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Gem of the JHC ...

Situated some 120 kilometres from Johannesburg, the Johannesburg Hiking Club has established a slice of territory called Foothold, which is situated on a portion of the farm “Olifantshoek 356”.  It offers a splendid range of scenery, Hikers Haven accommodation camping and access to a host of trails.
Hikers Haven nestles in the foothills against the mountain escarpment of the Magaliesberg and accommodates up to ten persons in relative comfort, with necessary mod cons for weekends or longer.  Extensive additional space is available on the largely wooded property for caravans and tents.  
Water is piped from mountain springs.  The property is maintained by an honorary manager and other enthusiastic members.
Trailing options to the mountain summit are:the Chain Ladder, Footloose gully, Jubilee Gap and Marjean Pass. They are spread over a distance of about 3km on an east/west line and, used in various combinations, add a great deal of interest and satisfaction to the overall hikes.

For the 'birders' or the more relaxed hiker, easy low level routes on the property allow for shorter duration walks through the bush.    

Accommodation for selected visitors is available at Hikers Haven or at the camp site by booking with the club administrator 011 462 2993.
Gifts over the years covered bunks, furnishings, kitchen units and utensils, garden furniture, grass mower, tools, braai units and building materials.
 It has been a labour of love for managers and other enthusiasts from all walks of life and the ‘Friends of Foothold’ will continue to uphold the property and make further improvements for the benefit of all JHC members.

History of Foothold


On going work to build another toilet and a wash up area for campers.


New cesspit was built and an outside toilet with hand basin completed.  This has certainly made a difference to the demands on the inside ablution facilities.


Two new bush showers were completed.  Electrical refurbishment and modifications include a power upgrade, additional lighting and plug points for caravans.


A new trail via Marjean Pass was inaugurated.


Further modifications to the Haven included a new open plan kitchen, tiled floor and a hot shower, which required the installation of an additional water storage tank, situated on higher ground to boost the pressure.

30 metre chain ladder, comprising 73 rungs, was installed in the ladder gully.

The chain ladder was installed in the ladder gully with major assistance from two members of the Mountain Club of South Africa.


A second pit latrine was built.


A windmill pump was abandoned because of poor water delivery.

The Jubilee Gap trail was inaugurated during the club’s 60th anniversary camp.


The Haven was further modified and a depression in the roadway paved for some 30 metres, aptly named Heaps Way. A water collection box was installed at the cliffs and a 1.5km plastic pipe led down to Hikers Haven.


Major bathroom changes took place with the room being divided into two rooms, one with a shower and the other the toilet. Other improvements over the months included erecting a shed, pit latrine and a fence enclosure around the campsite.  In addition paving was laid around the Haven.  Extra assortments of indigenous trees were planted at vantage points. A bush shower was built.


At the February AGM.  It was proposed and agreed unanimously, that the house be called “Hikers Haven” and that the name Foothold is representative of the clubs establishment in the Magaliesberg.


June.  The first official hike took place, bundu bashing all the way to the summit.

July.  The first weekend work party included the cutting of grass and bush around the house.  A general cleanup inside the dwelling involved repairs and painting.  Amongst other pieces of furnishings newly donated bunks were installed.

A piece of land with a double storey dwelling was acquired within reasonable distance from Johannesburg.  The erf covered some 44 hectares and measured 1500 metres long by 300 metres wide.  The purchase price amounted to R80 000 and was paid off within a year following an increase in funding activities and donations.

An equitable agreement with a farming neighbour, allowed the club access to the summit via a gully called Footloose just outside the clubs boundary, in exchange for cattle grazing rights on the club’s property.


By mid year the treasure chest swelled to R36 000.


A fund was established to purchase such a property.


An idea was born by JHB club members to have their own piece of property in the Magaliesberg, after some five decades of hiking in the area.