Ready, steady, let’s traverse the trails at twilight
Cool Off This Summer at These Local Tidal Pools
We’ve compiled a list of tidal pools in and around Cape Town to keep you cool this summer
The severe water restrictions mean you’re not allowed to fill or top up your pool with municipal drinking water, and rightly so. But luckily you also don’t have to venture into the mighty Indian and Atlantic Oceans for a dip. That’s because there are a variety of lovely, cool and blue tidal pools that are so close they might as well be right in your backyard.
Silwerstroom Tidal Pool
Silwerstroom Holiday Resort, located along the R27, is a haven for those who live on the West Coast – or simply like to venture out there for the scenery and serenity. The tidal pool has a gradual slope, making it perfect for kids, and because the water in tidal pools is always warmer than the sea, they can play in it for longer. The beach at Silwerstroom is marked as a blue-flag one and always has lifeguards on duty too.
West Coast Road | R27 | Melkbosstrand
Monwabisi Tidal Pool
Located off Baden Powell Drive in Khayelitsha, Monwabisi (meaning ‘bringing joy’ in Xhosa) is the largest man-made tidal pool in the Southern Hemisphere. There are paddling pools that are safe for the little ones to play in. On Boxing Day (26 December, officially Day of Goodwill) and New Year’s Day, the area gets packed so if you’re not a fan of crowds this might be two days you opt to stay away from this pool.
Baden Powell Drive | R310 | Khayelitsha
Soetwater Tidal Pool
Ever been past Slangkop Lighthouse near Kommetjie and thought it would be cool to see it up close? You should, because Soetwater tidal pool is a stone’s throw from the iconic lighthouse and is suitable for all ages to enjoy. Just off the tidal pool lays a kelp forest and various famous fishing spots. There is plenty of parking and it is usually pretty quiet at the tidal pool – depending on how hot the day is, of course.
Den Anker | Lighthouse Road | Kommetjie
Maiden’s Cove Tidal Pool
Maiden’s Cove in Camps Bay/Clifton actually boasts two tidal pools; both of which offer stunning views and a safe and clean environment to enjoy. Both also allow guests to braai and picnic nearby. Maiden’s Cove is not the only tidal pool between Bakoven and the V&A Waterfront. In fact, there are five; Camps Bay, Maiden’s Cove one and two, Milton and Saunders’ Rock. People flock to these tidal pools as they are all located so conveniently close to the restaurants, bars and cafés along Victoria Road.
Victoria Road | M6 | Camps Bay/Clifton
Brass Bell Restaurant Pool
The Brass Bell tidal pool has the added bonus of being located right next to a restaurant and bar. Adults can enjoy the menu in the sunshine while the kids splash in the smaller tidal pool. There are two pools of different depths. Kids can enjoy both pools, but supervision is advised if they are in the deeper pool.
Main Road | M4 | Kalk Bay
Buffels Bay Tidal Pool
This secluded pool is the perfect place to relax in stunning scenery. The cliffs of Cape Point are viewable from the pool, and visitors can enjoy the serenity of being by the ocean. To get to Buffels Bay tidal pool, you do need to pay entrance to the Cape Point National Park, which keeps most of the crowds away.
Unnamed Road | Cape Point National Park
Dalebrook Tidal Pool
The Dalebrook pool, opposite the Kalk Bay Community Centre, is one of the more well-known tidal pools in the greater Cape Town area. Residents of Kalk Bay and surrounding areas enjoy plunging in the salt water on hot days. This spot is a great stop off for cooling down on a walk between Kalk Bay and Muizenberg, or to just relax and watch the world go by. The pool is shallow, warm and is cleaned by the municipality once a month.
Main Road | M4 | Kalk Bay
Sparks Bay Tidal Pool
Just off Clarence Drive between Gordon’s Bay and Rooi-Els, Sparks Bay resort sits as a coastal haven for travellers and leisure seekers. You do need to pay to get in, but the resort boasts picnic spots and braai areas, plus a place to camp if that takes your fancy. The tidal pool offers fantastic whale watching opportunities during whale season (June to November).
Clarence Drive | R44 | Gordon’s Bay
Harmony Park Tidal Pool
Close enough that it is easy to head out there for an afternoon splash and far enough to feel like you’re leaving the city, the seaside town of Strand even sports its own tidal pool. The Harmony Park tidal pool has lifeguards on duty at certain times and can be enjoyed by all ages. You’ll find various small marine life in the pool like tiny fish that get washed in and out. There is also a kiosk nearby for snacks and boats are available for hire.
Gordon’s Bay Drive | R44 | Strand
In spite of the water restrictions, the City of Cape Town have announced that these 12 public pools that will remain open through the summer season, and we’ve rounded them up into a guide just for you. Elsewhere in the city there are private, but open to the public, pools that also offer a place to cool off; here is our pick of the best swimming pools. Nature makes her own swimming pools, and we’ve rounded them up too. Have a look at our rockpool guide.
Also, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle and check out our Pinterest boards for updates. Not to mention, subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date with what's hip and happening in our pretty city.