The Mountain Club of South Africa

Johnson Hut (Hottentots Holland Section)

johnson-hut_10Johnson Hut is nestled at the foot of the Hottentots Holland Mountains on the Vergelegen Estate near Somerset West. It’s the ideal base for exploring the surrounding kloofs and peaks.

The property is bordered by the Landdroskloof River, the Langklippies River and the rock faces which make up the hut site area.

Permission to build the Johnson Hut on Vergelegen was granted by the then owners of the estate, Commander Kenneth Johnson and his wife, in the spring of 1960 – the same year the Hottentots Holland Mountain Club became affiliated with the MCSA. The following four years were spent building a road to a storage area for the building materials about 600 metres from the hut site. Roughly 13 000 bricks had to be ferried in by wheelbarrow, 25 at a time over this distance, in addition to countless bags of cement, wooden beams, steel windows and galvanised sheeting for the roof. The hut was completed in 1964 and was officially opened by Commander Johnson on 16 December at a ceremony attended by Stanley Field, then President of the MCSA, and over 180 guests.

Thanks to the generous assistance of Commander Johnson and various neighbouring farmers and friends who volunteered their labour and transport, the entire cost of building the hut was roughly R800!

Since owner Tom Barlow sold Vergelegen to AmFarms (Anglo American Farms) in 1987, access has been permitted but is strictly controlled.