About Us

The Speleological Exploration Club is a founding member of South Africa's national caving body, the Spelaeological Association of South Africa. We are based in Gauteng, South Africa, and are dedicated to the exploration, conservation and scientific study of caves.

Our objectives are:

  • To conserve natural environments with specific reference to caves and associated areas. 
  • To encourage safe and responsible caving practices. 
  • To encourage caving and cave diving and to foster speleology and other underground exploration in all of their aspects. 
  • To obtain and preserve access to known and new caves. 
  • To assist in the preparation of speleological sites of national interest. 
  • To co-operate with other similar interested organisations. 
  • To uphold all laws protecting the environment. 
History of the club

The club was founded in September 1954 when the cavers of the Transvaal and the Cape came together to form the Spelaeological Association of 
South Africa (SASA). In the mid 1990's another group collaborated with SASA to established SASA as a governing body to look after the interests of caving groups throughout South Africa. At the time SASA consisted of the SASA Cape Section, now named the Cape Peninsula Spelaeological Society (CPSS), SASA Transvaal which is now named the Speleological Exploration Club (SEC) and the Cave Exploration Rescue and Adventure Club (CERAC). A few years later the Potch Potholers also joined SASA. SASA and its member clubs are members of the UIS or International Union of Speleologists represented by Dr S Craven of CPSS.

Some of the major accomplishments of SASA includes the discovery, exploration and mapping of most large or important caves in Southern Africa. These include the largest underground lake in the world (Dragonsbreath), the fourth deepest series of quartzite caves in the world (Mawenge Mwena in Chimanimani), the longest cave in Southern Africa (Apocalypse), one of the mineralogically richest caves in the world (Mbobo Mkhulu) and the largest hominin fossil site in Africa (Homo naledi in the Rising Star Cave System). The club has also taken part in various expeditions to other countries, including Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Ethiopia and Madagascar. These expeditions have resulted in over 2100 caves in the records of the organisation.