Our Mission Statement: 
The Johannesburg Section of the Mountain Club of South Africa actively fosters and facilitates mountaineering. This incorporates climbing, trekking, mountain walking and related activities, and promoting fellowship between people with these interests who are committed to the conservation of mountain areas.

Upper Tonquani


Name of venue

Upper Tonquani, Magaliesberg

Information courtesy of Vaughn Cleminson and Dobek Pater

Brief summary of venue

With soaring cliffs, cascading waterfalls, crystal clear pools and majestic old trees through which the sun dapples, Upper Tonquani is considered by many as the most beautiful and spectacular of all Magaliesberg kloofs.

Permit/ permission info

The land is owned by the MCSA, so is open to MCSA members and guests (1 guest per member), Otherwise, permits are required.

The MCSA has a servitude to access Upper Tonquani from the south, which goes through Askari Game Reserve - members only, (old Bertrams).  The access code to the gate can be obtained from the MCSA administrator.

Alternatively, walk in from Mountain Sanctuary Park or Calabash.

Get permits from MCSA Johannesburg Section.

- Contact: 011 067 0326 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Approximate travelling time from Johannesburg

·The Southern access takes about 1 hour including a few kilometres on dirt road.

·The Northern / Mountain Sanctuary Park access takes about 1.5 hours via Breedtsnek (the road is in very bad condition so a 4x4 is strongly recommended), or 2 hours via Buffelspoort Dam.

Parking information at venue

·Parking at Askari Game Reserve is safe, contact the MCSA for details - members only.


·Safe Parking is available at Mountain Sanctuary Park, GPS: 25° 50.173' S (25° 50' 10" S) 027° 28.564' E (027° 28' 33" E).  Please see attachment below for access via Mountain sanctuary Park.


Info on walk in

·The Southern walk in takes about 45 minutes, and is strenuous but not severe or technical.

·The Northern/ Mountain Sanctuary Park walk in takes about an hour and is also strenuous but not severe or technical.


Camping, with no facilities, is available on the cliffs overlooking Upper Tonquani.  There’s no water available here, so you need to get water from the kloof.  Otherwise Mountain Sanctuary Park has camping and chalets, as well as ablution facilities and a small shop.

Availability of water for drinking

There’s water all year in the kloof, which is safe to drink.

Climbing route guide

The MCSA has published a route guide, Rock Climbing Routes in the Tonquani Complex’, which is available from them; otherwise there’s an online guide at:


Climbing information

Upper Tonquanihas over 150 trad climbs of all grades, including a range of easy climbs, many of which are considered classics.   Most climbs are multi-pitch, with descents via gullies or abseiling off trees.  The rock is generally excellent and the views spectacular.

As the kloof is wide and sunny, it is relatively warm even on cold winter days.

Lunch spots

The meet site is in the bottom of the kloof near the climb Kitchen Crack. There is a money cage to store food. Vervet monkeys have been known to steal food while you’re eating, so keep an eye out.

Child friendly

While the walk can be long for a child, it’s certainly possible.


Yes, most definitely.

Camp fires

No fires.

Other attractions

Great wild camping in the quiet; superb birdlife, including Black Eagles and plenty of hiking opportunities.  People often go kloofing all the way to Mountain Sanctuary Park, via the Help-help pool and Lower Tonquani.


Safety has not been an issue as the kloof is generally well protected from vagrants/thieves as it is quite far from the lower parts that have seen crime.

The access traverse above the Help-Help Pool between Upper and Lower Tonquani is over polished rock and hazardous to inexperienced parties.


·MCSA Jhb Section - Contact 011 067 0326 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

·MountainSanctuary Park: Tel: 014 534 0114, Website:www.mountain-sanctuary.co.za



Download this file (MCSA ACCESS VIA MSP - updated 26 January 2017.docx)Access via MSP[ ]55 kB
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