"Table Mountain" by Neville Nel via Flickr Creative Commons

Africa and the Middle East lack a significant climbing following, but that hasn’t stopped tour operators from setting up climbs here. Countries like Mali, who have little more than a few local climbers, are experiencing an influx of international adventure seekers trying to be the first. Tours to holy sites and the Pyramids in the Middle East are taking a day here and there to offer basic climbs for the discerning traveler who is wanting more and more with their tour. What Africa and the Middle East lack in infrastructure, they make with potential.

  1. Hand of Fatima Group, Mali The five fingers of the Hand of Fatima in the Hombori Region of Mali has numerous 6 and 7 grade routes that only a small amount of skilled international climbers and adventurous locals have ever climbed.
  2. Milner Amphitheatre, South Africa This double tiered orange rock face in the Hex River Mountains sits beside a 2,000 foot waterfall. Loads of challenging free climbs makes this the best climbing in South Africa.
  3. Blouberg Massif, South Africa A stone’s throw from the borders with Botswana and Zimbabwe, this 1,200-foot quartzite mesa sits in the sun for most of the day and is considered SA’s most difficult Big Wall.
  4. Table Mountain, South Africa Cape Town’s iconic natural monument is where South African climbing began. There’s no bolting as it’s a world heritage site, yet there are hundreds of traditional climbing routes of varying grades.
  5. Wadi Rum, Jordan This Bedouin filled valley has numerous red sandstone and granite mountains that are slowly becoming the best climbing routes in the Middle East.
  6. Gay Ben Hinom, Israel More than 100 routes, many of them graded 5.6 to 5.13a, between 15 and 50 feet can be found in this popular site near Jerusalem.
  7. Tigray, Ethiopia The potential of climbing the unexplored red cliffs of Tigray in Northern Ethiopia is enormous, but for now you will have to settle for just a handful of routes.
  8. Sinai, Egypt What Sinai lacks in established climbing routes it more than makes up for in quantity of rock. If you are looking for an under climbed region that is quickly coming on the climbing radar this is it.
  9. Mount Kenya, Kenya More challenging than any route on Kilimanjaro, the Normal Route ascends the southeast face of this narrow, 17,200 foot peak.
  10. Gorges du Todra, Morocco This stunning Red Rock climb outside of Marrakech remains in the shade, away from the desert heat until late in the afternoon.

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