Climbing in Oudtshoorn

In spite of its spelling and ostensible English pronunciation, in Afrikaans it sounds something like “oh-turn.” What is special about this crag is that it is the only limestone rock in South Africa. Unfortunately if you are a moderate climber you might want to skip it as the routes worth doing start at 5.11d/7a.


TufaThere are easier routes at Initiation Wall, which are a decent introduction to limestone slab climbing. You won’t find any tufas, stalactites, or overhanging routes on the easier climbs and if you find yourself passing through it is a nice stop over to at least get some climbing in.

There is a campground walking distance from the crags. We arrived on a Monday and it was empty. According to the guidebook the weekends can be a bit loud, especially if there is a bike rally in progress. Their website said camping was 17 Rand per person plus 35 Rand for the car, but it cost us 100 Rand for the two of us for one night. We couldn’t tell if this was the actual rate or we were just being fleeced.

In addition to the climbing Oudtshoorn has some nice off day activities. You can taste wine, ride ostriches, pet cheetahs, tigers, and dive in a cage with crocodiles (all for a fee, of course), or go to Cango caves. Depending on your budget you can certainly find something worth doing.

We only spent one night there in favor of the more extensive climbing in Montagu. There is a lot of undeveloped climbing potential so get your drill and hang out there for a while.

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