Waterval Boven

Waterval Boven is without doubt ithe mecca of sport climbing in South Africa and must rate as one of the best in the world. The variety and grade range of routes is staggering and the quality of the climbing is unsurpassed. Set on the rugged plateau of Mpumalanga, “The Restaurant at the End of the Universe” as it is known, is spread over quite a wide area and draws climbers from all over the country and the world. It is definitely one of those places that any climber has to visit

Honnold Waterval Boven
IMAGE: Africa Fusion

Best time to visit
Although it can get rather chilly, the weather is more stable during the winter months. Best times to climb here would be from April through September

Situated on the Highveld ’Boven suffers from lots of rain during the summer months as well as afternoon thunderstorms. Winter on the other hand generally has clear crisp days ideal for climbing, with Spring and Autumn also very good for climbing.

IMAGE: Marianne Schwankhart

Camping and accommodation
It is hard to beat ’Boven for climber-friendly camping and climbing. There is a climbing lodge in town, run by climbers (guiding and instruction available). Visit rocrope.com for more info.
There is also a very cool and well equipped campsite with chalets at the top of the Wonderland Crags, which is ideally situated for climbing as there are many crags within walking distance. Visit tranquilitas.com for more info.

IMAGE: Marianne Schwankhart

The rock and the climbing
The rock and the climbing is sublime. The rock is comprised of beautifully solid brown sandstone, offering great friction and excellent features. The climbing is generally vertical to gently overhanging but with also a generous amount of steep routes. ’Boven really has something for everyone from easy very well bolted routes to hard committing climbs and everything inbetween.

A pdf guidebook can be downloaded from climbing.co.za.

All text by Tony Lourens.