The Voetsac Hiking Club is a very friendly club for lovers of nature and the great outdoors and has over 200 members from all over the Eastern Cape. The club caters for all levels of hiking fitness, from day hikes which are generally undertaken on Saturday to strenuous 2/7-day backing expeditions. Day hikes in local areas are usually not more than 1 hour from Port Elizabeth and are divided into 2 groups mainly easy and more moderate groups that do their hikes in different places.
Weekend outings include overnight in cottages and cabins in the eastern cape region. We do slack pack hiking which you basically do different hiking trails from one point and base hiking which you have to walk with full equipped backpack from hut to hut.
Other weekends are spent backpacking and overnighting in caves in the Groot Winterhoek Mountain area. Trails of 4 to 6 days are undertaken a few times each year and include many of South Africa’s most beautiful and popular trails like the Outeniqua , Otter and Tsitskamma.
We also do once a year DO a Drakensberg – and a Cape Town trip. Competent and experienced members, who have the appreciation and preservation of our beautiful country at heart, lead activities.
The leader organize the whole hiking event from depart to home arrival. The club also plan a Sunday event for hikers and there families in a nature area. This consist a small hike and a Sunday lunch or pick nick.
Our Social event takes place every 3rd Wednesday of each month at the German club in Port Elizabeth. We have each time a different spoke person that speaks about a subject. We serve snack at the end of the event .This is a great why for new members to get familiar with the old members and leaders.
The Aim of the Club
- To encourage and promote outdoor adventure activities with the emphasis on hiking.
- To foster an awareness of nature and conservation and to actively support the conservation activities of the various environmental authorities.
- To organise and encourage hikes and related activities.
- To promote safety and enjoyment of the natural environment through training in general and specific outdoor skills.
- To interact with various clubs, groups and authorities with similar interests.
- To raise funds and to apply such funds for the furtherance of the stated objectives.
Structure of the Club
The Club Committee meets monthly, and you are welcome to attend as an observer at any time.
Committee members are elected by the members at the AGM held each March and consists of:
- Vice Chairperson
- Assistant Secretary
- Newsletter Editor
- Co-ordinator – Social
- Co-ordinator – Training
- Co-ordinator – Special Projects
- Co-ordinator – Hike Leaders
- Cp-ordinator – Hike Bookings
Copies of the Constitution and other related issues are available from the Secretary.
Cost of Membership
- New or lapsed members pay a once-off affiliation fee. In addition to this there is an annual membership fee. Current fees are available from the Treasurer.
- Membership fees are reviewed annually.
- Membership fees are used to cover the basic running costs of the Club: the newsletter, postage, hike arrangement fees, and general administration costs.
NEWSLETTER – “VOETPRINTS”
Voetprints contains a variety of information, including editorial comment, reports on past hikes (written by a “volunteer” member of the hike); lists, descriptions and costs of future hikes being promoted; member profile (so you can get to know your fellow hikers a bit better), tips on first aid, equipment, hiking etiquette, hazards, Club notices, social events, training and a swop column. It is compiled by the Editor, who welcomes articles and items of interest from members. A volunteer then produces the final product which is emailed to Club members every month. A hard copy is also made available at the monthly socials.
Nature of Hikes
Voetsac organises and provides a variety of hikes, and normally there are regular Saturday and
weekend hikes to choose from. If backpacking isn’t your first choice, weekend base-camp hikes are also arranged, each section starting from the base camp. Longer hikes are arranged once or twice a year. Hikes vary in terms of degree of difficulty and terrain, from set trails to wilderness, from forest to fynbos or even desert. Hikes are graded as “easy”, “moderate” or “difficult” to assist members.
All day hikes are listed as an attachment to the Voetprints newsletter. Updated hike listings are emailed to all members on a regular basis. Please contact the hike leader for instructions on meeting time and place, and details of the hike. There is normally no restriction as to the number of hikers allowed on day hikes. The newsletter hike listing email will advise if the hike is “open” or “limited”. Payment for the day hikes is made to the hike leader at the meeting point.
Again, all hikes are listed as an attachment to the Voetprints newsletter. Updated hike listings are emailed to all members on a regular basis. Further information on the hikes can be obtained from the listed hike leader .
- Before booking a hike, ensure you are reasonably fit for the hike and be aware of the demands the terrain to be encountered.
- Please contact the hike leader should you have any questions.
- The Club obtains the necessary permits and documentation for the hike.
- The member contacts the Hike Bookings Co-ordinator to book onto the hike.
- Hikes must be paid for when booked. A receipt will be issued.
- Acceptance on any hike is subject to the hike leader’s approval.
- The Hike Booking Co-ordinator must be in possession of payment for the hike, and your full name and contact details, before your booking is confirmed.
- IT IS ALSO THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE HIKER TO CONTACT THE RESPECTIVE HIKE LEADER AT THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY. THE HIKE LEADER’S PHONE NUMBER APPEARS ON THE MEET SHEET.
- YOU ARE NOT ON THE HIKE UNTIL YOU HAVE PAID!!
- If the hike is full, place your name on the waiting list.
- At the discretion of the hike leader, hike bookings will be opened to non-members.
- Since payments received will be remitted to the authorities concerned, refunds cannot be considered.
- Should a hiker find it unavoidable that they cancel their booking for a hike, the cancelling hiker should inform the hike leader and the Hike Bookings Co-ordinator immediately.
- The cancelling hiker will be shown the waiting list. It is their responsibility to obtain a replacement from this list.
- The refund of any booking fee is a matter between the person cancelling and the person filling their place.
The Waiting List
- The waiting list will run on a “first on the list, first contacted” basis.
- In the case of a hike being fully booked, please append your name to the waiting list (irrespective of numbers).
- No payment should be made by a hiker on the waiting list, unless a cancellation occurs.
- Any hiker on the waiting list who is unable to participate on the hike must remove their name from the waiting list immediately.