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Mountain climbing at Thabaphaswa

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The Mountain Club of SA has bolted a 150m rock climb on a granite rock face on Thaba Phaswa (difficulty 17-26).

There are single and multi-pitch sport climbing routes at the sanctuary. NO EQUIPMENT IS PROVIDED. A standard sport rack will get you up and down all routes.

A few easier climbs and abseiling are also available. It is advisable to start early and carry plenty of water in the summer months.

Rock climbing

Dome Rock: Kiepersol Hut

Monkey see ... monkey do ... they say, well while we were bolting a new route behind Dome Rock, some monkeys were up to mischief.

My son and I bolted a 15 grade sport climbing route. Great for the beginner or lead climbing.

I can imagine a night climb by the fire place with a few good friends for a challenge.

New Climb – Monkey see Monkey do ** 15, 5.5m (2 Bolts & Anhors) (13/10/2018) BB: Hermien Venter FA: Jaco Venter. Starts face on, the route moves directly up.

Kannie Dood Crag: New top rope/abseil anchors.

The anchors are on the left side of the crag between Surami and Blou Akkedis stert route (still under construction for bolting new route)

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Hermien Venter

Just for Fun, Loula and Surami climbing routes

  • Just for fun *** 11R(1B,C), 12m (25/05/2013)BB: Johan Moelich FA: Johan Moelich Climb straight up to bolt, then right to Loula's chains.
  • Loula **** 11(3B,C), 14m (25/05/2013)BB: Johan Moelich FA: Sjene Smith
  • Surami *** 12(3B,C), 14m (25/05/2013)BB: Johan Moelich FA: Sharon Benade

  • Kanniedood (from left to right)
  • My Big Toe **** 19, 20m
  • Friday 13th *** 20, 24m
  • Dead Ant *** 21, 19m
  • Yoga on the Rocks **** 23, 23m
  • Boned **** 21, 23m
  • Tu-lips *** 16, 36m
  • Pitch 1: 16, 16m
  • Pitch 2: 15, 20m
  • Triple Town *** 17, 27m (11/05/2013)BB: Johan Moelich FA: Sharon Benade (5 meters left of My Big Toe. Starts at the flake under the tree.)

Easier climbs

The easier climbs at Kanniedood crag can be reached by going left as you reach the bottom of the crag. Go left then right around the corner and up the hill. The climbs are close together on the easy slab on your right as you get to the top of the crag.

  • Just for fun *** 11R(1B,C), 12m (25/05/2013)BB: Johan Moelich FA: Johan Moelich Climb straight up to bolt, then right to Loula's chains.
  • Loula **** 11(3B,C), 14m (25/05/2013)BB: Johan Moelich FA: Sjene Smith
  • Surami *** 12(3B,C), 14m (25/05/2013)BB: Johan Moelich FA: Sharon Benade
  • Skoenlapper 15/18 (6 Bolts + Anchors), 17m (26/03/2016) BB: Thomas Kotlar, FA: Hermien Venter. Route starts at the granite slab, then up the crack, out right and up to the anchors. Use the crack and stay left for 15. Use the face right of the crack for 18.
  • Super Cool Nifty - 21 (6 Bolts + Anchors), 17m (26/03/2016) BB: Thomas Kotlar, FA: Thomas Kotlar. Straight up the face of the bulge. Miena se Muis - 20 (6 Bolts + Anchors), 17m (26/03/2016) BB: Thomas Kotlar, FA: Thomas Kotlar.
    Use the crack then over the top to the anchors. (Skoenlapper, Super Cool Nifty and Miena se Muis use the same anchors.) Front climbs (On the face that you see as you approach the crag.) Take the left path up the slab, go under the trees to get to the next 2 climbs.
  • Triple Town *** 17, 27m (11/05/2013)BB: Johan Moelich FA: Sharon Benade (5 meters left of My Big Toe. Starts at the flake under the tree.)
    • My Big Toe**** 19, 20m (Brilliant climb) Friday 13th *** 20, 24m
    • Dead Ant *** 21, 19m
    • Yoga on the Rocks **** 23, 23m
    • Boned **** 21, 23m
    • Tu-lips *** 16, 36m
    • Pitch 1: 16, 16m
    • Pitch 2: 15, 20m
    • "Scorpion" *** 19, 3 pitches (2013). Walk to right hand side of crag. The line of bolts following the off-width crack is Scorpion. The bolt line to the left of the crack is a variation to Scorpion and worth the try. (Variation pitch is a grade 23)
    • Pitch 1: 19, 20m 10 bolts. Belay on big ledge
    • Pitch 2: 16, 30m 5 or 6 bolts. Belay in big scoop Pitch 3: 10, 35m 2 bolts. Top out(Climb for the view) When Abseiling and you're using 60 meter ropes, use the chains you pass as you climb pitch 3. The abseil is only 5 meters between the two points but necessary. You will be caught short on a 60 meter rope.
  • Dome Rock Whistling in the wind *** 19, 7m Elephant's Head Pitch 1: ** 23, 22m Starts to the left of the elephant's trunk. On balance, small holds on a relatively smooth surface.
    Crux 1/3 of the way up, then straight forward to the top Pitch 2: ** 19, 23m Start right to avoid loose slab, then left under the boulder, continue left over dassie shit - worst section on this climb Pitch 3: *** 18, 23m Starts from a small cave through which on can see under the elephant to the other side of the rock face.
    Route moves over to the left past the elephant's ear. Pitch 4: *** 17, 22m Route moves directly up to just short of the top. Pitch 5: ** 15, 10m Short easy finish.
  • Kanniedood Mountain Hut Swart Mamba: Anchors Start on the left side of the hut at the open book in the corner.
    There are 2 separate anchors on top of the bolder. Pofadder ** 12, 17m (5 Bolts and Anchors) (22/07/2017) BB: Hermien Venter FA: Nehan Fourie. Starts on the right side of the hut on the granite slope. The route moves directly up.

There is a special service available for rock climbers at Thabaphaswa. Hermien Venter knows all the climbs very well, and provides a service as guide and climbing leader for climbers at Thabaphaswa. She can also provide climbing equipment if so required. Hermien's services can be booked via the contact form or call her at 084 823 8392.

Find the climbing info of Thabaphaswa on the Climb SA wiki.