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Overview Edit

The Western Cape is the best known and most commonly visit part of South Africa and rightly so. Cape Town is a vibrant metropolis with something for everyone.

However, there is excellent climbing in many parts of the country in all forms; sport, trad, bouldering and big walls.

Areas Edit

Western Cape

Pride of place in South African Bouldering must go to Rocklands, in the Cedarberg. These boulders have gained international renown thanks to a continous stream of foreign dignitaries stopping in and making some hard FAs and blogging, videoing and photographing them for consumption by the masses.

This is a shame, as there are dozens of areas in the Cedarberg alone which have the potential to be as good.

Around Cape Town, the best known bouldering is the area known as Topside, which is in and around Silvermine Nature Reserve, running along the spine of the Peninsula itself.

There is some good pretty bouldering to be had at Llandudno. The headland to the south of this beach is scattered with wave washed granite boulders. It's very popular at weekends and for chilling with sundowners, so get there early if you want to avoid parking issues. It's a popular surfing spot, but being on the Atlantic side expect the water to feel cold when the air temp is in the high 20s.

Mpumalanga

Closer to Johannesburg (2ish hours east) is the fantastic sport climbing area of Waterval Boven. The centre of activity used to be the camping area above the original "Restaurant (at the end of the universe) Crags" but this has now closed and is derelict and getting ransacked. Tranquilitas Adventure Farm is now the usual base for climbers, or the Roc 'n' Rope Hostel in town.

The latest topo from March 2013 is available here http://www.climbing.co.za/topo/pdf/WatervalBovenGuide20130311.pdf

Good sources for information are www.climbing.co.za and saclimb.co.za (although no longer updated).

Boven is also en route between Johannesburg and the Kruger Park, where some of the best game viewing in SA is on offer. The park is a similar area to Wales.

It's worth checking with either Tranquilitas or Roc 'n' Rope regarding crime and muggings at specific crags before visiting, especially those closer to the town.

Weather Edit

Weather across the country varies enormously, with mid summer varying from hot to very hot, and winter varying from cooler to sometimes pretty wet.

Temps around the Cape Peninsula are kept down a bit by having an ocean either side of it, one of which stays pretty cold all year round. In winter weather is often cool and clear, but frontal systems sweep up from the Antarctic on a fairly predictable basis, bring 2 or 3 days of rain at a time. Ideal for rest days, and doing the tourist stuff, eating and drinking. Summer sun is hot, with occasional afternoon thunderstorms, but high and shady spots are just about tolerable, even for the most cold-blooded European. (Northern Hemisphere) Late summer / early autumn often brings the most stable weather and cooler temps.

Guides Edit



Links Edit

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