Caving organizations

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There are a number of caving organizations throughout the world.


The Union Internationale de Spéléologie (UIS) is the international umbrella organization for caving and speleology.


The Austrian Speleological Association formed in 1949 represents over 20 caving clubs with some 2500 members and about 30 show caves in Austria and is the Austrian member of UIS & FSE.


  • Australian Speleological Federation (ASF) is a national organisation formed in 1956. It is an environmental organisation promoting the protection of Australia's unique cave systems.
  • Sydney Speleological Society (SSS) is a Sydney based caving club that runs many trips to local, national and international caving destinations. Founded in 1954 SSS is one of the oldest caving groups in Australia.
  • Sydney University Speleological Society (SUSS) is a Sydney based caving club actively running dry caving and cave diving trips locally, around Australia, and internationally. It was founded in 1948 and is the oldest caving group in Australia.
  • Under Victoria is a website dedicated to explaining the basics of caving, and specifically informing the public on the caving available in Victoria.


  • Brazilian Speleological Society (SBE) is a national organisation formed in 1969. SBE is member of UIS (Union International de Spéléologie) and FEALC (Federación Espeleológica de América Latina y el Caribe).


The first Bulgarian Speleological Society was founded on March 18, 1929. This was the result of the acknowledged necessity to set up a public organization which, under the conditions prevalent at that time, would begin a systematic investigation of caves, protecting them from destruction and setting the beginnings of cave tourism. The founders of the Society were eminent Bulgarian scientists, people active in the realm of tourism, and cave-exploration fans - office employees and workers. The foundation of the first Bulgarian Speleological Society marked the beginning of a new stage in the development of Speleology in Bulgaria. Though not very numerous in its membership, and despite its limited financial capacities, the Society engaged in huge-scale and useful activities. It made a reappraisal of all that had been done until that time in cave investigation and in obtaining more knowledge about the country's caves. Organized trips and studies were carried out in certain caves and karst regions of Bulgaria. The results obtained were published in the scientific publication of the Society - "Bulletin of the Bulgarian Speleological Society" - Volume One of which appeared in 1936. Active propaganda was also carried out for the protection of the caves. There was a useful and active cooperation between the Bulgarian Speleological Society and the Bulgarian Tourist Union. The first provincial branches of the Society were founded in the Rakitovo village and the towns of Dryanovo and Lovech. The Bulgarian Speleological Society became more active after 1947. New members entered the Society, which included university students as well. In 1948 and 1949 they took part with great enthusiasm in what were known as the cave brigades organized with the generous support of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Detailed investigations were carried out during this period of the karst regions of Lakatnik, Karloukovo, Rabisha (near Belogradchik), and Zlatna Panega in Lovech District. The charts prepared and the materials collected constituted an important scientific contribution. After 1949 the Bulgarian Speleological Society ceased its activities over a brief period of time. A good deal of work was done by the speleologists in the town of Rousse and by university students organized in their Speleological Club "Akademik" in Sofia. Amateur work continued, as well as the research initiated in this field by the various institutes of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and by the Sofia University. However, there was a keenly felt need for a speleological organization in the country. Such an organization was necessary to unite the efforts of amateur speleologists and of the specialists and to promote the development of this branch of science in Bulgaria. Favourable conditions to that effect were created after 1957, with the restoration of the Bulgarian Tourist Union. At that time a number of scientists and amateur speleologists, as well as active supporters of the tourist movement, approached the Central Council of the Bulgarian Tourist Union with a proposal to set up a Committee for Cave Tourism. On July 14, 1958, the Central Council decided on setting up a Commission on Speleology and Cave Tourism. Forty-two clubs were set up all over the country. With the generous support of the Central Council of the Bulgarian Tourist Union, the new speleological organization rapidly grew in strength and became very active. Its objectives became clearly formulated and presented, and a number of enactments were passed. There were also a number of additional initiatives, such as plenary sessions, conferences, gatherings, and international expeditions. Penetration, charting, and survey work in the known caves and in the discovery of new cave sites became more active and on a higher scientific and technological level. The Commission on Speleology and Cave Tourism took on the task of the development and popularization of cave tourism in Bulgaria. After the Fourth Congress of the Bulgarian Tourist Union in 1972, the Commission on Speleology and Cave Tourism was transformed into the Bulgarian Federation on Speleology, which continues operating today. This new and higher form of organization furnished a fresh impetus to the development of Speleology in Bulgaria. Its operation became more active and efficient. New initiatives were undertaken with a view to improving the training and qualifications of the speleologists in the country. The speleological clubs obtained new equipment, and their activity increased. International ties grew stronger and broader. The successes attained were largely due to the correct understanding and to the moral and material support, which was and is still rendered by the Central Council of the Bulgarian Tourist Union. Today, the Bulgarian Federation on Speleology is the only national organization in Bulgaria whose role is essentially devoted to Speleology. The Federation represents the Bulgarian cavers and speleologists. In this capacity it organizes National Congresses, and within the International Union of Speleology it nominates the Bulgarian delegates at the International Congresses. The Federation co-ordinates both the activities of Bulgarian cavers abroad, establishing contacts with the corresponding Societies, and the activity of foreign cavers in Bulgaria. With 900 members in 2009, the Federation is organized on a national level (an executive committee, a board of directors, a head office in Sofia), and on regional level it has 35 speleo clubs. The Bulgarian Federation on Speleology, with its members - research workers and amateurs, is the sole organization in Bulgaria working for the advance of speleology and of cave tourism, and it is also the foremost unit carrying out the requisite research and protection of caves in the country. Bulgarian Federation of Speleology is a member of Balkan Speleological Union, European Federation of Speleology and International Speleological Union (U.I.S).


There is no national caving organization in Canada, despite the existence of a national publication (the Canadian Caver, started in 1968), and the Caving Canada website. Regional organizations exist in British Columbia and Quebec, and caving clubs exist in many of the provinces (Alberta Speleological Society, (British Columbia Speleological Federation ), Speleological Society of Manitoba, etc.) and cities (Toronto Caving Group).


Hong Meigui is an international society dedicated to the exploration of caves in China and throughout the world.

Czech Republic

Czech Speleological Society / Česká speleologická společnost is the national organisation with many caving clubs as members.


The Fédération Spéléologique Européenne / European Speleological Federation (FSU) is the European organisation which federates the national caving federations/associations in Europe.


French Federation of Speleology is the national organisation with many caving clubs as members.


  • The Hellenic Speleological Federation is the only secondary national organisation in Greece and has many caving clubs as members. There are a number of independent clubs outside the Federation.
  • The Hellenic Speleological Society (established in 1950) is a nationwide caving society in Greece. With six (6) Branches and main offices in Athens conducts Caving Expeditions and Studies all over the country.


The Hungarian Speleology Society was founded in 1926. Our society was reorganized by enlarging its profile in 1958 under the name of Hungarian Karst- and Cave Research Society (MKBT). MKBT carries out speleological research and exploration in Hungary. The national yearly publication is called "Karszt és Barlang" (meaning Karst and Cave).


The National Cave Research and Protection Organization is the Government Registered body for cave Research & their Protection in India.


The Iranian Cave and Speleology Association (ICSA) is a Nongovermental Organisation (NGO) consists cavers and speologist in Iran who are interested in exploring, surveying, researching and protecting caves of Iran. International Speology Union (UIS) helps to foundation of ICSA by training cavers and supporting them. It was founded in 2010 with permission on Ministry of Interior. Now a day ICSA helps governmental organisation (Such as Envorment Protection Organisation, Turism Organisation, Universities) and Other nongovermental organisation (like Red Crescent Society of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iranian Geologist Association, Iranian Photographer Association) in such issues.

Note: Iranian Federation of Montaineering and Sport Climbing is the governemtal organisation of Mountain Sports and It looks to Caving as a sport, So they officially train cavers and focused of sport asspects of Caving.


The Speleological Union of Ireland is the official representative body for cavers in Ireland. It is also affiliated with the Irish Cave Rescue Organisation which operates in both the Republic Of Ireland and Northern Ireland.


The Circolo Speleologico Romano was founded in 1904, is one of the oldest caving club in Italy


The Speleological Federation of Kosovo was formed in February 2011. In 2003 the first speleo association was formed (Aragonit speleo association), independent from the mountain association of Gjeravica from the western city of Peja (formed 1928), where it worked as a speleo-section. It is working on completing data for all the caves in this country, and also organizing different speleo-expeditions throughout the country.


The Jamaican Caves Organisation (JCO) is the national caving organisation for Jamaica, and a member of the Union Internationale de Spéléologie (UIS). Activities include speleological research, exploration, mapping, and pro bono assistance to the National Environmental and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Water Resources Authority (WRA), the University of the West Indies (UWI), and visiting researchers.


  • Grupo Espeleológico Ajau - Ajau Speleological Group, an organization made up of enthusiasts and professionals from many different disciplines, does exploration and research mainly in and around the Yucatán Peninsula.


  • Mongolian Cave Research Association is a Nongovernmental Organization (NGO). Mongolian Cave Research Association was established in 2007 and conducts variety range of cave expeditions in Mongolia.


Speleo Nederland is the national organisation with four regional sections. The national 3 monthly publication is called "Pierk" (meaning stalactite).

New Zealand

The New Zealand Speleological Society is a national organisation with local clubs that represents the recreational caves.


Norsk Grotteforbund (The Norwegian Speleological Society) is the national organisation. It was established in 1980.


Chiltan Adventurers Association Balochistan and Pakistan Cave Research & Caving Federation the only National Caving Organization in Pakistan founded by Hayatullah Khan Durrani representative of Union of International Speleology(UIS), and British Caving Federation (BCA) through Orpheus Caving Club Derby UK.


Caving Committee of Polish Mountaineering Association (Polski Związek Alpinizmu) represents the Polish caving community as a whole.

In Poland, caving community has been traditionally tied closely to mountaineering. Polish Mountaineering Association gathers 26 local associations whose main profile is recreational caving and cave exploration.



The Romanian Speleological Federation was founded on 28 May 1994 by the association of all speleological structures from Romania, having as goal to strengthen the national speleological activities. FRS is member of UIS (Union International de Spéléologie), affiliated to UNESCO.

South Africa


  • The Federación Española de Espeleología is the Spanish Speleological Association. There are also twelve Regional Associations ("Federaciones Autonómicas" in Spanish), and people must be associated with one of them so they can do caving.
  • GERS de l'A.E. Muntanya is a group from Barcelona focused in the exploration of new caves in Pirineos mountains and urban speleology.


The Swedish Speleological Society is the national body for caving in Sweden. It was founded in 1966 by the "Father of Swedish Speleology", Leander Tell.


The Swiss Society of Speleology was created in 1939 in Geneva.


  • MF (Speleological Federation of Turkey)
  • Cave Research Association is the oldest cave research association in Turkey. Its central organisation is in Ankara and it has a branch in Bursa. MAD arranges cave expeditions and promotes speleology in Turkey. MAD has more than 100 members with approximately 40 of them actively working.
  • BÜMAK (Boğaziçi University Speleological Society) is the oldest University Club of the country. The Club has explored EGMA, deepest cave in Turkey (-1429 m. deep) and is still actively finding and exploring new caves all around the country.
  • BUMAD (Boğaziçi International Cave Exploration Society) is a caving society relatively recently founded but full of experienced members. Participated in ecological survey of Thrace region and still actively searching for new caves.
  • ESMAD (Eskişehir Cave Research Association)
  • ANÜMAB (Ankara University Cave Research Unit) was founded on November 4, 2004. ANÜMAB makes scientific researches which includes geological, biological and archaeological studies in Turkey, mostly Ankara and it’s surround.

United Kingdom

  • The British Caving Association is the governing body for underground exploration in the United Kingdom. It represents all those persons and groups with a genuine interest in caves, karst and associated phenomena, whether from a strictly sporting viewpoint, a scientific viewpoint, or a combination of both.
  • The British Cave Research Association is a constituent body of the British Caving Association and promotes the study of caves and associated phenomena. The association encourages original exploration, collects and publishes speleological information, and organises education events.
  • The Council of Higher Education Caving Clubs acts as an umbrella group for all university caving clubs to facilitate interactions within and between clubs, and to represent them to higher caving authorities within the UK and Europe.

United States

  • The National Speleological Society (NSS) is a national non-profit membership organization formed in 1941 with the purpose "to promote interest in and to advance in any and all ways the study and science of speleology, the protection of caves and their natural contents, and to promote fellowship among those interested therein." Most of the Society's approximately 12,000 members belong to local chapters known as grottos. The Society maintains an active online discussion forum to discuss caving. Anyone interested in caving or caves is invited to participate.
  • The Cave Research Foundation (CRF) is an American private, non-profit group dedicated to the exploration, research, and conservation of caves.