Most people will associate Botswana with the vast flat Kalahari Desert but there are a good number of rock outcrops around the country. Right in the capital Gaborone, there is Kgale Hill which has a number of cliffs of up to 25m high with several bolted routes as well as trad routes. About 40km to the South is the village of Mogonye with several promising cliffs which are just being explored. About 60km further South there is a group of hills surrounding a village called Otse. Other climbing areas include the gorge at Kanye (90km from Gaborone), the Kobokwe Gorge in Molepolole, and the Tswapong Hills (250km north of Gaborone) with a number of gorges in it.Moshupa & Thamaga south of Gaborone offer easily accessible bouldering. There are a surprising number of gorges and outcrops along the Eastern edge of the country, including Motlhabaneng, which the Kalahari Mountain Club has been unearthing over the years.
<googlemap version="0.9" lat="-24.666986" lon="25.743713" zoom="9"> (A) -24.689739, 25.8743, Kgale Hill Kgale Hill (B) -24.5571, 25.88034, Mmopane Hill Mmopane Hill (C) -24.83882, 25.66291, Mogonye Mannyelanong Cliffs, Mogonye (D) -24.85917, 25.68662, Mogonye Mmamotshwane Gorge, Mogonye (E) -24.952782, 25.335712, Kanye Kanye Gorge (F) -24.775164, 25.422507, Moshupa & Thamaga Moshupa (G) -24.663047, 25.538192, Moshupa & Thamaga Thamaga </googlemap>
- A Kgale Hill: GPS coordinates -24.689739, 25.874300 google map link google earth link
- B Mmopane Hill: GPS coordinates -24.55710, 25.88034 google map link google earth link
- C Mogonye - Mannyelanong Cliffs: GPS coordinates -24.83882, 25.66291 google map link google earth link
- D Mogonye - Mmamotshwane Gorge: GPS coordinates -24.85917, 25.68662 google map link google earth link
- E Kanye Gorge: GPS coordinates -24.952782, 25.335712 google map link google earth link
- F Moshupa: GPS coordinates -24.775164, 25.422507 google map link google earth link
- G Thamaga: GPS coordinates -24.663047, 25.538192 google map link google earth link
The most accessible climbing area is Kgale Hill which faces the new Game City shopping complex in Gaborone.
RD compiled by Carl Bauer - http://www.bauerconsultbotswana.com/Climbing/climbBot1.html
A word of environmental caution: Rocks in Botswana are scarce and this means that the ecosystems on these rocks are unique. If we are going to climb on them we should tread lightly. In other parts of the world where rock is plentiful rock climbers do not have access to rock because some climbers have been disrespectful of the environment. The following advice may seem obvious but it is not so to everyone:
Nesting birds should be given a wide berth. We should not climb anywhere near them as some, like the vultures at Otse, are under threat of extinction. See Birdlife Botswana's website. There are also many unique plants and trees on and around the rocks and these should be left intact. Needless to say let's not leave litter and if you see some you could even take it away.