Please read our Disclaimer.
The crags are located in an area of wild, African scenic beauty. It is not uncommon to see a pair of Black Eagles, the resident gymnogene, giant kingfishers and otters fishing in the Big Pool, nor to hear the bark of baboons. When the leaves on the trees and bushes are turning colour, especially those located at water level, the place is a sight to behold.
Rock, Routes & Gradings
The rock comprises weathered Waterberg sedimentary rocks of excellent quality, and vertical cracks predominate on the Main crag. There is some loose rock at the top of some routes, so you are advised to wear a helmet. Most routes follow cracks, open books, grooves and chimneys. A standard trad rack, supplemented by additional camming devices usually suffices. The size and duplicates of camming devices to be carried can usually be determined in advance, once the width of the crack to be climbed is observed. (If ever in doubt, take MORE).
There are some routes which feature bolts and pegs, however no route is entirely protected in this way. Therefore be prepared to place gear, and be proficient in this skill.
Most routes will require some jamming at some point, so it will be advantageous to have or to acquire the required skills.
The grades attributed to each route are generally accurate, with very few anomalies. New Generation has a reputation of being very hard (and bold) for 23 (H1). The third pitch of Bottleneck Bulge (graded F2 + when opened in1968) is hard for the 'translated' grade of 16; it remains, however, a very good route.
By the gift of nature the routes on the northern half of the Main crag may be descended by using The Ramp. This feature curves around the northern end of the Main crag and is clearly visible as one approaches Wilgepoort. It is loose in places and helmets should be worn for this descent; novices may need to abseil the bottom third of the descent - trees are available for this. The Ramp can also be used after climbing routes in The Broad gully, if the particular route finishes in its vicinity. (For routes higher up in The Broad gully, descend by gaining the top of the gully itself and then walking down it).
In winter 1994 Clive Curson
equipped the general line of the combination route Cabernet/Muscadel as
a swift and safe descent route from the southern half of the Main crag.
The first rap is off the tree at the top of Bottleneck Bulge and then three
raps (alternatively, with 50 metre ropes, 2 raps) off large U-bolts bring
you back to terra firma.
Descent off the Pillar of Eros (aka The Western crag) is via rapping off trees.
Camping, Access etc.
Camping was traditionally done on the western shore of the large pool, and this venue remains popular due to its proximity to the Main crag. However, another campsite closer to the parking area has become popular in recent times; it is located on a beach immediately upstream of the rocky ridge which one scrambles over after 100 metres from the cars. There is space for approximately five tents.
From the parking area walk upstream for 800m on the true right bank of the river. At times of low water it will be possible to cross over the river to the old campsite and then back over the river below the Main crag. At times of high water it is necessary to keep on the true right bank; to get to the Main crag then involves scrambling over the low crags which overlook the huge pool. Traverse higher up on the grass slopes of the true right bank to the crag (see the Special notice, below):
Special notice regarding
access route to the climbs
Other Important Information
Location of Rescue Equipment
A big thank you to Russ Dodding for puttting in many hours, compiling all the routes & other information.
Online Route Guides