The A.C.R.A Wall Rock climbing10 routes in cliff
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Images of ACRA wall have probably sold the idea of climbing in South Africa to more climbers than any other single face in the country. Pictures of the wall have appeared in most of the famous climbing magazines in the world, as well as on book covers, posters and almanacs. The climbing is long, sustained, with awesome views in an exposed location.
Access issues inherited from Waterval Boven
Best is by car but see bus info below. There is actually no need at all to venture into Johannesburg itself (not that it‟s such a bad place, some people love it!). From Johannesburg airport (O R Tambo International) take the R21 south for a few kilometers then the N12 east towards Witbank, which becomes the N4. These are excellent highways and within two hours (several kilometers after the second toll gate) the turn-off to Waterval Boven is reached on the right. Note: the highway splits into two
1.5 kilometres after the second toll gate. Both are still signed N4 Nelspruit, but only one of them passes Boven! Keep straight, don‟t take the left fork, many first time visitors make the mistake of going left which leads in completely the wrong direction!
The expensive toll gate just before Boven can be fairly easily avoided by turning off (right) at Machadodorp, approximately 15 kilometres before Boven. Drive into Machadodorp then take the tar road towards Badplaas (signed) for approx 13 kms, then turn left towards „Nkmomati Mine‟. After 3.2 kms turn left onto a gravel road signed Waterval Boven. Keep on this, keeping left at the fork at 6.5 kms, the road leads past the Tranquilitas Adventure farm and the Wonderland crags and after another 8 kilometres or so into Boven town, about 10-15 minutes later than if you had gone through the toll. If it‟s been raining very heavily this road can be unpassable in a normal car, however it dries very quickly (within a few hours).
Once in Boven, Roc „n Rope Adventures is easily found, on the opposite corner is the Shamrock Arms pub. Stop in and say “howzit” and get directions, either to the Climbers‟ Lodge or to Tranquilitas. While in town pick up some beer and some cheap (but excellent) steak and boerewors from the butcher (Slaghuis), be sure to ask for the climbers‟ discount.
There are a couple of shuttle-bus services that leave/return to Joburg once a day. At the time of writing „Jereh‟ will drop you off at roc and rope. Contact them on 082 378 3614; they will soon have a website. The other service is the Lowveld Link
(www.lowveldlink.com) but they only drop at the Boven turn off from the N4 but its only 1-2 kms from there to Roc and Rope. Expect to pay between R 300 and 400 return.
Ask if you can be dropped off here by the friendly staff at Roc 'n Rope Adventures or one of the local climbers. From Roc & Rope, drive downhill towards the railway. At the T-junction turn right and go down the hill into the township (Emgwenya), turn left at the T-juntion. Just before reaching the waterworks, about 650m along, turn left down (the second) steep passable dirt road. This takes one over a low-level concrete bridge over the river, then turn right and right again after 100 metres at a fork. Continue underneath the main N4 highway. The parking place is the dead end just above the the Elands Falls. The abseil points are not more than 30 metres from this point. Do not leave any bags or valuables in the car, locked vehicles have been broken into here. It is better to be dropped off then walk back. 96 To access the A.C.R.A wall, walk towards the cliff top and find the correct abseil point. The abseil for climbs between Sorcery and You Too Brutus is about 20 m left in a small chimney at the top of the crag. This abseil takes you to some stepped ledges about 15 metres above the forest floor. Hang the draws on your route and chalk up a few holds on the way down. You can scramble along these ledges easily to get to the base of each of the climbs. Do not leave any bags at the top of the crag.