South Africa has vast amounts of both Traditional and Sport rock climbing. There are many different venues to choose from. The guides of Peak High Mountaineering have climbed and guided at all these crags. Clients can enjoy year round sunshine on beautiful rock, in stunning settings. The cliffs are never over crowded and you may be the only group of climbers out climbing that day.
Contact Peak High for a free information sheet and a quotation on the place you would like to visit. More info>>
Shongweni Sport-climbing. This is very much a local crag for Durban based climbers. It is all single pitch sport climbs on three different crags, namely The Magnetic Wall, the Red Wall and the Wave Cave. The later being a well know steep (overhanging) cave with some of South Africa’s hardest routes.
Must do routes- The Shape of things to Cam and Dissing the home boys.
Howick Falls Sport-climbing. The town of Howick is located in the Midlands of the Province of KwaZulu –Natal. It is a small farming town with the Umgeni River flowing past it. The river at this point plunges down a 110 meter waterfall which is major tourist attraction in the area. At present there are more than 14 rock climbing routes located on the cliff adjacent to the falls. Most routes are 2 pitches long. The grades vary from grade 17 to 24 (US 5.7- 5.11), are un-sustained and well bolted. The setting is very dramatic!
Must do routes- Stage Fright and Encore
Monteseel is located in the central area of the KwaZulu-Natal Province, approximately halfway between Durban and Pietermaritzburg.
The crag lies on the southern boundary of the area called The Valley of a Thousand Hills. (30 minutes drive from the centre of Durban.)
The crag consists of high quality Natal Sandstone, which is excellent for climbing on. The rock is mostly red or grey in colour, fairly rough and hard.
The cliff is between 20 and 50 meters in height. The majority of routes consist of single pitches lines with a few excellent 2 two pitch numbers. There is one classic route of 3 pitches and a girdle traverse of sixpiches. The crag runs for about two kilometers and there are just over 300 documented routes.
Due to the quality of climbing and ease of access this has been KwaZulu-Natal’s premier rock climbing venue for four decades. Route descriptions are available in two ways. Grades vary from 8 to 28 (V Diff to E5 6c) and good quality routes can be found in all grades.
Must do routes- Utopia, Pin Up and Sizzle.
The “Berg” as it is often referred to, consists of a high 180km long escarpment, in-cut by deep valleys that run easterly toward the Indian Ocean.
In-between these valleys, peaks rising to 3300m are found. In addition several peaks stand free from the escarpment forming serrated ridges and massifs.
Must do routes- There are perhaps 10 climbs worth noting if you only have limited time: Sentinel Peak North Face, Devils Tooth, Mponjwana Standard
Route, The Bell, The Column’s Escarpment Arete Route, Monks Cowl, The Injasuti Western Triplet NW Ridge and “S” Route on Rhino Peak.
Free State region
Eagle Rock Resort Sport-climbing. This is a beautiful rock climbing area located in the Free State Province near the town of Harrismith. There are both single and spectacular multi-pitch routes located on huge sandstone cliffs. The entire area is a game reserve with animals such as zebra and wildebeest. The reserve was called Mt Everest Resort and is still often called by that name.
Must do routes- Men Behaving Badly and Power Pigeon.
Swinburne is located in the eastern Free State Province of South Africa and few kilometers south of the town of Harrismith. The main climbing venue is located on a large sandstone butte called Rensberg’s Kop, which rises some 180 meters in height and 2 kilometres in length. Four major multi-pitch sport routes are located on the main faces and there are also many other shorter routes on the surrounding boulders. The entire climbing area is on a large rambling cattle farm. The Sport routes vary in grade from the very easy to moderate. ie. South African 9 to 24 or French 3 to 7a.
Must do- Long Walk to Freedom and A Time to Climb.
Magaliesberg. Situated just one hour north of Johannesburg. This area also consists of several crags located mainly in kloofs (gorges). Many areas are owned by the MCSA and so are preserved for hikers and climbers only. The best kloofs are Cedarberg Kloof and Tonquani Kloof. Most of the climbing is on high quality quartzite and consists of multi-pitch routes of all grades. The climbing is usually naturally protected (trad).
Must do routes- Golden Balls and Hawk’s Eye.
Western Cape region
Cederberg. Located 3 hours north of Cape Town this is the home of South Africa’s best multi-pitch routes. If you visit SA to trad climb this is the number one venue! Routes of all grades abound and can be enjoyed in a remote wilderness setting. It is best to camp at “Sandrift” wine farm, from where most of the classic routes can be found on the Wolfberg and Tafelberg crags. The weather is best between November and May.
Must do routes- Eclipse, Energy Crisis and Knobless Robot
Table Mountain in Cape Town is the landmark by which many people identify South Africa. It consists of a large sandstone butte surrounded by the beautiful city of Cape Town and guarded by Lions Heads to the south and Devil’s Peak to the north. There are scores of hiking routes all over the area and some three thousand documented rock climbs! However most of the worthwhile rock routes are found on the southern side of the main peak in the vicinity of the upper Cable Station. All the routes in this area are on high quality rock and consist of several pitches. There is also excellent climbing near the lower Cable Station and on the granite slabs on Lion’s Head. All the routes are naturally protected.
There are high quality routes to suite all grades and abilities and all climbs are of at least 3 pitches in length. Climbing in Cape Town also combines well with a trip to climb in the Cederberg.
Must do routes- Jacob’s Ladder and Bombay Duck.
Namibia. This country is located just north of South Africa and consists mainly of arid grassland and desert. It is extremely beautiful and well worth a visit simply from a tourist point of view. There are several rock climbing venues the most notable of which is the “Spitzkoppe” which can be found between the capital city, Windhoek and the coast. Spitzkoppe is a huge, granite peak that rises out of the desert. There are several routes of various grades on the main peak as well as the adjoining Pontok Peaks. All the climbing is friction or jam cracks on high quality granite. There are also single and multi pitch sport lines starting from the campsite! It is best to visit in the cooler months of June to August.