Among the many reasons why travellers visit Limpopo, facing the challenge presented by the Blouberg Mountain Range and its iconic sky climb is one that tends to feature quite frequently. Favoured by locals and overseas enthusiasts alike, the region is one of many that offers the adrenaline experience upon which all climbers thrive. Although this most northerly province of South Africa is located along the tropic of Capricorn, its altitude results in a pleasantly temperate climate that is suited to the strenuous efforts required when scaling these peaks. The fact that it is also a malaria-free zone is an added bonus.
Rock Climbers Worldwide Flock to Tackle the Blouberg Sky Climb
The people who seek their pleasure from these hair-raising pursuits are a very special breed with a language all of their own. You will hear them talk of the relative merits of “trad” versus “sport” climbing, and of chocks, camming devices, tapers, nuts, slings and carabiners. They like to assign levels of difficulty, such as a 14 pitch E5 or a 7C+, to grade their various ascents and may argue as to whether or not it is ethical to attach bolts to the rock face. In addition, they have a tradition of naming the various ascents. Featured among those that accompany the Blouberg sky climb, for instance, are such curious descriptions as “Dog Day in Heaven” and “Dogs of Thunder”.
In practice, some visitors to this area claim that such ascents may not be as challenging as those to be faced at some of South Africa’s other climbing havens such as Waterval Boven in the neighbouring province of Mpumalanga. However, it is clear that the remote nature of the site and the awesome natural beauty of its surroundings continue to be enough to attract both aspiring and seasoned climbers in their droves.
Whether sufficiently challenging for the adrenaline junkies or not, the ancient rocks in the region also provide a compelling source of attraction for those who may have no head for heights at all. At the foot of the mountain range, the Makgabeng Plateau holds the richest collection of rock art sites on the continent.
Even though the prime purpose of their journey may be to experience the Blouberg sky climb, no visitor to the region should ever miss the opportunity to view these traditional renderings, wrought by the Bushmen tribes that once roamed these plains, hunting its game and gathering its vegetation. Indelibly etched into the red sandstone are the pictorial records of the religious rituals and daily lives of the rival San and Khoikhoi tribes who, in addition to their artwork, may well have given the world its first spoken language. Making this area even more unique is the fact that it is the only location in which the works of both these Bushmen tribes and those of the Hananwa people, that were added far more recently, can be viewed in a single site.
To experience the region, whether exploring on foot or hanging by your fingertips from a sheer rock face, you will need some place to stay. Situated right on the doorstep of this bushveld domain is our Makgabeng Farm Lodge. Here our guests will find every possible comfort and a perfect base from which to embark on a Blouberg sky climb.