Handy portals and information from and for the outdoor community.
This list is continuously being updated and you can suggest links that you find you useful which will be reviewed and may be shared here.
City of Tshwane Nature Conservation
The CoT's Nature Conservation division is responsible for managing several public open spaces in the capital city. and to promote and maintain outdoor leisure facilities in a way that will benefit the residents and visitors to the City. Reserves include Groenkloof, Wonderboom, Faerie Glen and Moraleta Kloof.
South African National Biodiversity Institute (National Botanical Gardens and Zoo)
SANBI’s Conservation Gardens & Tourism Division manages SANBI’s network of National Botanical and Zoological Gardens, each with their associated tourism infrastructure and conservation estate, and Interpretation Section. These include Kirstenbosch, Walter Sisulu, Pretoria and Harold Porter Gardens.
South African National Parks (SANParks)
SANParks is a national public entity tasked with sustainably managing South Africa's national park network with a total area of just over 4 million hectares comprising 67% of the protected areas under state management. Their operations are focused on three core pillars: conservation, responsible tourism and socio-economic development. Major hiking destinations under their jurisdiction include Golden Gate Highlands, Table Mountain and Garden Route.
Joburg City Parks & Zoo
JCPZ is mandated by the City of Johannesburg to manage the City's cemeteries, parks and designated public open spaces as well as to ensure that its environmental conservation function is carried out, which includes the maintenance of all street and park trees within the City's borders, the Zoo with the preservation and management of biodiversity through direct conservation action, education, research and recreation. The organisation has a growing portfolio in excess of 20 000 ha of green open spaces and 3.2 million trees.
CapeNature is a public entity responsible for biodiversity conservation in the Western Cape mandated to: promote and ensure nature conservation; render services and provide facilities for research and training; and generate income. CapeNature manages over 20 protected areas, including hiking gems such as Jonkershoek, Cederberg Wilderness, Limietberg and Hottentots-Holland.
Table Mountain National Park
Certain activities (including dog walking and mountain biking) in TMNP require an activity permit whilst some locations (incl. Tokai, Silvermine and Cape Point) charge a daily conservation fee which is covered by a WildCard or TMNP My Green Card. All the info you need can be found on the SANParks website.
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Medical, Safety & Rescue
MCSA Mountain Rescue
MCSA's Search and Rescue comprises six permanent Search and Rescue teams in various parts of the country. The MCSA Search and Rescue teams are all run on a volunteer basis. The teams work with organisations such as the South African Air Force (the first joint SAAF-MCSA helicopter operation was conducted in 1957), WSAR (Wilderness Search and Rescue: Western Cape – wsar.org.za ), Off Road Rescue Unit (offroadrescue.co.za ), the SA Police Service (SAPS), South African Search and Rescue Organisation (SASAR) – sasar.gov.za) and others.
Wilderness Search and Rescue (WC)
WSAR is a collective effort co-ordinated by the Emergency Medical Services in the Western Cape (EMS) that co-ordinates, manages and executes the search for, the medical treatment of and the rescue (or the recovery of mortal remains), of persons and/or patients whose health and/or safety is threatened or compromised in a Wilderness Environment (Mountains, Shorelines, Rivers, Kloofs, Non-mountainous wilderness areas, Caves, Deserts, Forests).
Friends of Table Mountain
Friends of Table Mountain is a public, mountain users’ forum with the purpose to ensure the appropriate management of Table Mountain National Park by the assigned management authority in the best interests of ecology, recreational use and eco-tourism in keeping with the Park's founding principles of an urban national park.
Love Our Trails
An international movement that aims to protect trails around the world through education and activations. Their goal is to encourage all trail users to follow the basic steps of caring for our environment while working with land owners and event organisers to ensure trails are well maintained, safe and sustainable.
Green Flag Trails
Green Flag Accreditation acknowledges and rewards trails that demonstrate responsible and sustainable trail management practices through its unique audit procedure. This objective system assesses, monitors and accredits a trail and increases the skills of local trail custodians and managers and ensure ongoing enjoyable experiences by trail users.
Mountain Club of South Africa
The Mountain Club of South Africa (MCSA) was founded in 1891 in Cape Town. It is the only mountain club in Africa that is affiliated to the world mountaineering body, the UIAA. The MCSA offers annual paid members to partake in mountaineering activities - hiking, climbing, search and rescue (plus training), conservation and procurement of access for mountaineering.