Voetsac (East Cape Adventure and Hiking Association) is a friendly club for lovers of both nature and the great outdoors. It is based in Port Elizabeth and has a large membership from all over the Eastern Cape. The club caters for all levels of fitness, from day hikes to 2/7-day backpacking.

Day hikes are undertaken on Saturdays, usually not more than one hour from Port Elizabeth. Various hikes of different levels take place on any given Saturday. These hikes cater for both easy and moderate hikers.

Multiday hikes can extend from two to seven days. Weekend hikes are the most common of the multiday hikes and usually start on a Friday evening and end on a Sunday afternoon, allowing those who work as well as students, to participate.

Multiday hikes can take the form of either backpacking or slackpacking. Backpacking involves the hikers carrying everything they need with them on their backs. Slackpacking on the other hand means that all the hiker’s baggage is  transported from one point to the other, usually while he or she is on the hike. Slackpacking is usually done by the host. It is either included as part of the cost of the hike, if it is a slackpacking hike, or at additional  cost if the hike is a backpacking hike, as an extended service.

Multiday hikes normally consist of a hike from a starting point to a hut and then to another hut each day until the endpoint. They can also be circular in nature with the starting- and end-point being the same place. The alternative is a base camp weekend or multiday hike where the hiker uses the available accommodation as a base camp.

Club social events are held every 3rd Wednesday of the month at the German Club in Lorraine, Port Elizabeth. Different speakers give talks on interesting hiking-related topics each month. Snacks are served at the end of the event, if a bring-and-braai is not held. In this way new members can also get to know the more experienced members and hike leaders.

Membership

There are many benefits to members of the Voetsac Hiking Club. These include:

  • Hiking fees are a lot lower than that of non-members and savings after six hikes could equate to that of membership fees.
  • Experienced members of the club share information freely. Members have the benefit of obtaining knowledge, particularly of local hikes that otherwise is not available. They will also be able to participate in hikes that are generally unknown and often enjoy the beauty of hikes otherwise seldom experienced.
  • There is a great deal of backpacking and other related experience among members of the club and this is shared either on a one-to-one basis or via various talks or articles in that club’s newsletter.
  • Members of the club enjoy discounts at various outdoor and related outlets.

Membership costs vary according to membership type. For details of membership fees click here.

Non-members can participate in a maximum of three club hikes before they will be required to become a member. The fee for three non-member hikes would already equal half the membership fee, if they had joined initially.

Newsletter – “VOETPRINTS”

Voetprints is the official monthly newsletter of the club. It includes useful information and articles on hiking and related topics such as first aid, equipment, training as well as notices and announcements. It also provides information of past hikes and ones on the program that are yet to be completed. Articles are provided by experienced members of the club and all members are encouraged to share their knowledge in the form of articles.
Advertisements are also allowed in the newsletter at a nominal cost.