery and dangerous, and accidents have occurred.
 Contacts Johannesburg Hiking Club. admin@jbhiking.co.za; tel: 078 885 6505 8:30am - 12:30 weekdays.
    • 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.

      WE URGE THE PUBLIC:
      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.
      WHY?
      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

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