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Cool Off at These Unique and Hidden Tidal Pools

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Cool Off at These Unique and Hidden Tidal Pools

A new perspective on some of your favourites plus new tidal pools around Cape Town to discover and share this summer

Update: 27 November 2018

Beautifully clean, safe and uncrowded. Fed by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans in some of the most beautiful parts of the Western Cape. And – best of all – totally free to use. You might not be able to top up a pool this summer, but you can cool off in the tidal pools around Cape Town and the Western Cape.

We give a new perspective on all your favourite Cape Town tidal pools, from Dalebrook and Wooley’s to Kommetjie and all the way to Camp’s Bay. First, though, we take a look at a few special, hidden or lesser-known tidal pools you might not have heard of, but should definitely check out this summer.

SILWERSTROOM TIDAL POOL ON THE WEST COAST
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

 

A post shared by Elroy Tomboer (@elroy_reobmote) on Feb 25, 2017 at 12:59am PST

 

MILLER’S POINT TIDAL POOL
One of those hidden spots, favoured by False Bay locals, Miller’s Point, just past Simon’s Town is a haven for families. From braai spots and rock pools to biking and hiking trails, there’s so much to explore here. And Miller’s Point tidal pool is unique in that it has a slide going into the pool – fun for the kids.
Miller’s Point Rd | Murdock Valley (8 minutes outside of Simon’s Town) 

 
 
 
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A post shared by D.R WRIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY (@drwrightphotography) on Oct 18, 2018 at 11:32pm PDT

 

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

 
 
 
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A post shared by @lmo71_ on Sep 7, 2017 at 5:36am PDT

 

SOETWATER TIDAL POOL NEAR KOMMETJIE
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  

 
 
 
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A post shared by Sam Haldenby (@samsam_iam) on Feb 26, 2017 at 11:35pm PST

 

MAIDEN'S COVE TIDAL POOL: CAMPS BAY
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 

 
 
 
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A post shared by dan (@dandedekind) on Jun 20, 2017 at 8:31am PDT

 

KALK BAY TIDAL POOL AT BRASS BELL RESTAURANT
The Kalk Bay tidal pool has the added bonus of being located right next to a restaurant and bar. Adults can enjoy a meal  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

 
 
 
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A post shared by Mad Living | South Africa (@anton_schroggi) on Aug 12, 2017 at 1:30am PDT

 

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 

 
 
 
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A post shared by Cape Point South Africa (@capepointsa) on Mar 25, 2015 at 2:15am PDT

 

DALEBROOK TIDAL POOL: ST JAMES AND KALK BAY
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 

 
 
 
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A post shared by Dishen Govender (@big_brown_bear_sa) on Oct 9, 2017 at 11:13am PDT

 

SPARKS BAY TIDAL POOL: GORDON'S BAY
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

 
 
 
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A post shared by Abu Veldsman (@abuvman) on Feb 5, 2017 at 7:20am PST

 

WOOLEY’S TIDAL POOL NEAR KALK BAY
One of the smaller and more hidden False Bay tidal pools, Wooley’s is situated on the bend as you exit Kalk Bay (past the harbour) on your way to Clovelly. There is a larger pool and a small splash pool for the little ones. And they give you spectacular views of Fish Hoek.
Main Road | Just outside of Kalk Bay

 
 
 
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A post shared by Clea (@cleapopcorn) on Dec 30, 2017 at 11:37pm PST

 

HARMONY PARK TIDAL POOL: STRAND
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

 
 
 
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A post shared by Jude John Williams (@judejohnw) on Mar 30, 2018 at 7:22am PDT

 

GLENCAIRN TIDAL POOL
Just a little further down from the main beach at Glencairn, and easily accessible from the railway station, Glencairn tidal pool is one of the larger pools in False Bay. It’s big enough to come and practice your snorkelling. And it tends to be less busy during the height of the holiday season.
Main Road | Glencairn

 
 
 
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A post shared by Vic Duggan (@vicdugganpics) on Nov 17, 2018 at 9:30pm PST

 

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Discover more special and hidden spots with our look at natural rock pools in the Western Cape.

Swim more at these public swimming pools and big commercial pools that are open in summer.

Plus: Explore all of Cape Town’s beaches and get a few ideas of things to do on your summer holiday.

Kids will be begging you to take them to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid author experience with Jeff Kinney.

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