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Two ropes are necessary to climb this as the tree is very far back from the top of the cliff. Also, the rope crosses over a walking path, so it may be wise to pay a "guard"

Access issues

We parked at -1.926225, 30.027343 or 1°55'34.4"S 30°01'38.4"E, which is on the road about parallel to the cliffs. Be careful of the river; it hadn't yet started raining where we were but the river rose rapidly and we had to ford it on the way back.


With such a long distance to the anchor, people should keep rope stretch in mind. The face is so short that you could potentially deck hard on a fall if you use two dynamic ropes.


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Grade Route
5.9 Hard Unknown 10m

The routes may be short (30 feet), but the location, just minutes from the heart of Kigali, and the scenic setting on the steep slopes of Mt. Jali make “Secret Valley” very popular.

To reach the cliffs, drive toward Gitarama but, before leaving the crowded environs of Kigali (and well before the turn off to Ruhengeri), take a hidden dirt road down an embankment, over a bridge, across a soccer pitch, and then right following the river with several bridges that lack railings (drive carefully, especially if wet!). After 10 minutes, you will see the cliffs high on the hill to your right. Turn around and park 200 meters further back.

Descend on a trail to the river and cross it (former bridge was washed out so the river may need to be forded – making Secret Valley not ideal after heavy rains). Pick up a series of steep trails which first traverse left then head more or less straight up. After 20 minutes or so from the car, traverse left to the base of the cliffs or continue higher and the head left across a slab to reach the cliff top (where a lone tree provides a top rope anchor). An extra rope is needed to extend the anchor 50 feet down to the cliff edge. From the top, a scramble descent to the right (facing down) is possible, but use care as there is some exposure.

The most popular routes are in close proximity, starting on the right (facing up) with the prominent couloir (note the name “Couloir” in fading white paint at is base). Routes are described right to left.

Hard- A steep face to the right of Couloir. 5.9

FA: unknown

5.7 Couloir Unknown 10m

See “Hard” description for directions to the area. The best route at Secret Valley.

Climb the couloir to a steep crescendo finish. 5.7 +.

FA: unknown

5.9 Escalator Unknown 10m

See “Hard” description for directions to the area.

The stepped buttress to the left of Couloir . 5.9

FA: unknown

5.3 Easy Up Unknown 10m

See “Hard” description for directions to the area.

The gully/corner to the left of Escalator. 5.3

FA: unknown

5.7 Frog 1 Unknown 10m

See “Hard” description for directions to the area.

A nice, sustained face climb to the left of Easy Up. 5.7 Reportedly a frog was first observed climbing this route, hence the name.

FA: unknown

5.7 Frog 2 Unknown 10m

See “Hard” description for directions to the area.

Just left of Frog I, pull up the steep wall and finish. 5.8

FA: unknown

5.8 The Boulder Unknown 10m

See “Hard” description for directions to the area.

The short face climb on the boulder just below the climbs described above. This is the same outcrop where the kids gather to watch the climbing. You need a very large sling to set up an anchor over the top of the boulder.

Rating unknown 5.8+ is a guess.

FA: unknown


Check out what is happening in Secret Valley.