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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.

  • Amajuba
  • Cape Town
  • Eastern Province
  • Free State
  • Hottentots Holland
  • Johannesburg
  • KwaZulu-Natal
  • Magaliesberg
  • Namibia
  • Paarl/Wellington
  • South Cape
  • Stellenbosch
  • Tygerberg
  • Worcester

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.


The MCSA (specifically the Johannesburg and Magaliesberg Sections) owns and manages several of the kloofs in the Magaliesberg. Access to these kloofs is limited for reasons of conservation. Up to 20 persons per day can visit a kloof via a permit system (depending on which kloof). A fee of R15 per person per day is charged which goes towards conservation work on the properties (e.g. erradication of alien vegitation). 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. No facilities are provided and paths are not marked.


A great deal of work is done by the MCSA to keep access to climbing areas open, please support them and help them in this goal. We are seeing many climbing areas overseas losing access, so all the support you can give the MCSA will help avoid the same happening locally.

Please contact the MCSA before visiting unknown climbing areas which might be sensitive to access, very often negotions are in progress and your visiting the area can upset them or even close the access. Always keep quiet 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.

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.


Area Contact name Contact details
Castle Gorge Jean Williams (011) 462 2993 (w) (Mon-Fri, 08h00-12h00)
Dome Lenise de Kock (012) 345 4586 t/f (Mon-Fri 08h00-10h00)
Grootkloof Lenise de Kock (012) 345 4586 t/f (Mon-Fri 08h00-10h00)
Mhlabatini Lenise de Kock (012) 345 4586 t/f (Mon-Fri 08h00-10h00)
Tonquani complex (incl. Cederberg Kloof and Boulder Kloof) Uschi Magg (011) 807 1310 (Uschi Mon-Fri, 08h00-10h00)
Wolkberg (Hut) Uschi Magg (For members only) (011) 807-1310 (Uschi Mon-Fri, 08h00-10h00)
Other Uschi Magg (011) 807-1310 (Uschi Mon-Fri, 08h00-10h00)