The Mountain Club of South Africa

Why Join the MCSA?

As the premier mountaineering organisation in southern Africa, the MCSA has a great deal to offer its members by way of privileges and opportunities.

In addition to meets that help you discover new routes and mountain areas in the company of members who know them well, and access to magnificent MCSA-owned properties and private wilderness areas around the country, here are more reasons why it’s worth joining the Cape Town Section, or another section that is geographically nearest to you.


  • We are the only club in Africa affiliated to the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA). If you’re planning any international climbing trips, consult the UIAA first.
  • We have reciprocity arrangements with mountain clubs in Africa, UK, Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere.
  • MCSA members have access to the bouldering walls at the University of Cape Town.

Discounts on Gear

The MCSA has negotiated special discounts for members, including 5% off purchases from Cape Union Mart, and 10% off purchases from City Rock, Cape Storm and Drifters. Discounts are available on presentation of a valid MCSA membership card.

Clubhouse Bouldering Wall and Library

The Cape Town Section Clubhouse at 97 Hatfield Street has a bouldering gym to test your skills, as well as a comprehensive library of mountaineering books and DVDs. There’s also a braai lapa, and refreshments are available on socials evenings.

Speakers and socials

Club members and invited guests are an adventurous lot who love sharing their stories, from exploring the Brandberg to climbing big walls in the Karakoram. There are general speakers at the Clubhouse, usually on a Friday evening, and rock climbers tell their tales on the first Tuesday of each month. Topics are listed on the Calendar.


The MCSA offers meaningful opportunities to contribute to the Club, local communities and society at large:

  • Our Outreach Programme takes youngsters from underprivileged communities on hikes at least twice a month.
  • The MCSA’s Mountain Rescue team works closely with Wilderness Search and Rescue organisations to assist those in trouble in the mountains.
  • The Plant Conservation Programme arranges hack meets to help rid our properties of invasive alien vegetation, and helps with various conservation initiatives in other areas.
  • Meet leaders share their knowledge of the mountains and various walking, scrambling and climbing routes with group members.