Boven

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DoubleD
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:32 pm
Real Name: David Draper

Boven

Post by DoubleD » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:05 pm

I am planning a trip to Waterval Boven in early april. I have heard about the death there recently, and second hand reports of a deteriorating security atmosphere with increased police presence, muggings and theft becoming frequent. Can anyone here give me some first hand information? I'll likely be traveling solo. Thanks, David

SNORT
Posts: 1216
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:53 am
Real Name: Charles Edelstein
Location: Cape Town

Re: Boven

Post by SNORT » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:24 pm

I am not a local of Boven but have been climbing and travelling there for the least 28 years (since 1991).

I would think that the local people living there and those with a vested interest would feel very uncomfortable giving you any advice as to the safety or not of the place.

The climber who was shot and killed was a very well known, popular and well liked person and friends, family and the climbing community in general is in shock so I doubt anyone that knew him would deign to give you a reply that would be satisfactory.

I would think your personal safety is no worse or better than climbing here, anywhere else in South Africa or for that matter in the Fitzroy area in Patagonia (where I was left stranded in the middle of nowhere with two of the wheels of my car got stolen) or in Barcelona where I was mugged on a climbing trip there some years ago.

In most instances, (the vast majority,) of theft and other criminal incidents when they do occur are not violent but in this case it was and guns were allegedly involved.

It is a world class climbing destination and it would be a travesty if the local and international climbing community were to be robbed of its treasures.

I have no doubt that the individuals who are living there and vested there will do everything in their power to improve safety and maintain Boven as a world class climbing destination.

And I shall be visiting in April too unless there is prime facie evidence of poor safety.

DoubleD
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:32 pm
Real Name: David Draper

Re: Boven

Post by DoubleD » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:58 am

Thank you for the response. I am not sure why anyone would be hesitant to give an accurate honest opinion of circumstances there. We have issues here, Chattanooga TN, and we go out of our way to inform travellers. David

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DiabolicDassie
Posts: 57
Joined: Mon Apr 06, 2009 3:09 pm
Real Name: Jan Bradley
Location: Waterval Boven

Re: Boven

Post by DiabolicDassie » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:58 am

Hi David

I am "a local with a vested interest" I guess being a climber and a freelance climbing guide. I have been living in Waterval Boven for the last 11 years and I can tell you that all the local climbers here are nice and caring people who will definitely be upfront about security or any other issues in the area.

I am not going to write an essay on the recent events but to echo Snort's sentiment, we were all very shocked and still are as any community will be. It is still a very recent event and everybody I think is still a bit tender.

As to personal safety I think Snort has summed it up well - "I would think your personal safety is no worse or better than climbing here(Cape Town), anywhere else in South Africa or for that matter in the Fitzroy area in Patagonia (where I was left stranded in the middle of nowhere with two of the wheels of my car got stolen) or in Barcelona where I was mugged on a climbing trip there some years ago."

In short I just wanted you to know that we are a local community that cares and will be honest about the realities of visiting us. All of us are here because we love climbing, this area and sharing that magic with everyone who visits here. If you have any more queries please feel free to contact me or any of the Boven locals for an update.

Happy climbing!

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Gustav
Posts: 668
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 3:49 pm
Location: Waterval Boven

Re: Boven

Post by Gustav » Mon Nov 11, 2019 1:06 pm

DoubleD wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:05 pm
I am planning a trip to Waterval Boven in early april. I have heard about the death there recently, and second hand reports of a deteriorating security atmosphere with increased police presence, muggings and theft becoming frequent. Can anyone here give me some first hand information? I'll likely be traveling solo. Thanks, David
Hey David, excuse the late reply. I don't spend my life on the forum - too busy out at the crags. A bunch of climbers from Jo'berg just had a smashing weekend, so much fun. Last week 2 more new routes went up here at established crags, making the total way over 1000 (I must count actually ;-) ).

Please give me more details about your second hand reports - in the South African context, crime in Boven is super low. The local chief of police wins award for the low levels of crime in his district!

The short answer is, TIA (this is Africa). No, there is no malaria in Boven. Yes, you can get malaria - just like the baggage handler in an airport in Switzerland who got malaria and died! No, you won't get mugged. Yes, people have been mugged in the past. Yes, somebody got shot by a bunch of thugs passing through trying to pull a robbery. Yes, these things happen in Africa. If I have to avoid every mall in Johannesburg that had shootouts/robberies etc...I'll never go there. But we do.

The sport climbing in Boven is worth travelling half way around the world for. I can give you a list of top internationals that have placed it on their top 10 destinations ever! The reasons to come outweigh the reasons not to come.

Shout if you need beta.
Gustav
Roc 'n Rope Adventures
Waterval Boven
+27 13 120 4600
climb @t rocrope dot com

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