Waterval Boven has a lot to offer : more than 500 sport climbs from 5.4 to 5.14, some excellent trad and for every grades there is many beautiful lines. Climbing is mostly vertical or gently overhanging sometimes with overlaps and roofs. The rock here is is not a juvenile 100,000 year-old limestone, it is a 2.3 billion year old quartzite! On magnificent orange faces you will build endurance, technique, precise footwork and finger strength.

For 15 years Alex and Gustav devoted energy and passion to ease your stay and make sure you get the best of this exceptional location. There expertise is precious. Make sure you contact them. Their office / climbing equipment shop and rental are easily found. It is on the main road in Boven, not even a mile after your right turn from the N4, on the opposite corner of the Shamrock Arms Irish pub. tel# +27(0)132570363


South Africa is in the southern hemisphere so seasons are the opposite of Europe and North America. Keep in mind that the African winter is dry and the summer is wet.

You can enjoy Boven’s climbing almost any time of the year. From april to october there is very little rain (if any) with day temperatures from 45 to 70 and nights from sub zero to 40.

During the summer, it is rarely too hot since most of the crags are in the shade by midday and about 6000 feet above the sea-level. It normally stay under 85 but can be as cool as 60.

Bring a down jacket any time of the year. In mid-summer (late November to early February) you will also need a raincoat. Afternoon thundershowers are frequent but, after the rain, the rock dries very quickly so climbing is possible on most days.

If your schedule is open and you are looking for the best timing, September to early November and late February to end of May offers excellent weather and rain is very unlikely. You will also enjoy the scenery at his best; green and lush!


Situated few kilometres from the Wonderlands crags, the Roc’n Rope Climber’s Lodge is the original climbers hang-out in Boven. It offers dorms and double rooms at very reasonable price. There, you will have access to an exceptionally well equipped communal kitchen, hot shower, sunny deck with BBQ facilities, living room with fireplace, pool table, and secure parking space.

If you arrive as a group, you may be interested to rent the Orange house just beside the lodge. Also owned by Roc’n Rope, it has 3 bedrooms, 2 with double beds and one with two single. The kitchen is fully equipped, there is a sunny deck with gas BBQ, hot shower, a fireplace in the living room and a secure parking space. Its like home away from home at a very reasonable price.

If you want to stay at walking distance of the Wonderlands crags, you have the Tranquilitas Adventure Farm and camping There is a swimming pool, hot showers, fridges and fire sites. You can also rent one of the well equipped chalets or safari-tents. It can be very quiet during the weekdays unless it’s a holiday so if you are alone or want some company the Lodge would be your best option.

An other option is the Tegwan Retreat, halfway between the town and the Wonderlands crags. There is two large cottages sitting in a lush shady garden with a trout stream babbling past. For a big group it works out cheaper than the other self-catering options. Inquire at Roc’n Rope.


There is a ATM in the center of Boven. Withdrawal are limited to 2,000 ZAR.

In town, you can buy the basics in little shops or at the TARS Multisave supermarket. If you want very good fresh red meat, go at the butcher store on the other side of the railway track. Please encourage local economy as much as possible. For fresh products, you will have get to Nelspruit. It is the nearest big town and you will find more than what you can dream of.

On rest day you can hike or mountain bike around, arrange some kayaking or horse-riding, go trout-fishing. (it is trout country) Make sure you reserve some time to visit the world renown Kruger National Park. It is only one and a half hour away.

If you are in need of some civilization, Shopping Centres, cinemas, Coffee Shops head for Nelspruit. It is an hour drive from Boven. The Riverside Mall has it all.


PDF of Waterval Boven climbing guide

Mountain Club of South Africa

South Africa climbing site

Getting There

From the Johannesburg (also name as Tambo) international airport, take the R21 south. Soon after follow the signs for the N12 east towards eMalahleni (Witbank). It will become the N4. Stay on it for a couple of hours. After the second toll gate, you will see the signs for for Waterval Boven. The right turn brings you to the center of the city and Roc’n Rope will be on your left just after the liquor store.

If you do not have a car, Lowveld Link offers transportation by small bus once a day. You do have to make a reservation. You do have to make a reservation. They do not stop at the airport if there is no pick-up. They will leave you at the intersection of the N4 and the main of Boven, about a mile from Roc’n Rope office and the Lodge.

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I live in a place with world class rock climbing (the Boulder, Colorado area in the USA), so i know what world class climbing looks like. Boven has a ton of world class sport climbing. Terrific rock. Classic lines everywhere you turn. Great weather. Exotic flora and fauna. Just a few hours’ drive from the Johannesburg-Pretoria metropolitan area, and less than 2 hours (further down N4) to Kruger National Park, Boven is one of my favorite global destinations. Be prepared for traditionally rated levels of difficulty and steep ground, and be prepared for a ton of fun. Don’t step in any baboon poo; there was a ton of it on the trail at the base of the crag when I was there last weekend. And be sure to enjoy the international atmosphere in your camp or lodge. Sep 28, 2017