Eastern Cape Rock Climbing

Access Issues Eastern Cape Climbing

Access closed - the worst case

Relatively few climbing areas in the Eastern Cape have access issues, but many have strict conditions attached to access. All land in South Africa is owned by somebody or an organization. There are no rights to access private land for recreation. Access to private land is governed by the owner’s wishes, favour & there are normally conditions attached. 4% of venues in the Eastern Cape are totally closed to climbing. In all cases it was some quite small act or inconvenience that annoyed the owner & he simply closed access. Please be really careful!

Privately owned farm land | Farmers own 49% of our climbing venues

  • Many of the great Eastern Cape venues are simply too risky to publish on the web. The exact location of these venues & the farmer’s details have not been given. In some cases access is through established climbers in the area. Please respect this. Please contact info@easterncaperockclimbing.co.za or the MCSA climbing coordinator for current details.
  • Farming is South Africa is harsh. Our farmers face all sorts of crime threats, ranging from petty theft to stock theft & even farm murders. They have to be tough to survive. Please be absolutely courteous & polite in you dealings with them.
  • Our farmers are on average welcoming & friendly, but please don’t push them. They can be really tough & hard.
  • Access to rock climb on farmer’s land is a privilege & farmers can with draw this privilege for the smallest slight. Build relationships. Don’t interfere with livestock or farm equipment. Close gates. Phone before to arrange access. Don’t block roads. Park where instructed.
  • Most farmers will be reasonably conservative. Dress appropriately, cover tats(?) when arranging initial access.
  • Many farmers are open to enviro type touristic revenue. Some offer cottages & campsites. Don’t encourage farmers to charge for climbing, rather encourage them to charge for accommodation & camping, with climbing as a free activity. This avoids any liability issues.
  • Being an MCSA member does help. The MCSA or members often know who to speak to & have a list of farmer’s phone numbers. Mentioning to the farmer that you are a MCSA member often carries some weight. It worth becoming a member just for access benefits.

Municipal, government or communally owned land | 31% of our climbing venues

  • Mostly municipal & government officials are not too interested in what climbers get up to. On occasions there are permits or some sort permission required, but mostly just quietly get on with climbing.
  • Communally owned land, very few examples of climbing on communal land exist. There are lots of stories of climbers sitting down with headmen & a bottle of brandy. Mostly these stories are just legends.

Eastern Cape Parks | 11% of our climbing venues

  • At this stage where climbers have had contact with EC Parks there have been no issues. Mostly rangers & parks officials have been quite relaxed with climbers. Pay your fees & get on with climbing.

Universities & Schools | 4% of our venues

  • Rhodes University has an indoor wall & owns Botanical Gardens which has some bouldering. Contact the current RUMC climbing coordinator (start on FaceBook). Generally they are quite accommodating.
  • Woodridge Collage in Port Elizabeth has a very sweet sport crag on their property. They also have various (3) artificial walls. Access conditions. Contact info@easterncaperockclimbing.co.za for current details.

The Mountain Club of South Africa Eastern Province Section | 2.7% of our venues

  • Become a member, go with a member &/or pay the permit fees.

Forestry Companies | 2.7% of our venues

  • No real issues. Sometimes permits are required.
  • Just don’t make any fires or braais. Forests are worth serious money. Most forest areas have 24 hour fire watch towers. They will catch you & access may be closed.