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Climbing TypeBouldering & Sport
Rock TypeSandstone
SeasonAutumn, Winter, Spring
ProvinceWestern Cape

Rocklands is undoubtedly famous for it's world class bouldering but this should not deter you from sampling the fine sport climbing. There is a large variety of quality climbing of all grades in both bouldering and sport climbing. All the sport routes are single pitch and you will have to do a small amount of walking to get to the different areas. Most of the original climbing is situated on Cape Nature Conservation (CNC) land and thus day permits must be obtained or a Wildcard from Cape Town or Porterville (small detour off the N7 on the way up). Many of the newer areas being developed are on private farms some which have small (30-40 rand)day fees.

How to get there

From Cape Town, get onto the N1 towards Paarl, take the N7 turnoff towards Malmesbury. Follow the N7 north for roughly 200km, eventually you come across a large dam after which you take the R364 turnoff towards Clanwilliam. Turn right at the T-junction and continue straight passed the town and up a small pass reaching a dirt road which is followed for about 16km until you hit another tar road. This is followed to the top off the pass where you'll spot a dirt road on the right. Park here and walk...

Getting around

A car allows one to access the full range of areas in Rocklands. The bouldering is spread out along around 20 km of road. After parking there are generally with a number of clustered different sectors within walking distance of each other. Assuming one could get to the DePakhuys campsite, it would be possible to climb there without a car (300 or so problems within walking distance of the campground), though getting to town for supplies (26km) could be difficult unless other climbers provide transportation.

Fees & Permits

You need a valid permit for bouldering activity which is obtainable from the Kliphuis campsite office, Clanwilliam information centre or De Pakhuis on the Eastern side past Kliphuis.

Bouldering/Rock climbing is allowed at the Kliphuis campsite area on condition you stay at CapeNature premises – either the campsite or one of the three cottages. The rest of the area is excluded from these terms and a permit is required.

Permits are R60/day per person or R270/week per person (Excludes Wild Cards)

Accommodation & Food

Clanwilliam is the nearest town to resupply and is located about 20 minutes back down the road. It has everything you'll need in terms of camping, internet, restaurants and food but no climbing gear. Beancas currently has three computers for internet (slow but not horribly so)and the the gas station before the Shell has two.

Climbers generally either rent a house/cottage or camp. Most of the campground have cottages available for rent.

Currently, as of August 2008, the camping based climbing scene is centered at De Pakhuys with a large number of international climbers staying here. De Pakhuys (phone 027 482 1468 or 027 482 1879) offers camping and cottages. It is 26km from Clanwilliam on the right after the paved road turns to dirt again, and bouldering area is on the farm. As of August 2008, camping is 40 Rand a night with a discount of 10 Rand if you stay over 7 days. There are flush toilets, hot showers, electricity, a fridge, sinks for dishwashing, a covered communal braai (BBQ) area, firewood, and wi-fi at the campsite. The camping also includes free access to the bouldering areas surrounding the campground, which normally has a fee of 30 Rand for access. Chalk can be purchased here and bouldering mats are for hire.

Alpha Excelsior Guest Farm is also a great alternative. It is down the other side of the pass about 1km from the ending of the tar road. Accommodation consists of self catering cottages (with optional breakfast) at R400 to R600 per cottage per night (April 2006). Contact Connie and Liz at or phone 027 482 2700.

Another alternative is Klein Kliphuis (phone 027 482 2564) which offers camping and self-catering accommodation. Klein Kliphuis is about 11km from Clanwilliam (i.e., closer to Clanwilliam than the Kliphuis campsite). Rates are R30 per person per night (August 2008). This campsite is less sheltered from wind than the Kliphuis campsite.

If it opens again, the best place to stay would be the Kliphuis campsite (sites are R90/night). The campsite is just next to the Pakhuis Pass directly after the road changes from dirt to pavement at about 17km. Unfortunately, this campsite is currently closed (July 2007, August 2008). From talking to the farmer across the road it sounds like the campground will be closed until new management is found.

There are a number of supermarkets and restaurants in Clanwilliam, about 17km away. The supermarkets generally close around 7pm though basic supplies can be purchased at the gas station next to DeKelders until 9pm. There is also a butcher selling fresh meat, biltong and even Ostrich Eggs (feeds 9 people) in town that closes at 5pm.

Cooking equipment can be purchased in Clanwilliam. The fuels Benzene, also known as white gas, and Paraffin, known as Kerosene can be bought in small quantities at the SuperSpar supermarket on the main street in town. Bulk quantities can be purchased at AgriMark, also known as the co-op which is on the right fork of the main road near the PriceClub supermarket. Gas-cartridges can be purchased there as well.

There are also a couple of restaurants in Clanwilliam with the 'Olifants Huis' (steak & pasta), Beancas (pizza & coffee) and De Kelder (burgers, beer & pizza)being my favorites.

The campsites also sell minimal amounts of basics at exhorbitant prices.

Attractions & Activities


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  • Black Shadow area

The Black Shadow area in Rocklands has been closed down due to graffiti on the boulders. MCSA is in communication with Klein Kliphuis and will be working on regaining access to this area via more effective means of keeping it clean and looking after it. In the meantime, we ask that you please do not climb at the Black Shadow area until further notice and kindly inform any other boulderers you meet who are intending to go there who might not be aware of the closure. We appreciate your compliance with the decision of the landowners to close this area for the time being.

Classic Routes

  • Rubik's Cube (19)
  • The Arête/ First Impressions (21)
  • Orange Plasma (21)
  • Ceder Rouge (24)
  • Cattle Rustler (20)

Rocklands Sport Climbing Areas

Rocklands Sport Climbing - Park as for Roadside Bouldering

  • Crags included: Adultworld, Biscuit Wall, Black Slab, Cattle Rustler Area, Cedar Rouge Boulder, Chappelle Rock, Orange Plasma Wall, Outback Area, Rubik's Cube Wall, Skinner Boulder, Sunblock, The Bastille, The Fortress, The Island, Wildwest Wall

Bouldering Areas

Road Crew|Bouldering - Road Crew

Bouldering - De Pakhuys




More Info

Some of the routes (e.g. Alto Rouge 27 on the Sun Block) have really dodgy bolts. Be careful!


Bolting is allowed at Rocklands however a process needs to be followed - failure to comply to these regulations will result in the area being closed. The procedure to bolt in Rocklands can be found here:

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