The Spéléo Club du Liban (SCL) was founded in 1951, and it is the oldest caving club in the Middle East. The founding members were Lionel Gorra, Albert Anavy, Raymond Khawam and Sami Karkabi. The club, since its initiation, has been dedicated to speleological activities mainly scientific and sport activities related to caves.
Exploration of horizontal and vertical caves in Lebanon has continued systematically for the last 50 years and the SCL has discovered and continuously discovering and exploring some of the largest and most beautiful caves in Lebanon. More than 1000 caves have been explored and reported in Lebanon by the SCL.
The SCL has discovered some of the deepest and longest caves in Lebanon. In 1954 the 9km Jiita cave was mapped and explored by the SCL. In 1962 the deepest sinkhhole in Lebanon up to this date (Foura Dara) was discovered and explored. It was found to measure –622m. Some of the most beautiful caves in Lebanon have been discovered by the SCL. To name a few, Mgharet el Kassarat, Mgharet Kenaan, Rouaisse cave, Mgharet Nabaa el Shatawie, Qadisha cave, Baataara, Balaa, Jouret el Abed, Roueiss Cave, Nabaa el Moutran, Afqa cave and many more.
The club was awarded the 'A Club that is a Benefit to the Public' Order by the Lebanese government in 1963. 'The National Order of the Cedars', from the Lebanese government was awarded for their work in Jiita Cave, rank Officer, in 1969. In 2005 a second Order of the Cedars was awarded to the club, rank of Knight.
Caving in Lebanon in the last decade has become a popular sport. Trips into caves range from simple touristic activities into more complicated extreme sports. Touristic caves such as Jiita and Qadisha are a walk through beautiful scenery. Moreover, venturing with the SCL team, into caves that are not equipped for touristic purposes but are a site for eco-tourism such as Roueiss cave, Nabaa el Qana and Mgharet Nabaa el Mghara has helped to highlight this sport. Here higher levels of risk are present and more care should be taken.