The Mountain Club of South Africa (MCSA) is the largest and oldest mountaineering club in South Africa. It facilitates and organises various mountaineering activities including rock climbing and hiking). The MCSA is involved in mountain search and rescue, training, conservation of mountain areas and the procurement of access for mountaineering.
The MCSA was founded in 1891 and hence is one of the oldest mountaineering clubs in the world. The MCSA is one of only two mountain clubs in Africa which are affiliated to the world mountaineering body, the UIAA. Members of the MCSA have climbed and hiked on all the major mountain ranges throughout the world. Since its inception, the MCSA has published an annual journal. The MCSA Journal is one of the oldest mountain club journals still being published on an annual basis.
The Club is organised into 14 sections geographically spread over South Africa and Namibia and has more than 4000 members.
- Cape Town
- Eastern Province
- Free State
- Hottentots Holland
- South Cape
The objectives of the Mountain Club of South Africa are to further the interests of mountaineering in South Africa and elsewhere, and in doing so inter alia to:
- Organise and facilitate mountaineering
- Procure and protect real rights in and access to mountains and mountain areas
- Initiate and support actions towards protecting the natural beauty and wilderness character of mountains and to promote their effective conservation management
- Promote the safety and training of mountaineers
- Organise search and rescue parties
- Promote the study of mountains and their environments, the preservation of historical and archaeological sites on them and the dissemination of information on mountains and mountaineering.
SEARCH AND RESCUE
MCSA Search & Rescue is a volunteer run organisation formed under the auspices of the MCSA and funded by MCSA members and donations. The first MCSA led rescue was in 1893. The MCSA offer wilderness rescue services to bona fide emergencies without charge as a community service. It works in conjunction with other public and private emergency services agencies such as the South African Air Force, WSAR, Off Road Rescue Unit, K9 Rescue, Police, Fire Services, Private Medical services and many others.
MCSA Search and Rescue's area of specialisation lies in the mountains and is able to respond to incidents in a mountainous or wilderness area which involves missing, overdue, stuck or injured persons.
For emergencies contact the following numbers (primary numbers in bold - correct as of Nov 2011):
- Western Cape: 021 937 0300; Convenors : 073 217 6351 (Rik de Decker) or 082 675 0901 (Roy White) or 082 393 0407 (Gela Tölken - Hottentots Holland / Somerset West). For Mountain Security / crime related incidents in the Cape: Call 086 110 6417
- South Cape (Plettenberg Bay/Knysna/George): Convenors: 082 339 1240 (Drew Scott) or 082 323 4349 (Rogan Hindmarch), 10177 (Metro)
- Eastern Province (Port Elizabeth): 072 324 4985 (Vodacom), 073 755 2250 (MTN), 10177 (Metro), Convenor: 084 515 1077 (Serge Smetryns)
- KwaZulu-Natal (Durban / Pietermaritzburg): 0800 005 133, Convenor: 082 990 5876 (Gavin Raubenheimer)
- Gauteng / Free State / North West / Limpopo / Mpumalanga: 074 125 1385, 074 163 3952, Convenor: 083 274 1116 (Dean vd Merwe)
HELP KEEP OUR ACCESS OPEN
A great deal of work is done by the MCSA to keep access to climbing areas open, please adhere to all access arrangements and help keep climbing and hiking areas open to all. We are seeing many climbing areas overseas losing access and the same is happening in South Africa. Please support our efforts and help stem the trend.
Please contact the MCSA before visiting unknown climbing areas which might be sensitive to access, very often negotions are in progress and you visiting the area can upset them or even close the access. Always keep noise levels down at climbing areas, never litter, preserve the fauna and flora, do your ablutions far from rivers and bury them thoroughly. Remember that fires are usually prohibited in most areas, please respect this and other access conditions the owners may have set (e.g. in many areas you may only arrive and leave in daylight hours).
Above all remember that many of the properties you climb on are privately owned and upsetting the owner (which has proved to be very easy) often causes them to close access.
PERMITS TO VISIT THE MAGALIESBERG
The MCSA (specifically the Johannesburg and Magaliesberg Sections) owns and manages several of the kloofs in the Magaliesberg. Access to these kloofs is controlled for conservation reasons. For conservation reasons the number of permits is limited. Up to 20 persons per day can visit a kloof via a permit system (depending on which kloof). The permit fee goes towards conservation work on the properties (e.g. eradication of alien vegetation as well as fire breaks). MCSA members does not require permits to access MCSA properties when carrying their membership cards, in addition each MCSA member may be accompanied by a guest. Note that no facilities are provided and paths are not marked.
Permits are available, subject to availability, at R35 per adult per day, R25 for students and high school scholars and R15 for children under 13 years (fee subject to change). Different rates apply to commercial activities please enquire (additional restrictions apply).
|Area||Contact name||Contact details|
|Castle Gorge||Marion Hüfner (JHB Hiking Club)||087 940 1903 (Mon-Fri, Weekdays 8h30 to 12h30) firstname.lastname@example.org - jhbhiking.org.za|
|Dome||Kari Lowl||087 808 3729 (Mon-Fri 08h00-10h00)|
|Grootkloof||Kari Lowl||087 808 3729 (Mon-Fri 08h00-10h00)|
|Mhlabatini||Uschi Magg||(011) 807 1310 (Uschi Mon-Fri, 08h00-10h00)|
|Tonquani complex (incl. Cederberg Kloof and Boulder Kloof)||Uschi Magg||(011) 807 1310 (Mon-Fri, 08h00-10h00)|
|Other||Uschi Magg||(011) 807-1310 (Mon-Fri, 08h00-10h00)|
Note that additional fees may apply for members / non-members may apply for parking on private land / access via private land (e.g. when non-members access Tonquani via Mountain Sanctuary Park an additional R50 per adult, R30 per child and R20 per vehicle applies) – please ask when booking permits and keep to the arrangement with neighbours to MCSA property.