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7 Natural Rock Pools for Adventure Junkies
Thrill-seekers will appreciate these hidden treasures just outside Cape Town
Natural rock pools are a wonder of nature. We’ve found seven treasures that are great alternatives to the city’s sure-to-be-crowded swimming pools. Some need an extensive hike to find them or a scenic walk through a forest. Others are for people with nerves of steel, while another is also child-friendly.
These rock pools are situated in an ecologically sensitive area, so SANParks only allows 12 people in per day. The 40-minute forest trail to the pools isn’t too steep and the pools are suitable for kids who can swim.
Kamikaze Canyon (Steenbras River Gorge)
A day out to this canyon should be on the bucket list of all adventure junkies. You abseil down a 65m high waterfall and go kloof jumping into different rock pools along the gorge from heights ranging from 3m to 22m.
Tweede Tol (Worcester)
This popular camping site is 16km from Wellington on Bainskloof Pass. The natural pools have waterfalls and you can cliff jump from heights up to 5m. Costs for day visits are R40 for adults and R20 for kids and campsites are from R160 per night.
Located about 3 hours from Cape Town, this campsite boasts tranquil surrounds. Hikes to the pools are fairly easy and not too far from the camping area. Camping fees are R65 for adults, R40 for kids between 4-17 years old and kids under 4 enter free.
Crystal Pools (Steenbras River Gorge)
About 9kms from Gordon’s Bay, you’ll find a natural rock pool along the Crystal Pools hiking trail. It’s popular for abseiling and cliff jumping. Using the trail costs R20 per person and requires a hiking permit that can be booked by sending an email to [email protected]
Maalgat Cliffs (Cederberg)
All it takes is an easy 2km hike to get to this hidden gem. The thrill is in the plunge: You can get up cliffs as high as 11m to dive into a 50m long natural rock pool. It’s situated only a short drive from the camping area at Sanddrif in Cederberg, where permits cost R30 for adults and R15 for kids under 14.
Suicide Gorge (Grabouw)
This is for adrenaline junkies and it’s advised that you travel with an experienced hiker, if you are not one yourself, before undertaking this jaunt. You’ll be trekking for a full eight-hour day, covering 17km. Cliffs are as high as 20m, and you’ll likely be wet throughout as you, jump, swim, and scramble. Suicide Gorge is a one-of-a-kind experience.
Compiled by Razaan Kamish
Wood-fired hot tubs to 65-degree natural springs, dip into these heated pools and steamy springs.
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After trying out these rock pools, why not kloof Suicide Gorge – An Unforgettable Adventure for the Fit, Brave and Wild at Heart. Also check out our overview of Public Swimming Pools in Cape Town and Surrounds or plan an outdoor getaway at one of the Top Campsites in the Western Cape.
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