Joining MCSA: Yay or Nay

We’re considering joining, but I have a few questions, perhaps long time members can weigh in.
We’re based in Gauteng.

Before I ask please assume I appreciate that joining will support a club with a good track record doing conservation and mountain rescue work. Also, engaging with a community along shared values and interests can only be healthy. These are broader benefits.

So, along more self interested lines.
Is it worth it? I mean, it’s really not expensive but what does one get? For…
I have looked at the various sections’ calendars and there doesn’t seem to be much going on; so joining up in order to connect with folks falls short. Also, one of the other main draws is to have access to various properties. I, with a member, have enquired about these in the past and they were always fully booked, sometimes for months, especially the choice destinations. On top of that it would appear, judging by accounts from members I know, that booking places like MCSA-Jhb’s Wolkberg Hut is not an easy feat.

I guess a good guide would be:

  1. How often, or how well, do you benefit from your membership regarding destinations? (this with availability and difficulty of obtaining permits in mind, not on “how often you actually go away”) *

  2. Are the properties so unique? (as in a rare find or great options to get far from the crowds)

  3. Has your membership lead to meeting future hiking friends? (bit of a subjective question yes as making friends is not like choosing cheese at a deli, nonetheless, I’d love to know).

  4. Any point in a couple joining if one member can take 1x guest along?

  5. Anyone used to be a member then left as it made little difference? (again, not because you stopped hiking after your 5th child and the old war wound kicked in)

  6. Anything I’m missing in my train of thought here? (in case I’m crudely oversimplifying, for the sake of brevity though)

Ok, thanks.

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I literally just joined. Was kinda feeling the same way as you. Will be able to give feedback in the next new months.

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One thing to consider, if you buy a lot of kit every year, the MSCA pretty much pays for itself with the discounts at Cape Union, Drifters, MailorderMountain.


What are they, % wise?
(sounds sweet)

I’ve been a member for over 2 decades and didn’t know this. Please elborate.

Hi @Carl

I am going to give my individual opininion as a member of over two decades across two sections (CT and Joburg) over that time. Responses in bold below.



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.

The MCSA – Cape Town Section Why Join the MCSA? - The MCSA - Cape Town Section.

For more on the discounts,see the following: Partners - Mountain Club South Africa

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Thank you for the comprehensive response.
We’re joining.

(A first for two stray cats :grin:)


Just to note…not sure if it’s the same for Jhb branch but for Cape Town branch to be able to book a hut you have to:
Be a member for 1 year
Attend a social
Attend a hut work meet


Hi. I was a member 1990-2021. My opinion.

  1. Not much benefit, even the property use.
  2. Some properties Unique, but farmers around or next to it might help out.
  3. You meet people, friends is your own personality that dictate.
  4. Couple, one can join other can go with, the difference in fee is not much.
  5. That was in my case. Not much of a difference.
  6. I met more people doing trail runs.
  7. If you have children it is good for them when there are other members with children.

Our parks is a good place to camp and hike.
This is Eastern & Westen Cape areas, I don’t know the others.

Note: Go on some trips with your mc and decide if it will work for you to become a member. Good idea to ask first where is there properties & contact farmers and ask there rule for private hiking & camping.
Good luck, it is a journey.

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