On the Coastlines of Cape Town lies a collection of breathtaking seaside spots known as tidal pools. These secluded and mesmerizing pools offer a great experience, inviting locals and tourists to indulge in their beauty. With many options dotted along the coastlines, each tidal pool boasts its own unique charm, providing a diverse range of experiences for visitors seeking adventure, relaxation, or a glimpse into Cape Town’s marine life.
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St James Tidal Pool 🌊
Located in the charming suburb of St James, the St James Tidal Pool stands as an iconic feature of the area. This iconic spot, often featured on postcards, captivates visitors with its vibrant multicoloured changing huts. Found below the railway line near St. James Station, it snugly sits between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay, inviting travellers seeking a beach day in paradise. This tidal pool enchants visitors with its crystal-clear waters, which are teeming with diverse marine life. The popularity of St. James draws crowds on sunny days, Despite this, it remains a family-friendly spot, offering a wind-sheltered beach ideal for sun-seekers and young ones. Surfers also flock here to ride the waves and Don’t miss the striking “Meet the Locals” mural on the railway wall, a creation of The Beach Co-op, advocating for eco-friendly cleaning practices in the city’s tidal pools.
Access the pool through the subway from St. James Station on Main Road or follow the catwalk from Muizenberg’s Surfer’s Corner. At low tide, the pool reveals its rocky edges adorned with fascinating sea creatures, making it a hotspot for marine life and families seeking an educational adventure. The nearby promenade provides an ideal spot for scenic walks, offering breathtaking views of the ocean, making the St James Tidal Pool an ideal destination for a relaxing day by the sea.
Address: Main Rd, Cape Town
Camps Bay Tidal Pool 🦑
Tucked away in the suburb of Camps Bay, the Camps Bay Tidal Pool boasts an exquisite setting against the Twelve Apostles mountain range. This tidal pool offers visitors a captivating blend of natural beauty and modern amenities, making it a favourite among locals and tourists alike. Often a tad warmer than the sea, this pool’s popularity stems from its ease of access straight off the main road, boasting a paved path, stairs, and a ramp. What captivates us about this spot is its size, it’s one of the larger tidal pools along the coast. Perfect for a refreshing swim or laps, it’s also safe for the little ones. Adorned with a strip of white sand, a cosy lawn area, and the classic boulders and rockpools characteristic of the coastline, it presents a great view of the distant horizon.
Located left of Camps Bay Beach on the Bakoven side, along Victoria Road, this gem offers not just a seaside escape but also easy access to nearby restaurants and cafes. After a morning stroll along the beachfront, taking a dip here becomes an invigorating treat, making it an ideal spot to unwind. Families often frequent this location, enjoying picnics on the nearby lawns or taking a walk along the palm-fringed promenade.
Address: Victoria Road, Camps Bay
Glencairn Tidal Pool ⭐
Situated between Simons Town and Fish Hoek, the Glencairn Tidal Pool entices visitors with its relaxing and captivating coastal views. This pool provides an awesome spot for swimmers seeking a calm and safe environment for a refreshing dip. Unlike its bustling neighbour, Fish Hoek, Glencairn boasts a quieter and more spacious beachfront. Situated near the Glencairn train station the pool was Originally constructed in the 1920s, but in recent years the pool underwent renovations, almost entirely reconstructing its walls.
What makes Glencairn special is the enclosed stretch of beach within the pool’s walls, offering ample space if you want to sit back and suntan. During low tide, surrounding rocks reveal all sorts of shells and sea life waiting to be discovered. Beyond the tidal pool, Glencairn Beach is a great spot for a dog-friendly stroll or an energizing jog and The revamped coastal walkway promises awesome views of the sunrise. Access to the tidal pool is a breeze, simply hop across the railway line or take a walk along the beach and you’ll find it easily. The Glencairn Tidal Pool is also in close proximity to a few charming cafes and restaurants which makes it a convenient stop for visitors to unwind after a refreshing swim.
Address: Main Rd, Glencairn, Cape Town
Woolley’s Tidal Pool 🦐
Located between the quaint town of Kalk Bay and Clovelly, Woolley’s Tidal Pool boasts a unique charm characterized by its rocky shoreline and panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. This secluded pool is a hidden gem, perfect for travellers seeking a quieter and more intimate experience with nature. What makes Wooley’s special is its low-key vibe. It’s easy to miss along the road between Kalk Bay and Clovelly, offering a quieter alternative to the popular St James Tidal Pool. The flat rocks nearby provide a great spot to relax and take in the view, but watch your step, they can be a bit slippery.
Compared to other spots in Kalk Bay, Wooley’s is smaller and more secluded. That makes it a great choice for families with young kids. Just keep in mind there’s no beach or facilities on-site. Despite that, its cosy and peaceful setting makes it a lovely escape for those looking for a quieter and more intimate tidal pool experience along the stunning South Peninsula coastline. The Woolley’s Tidal Pool’s rugged coastline is an awesome spot for marine life, providing snorkelers and explorers with an opportunity to witness an array of colourful fish and fascinating sea creatures. The surrounding area offers hiking trails, making it an ideal spot for adventurers keen on exploring the coastal terrain.
Address: Off Main Road, Kalk Bay
Maiden’s Cove Tidal Pool ⛵
Maiden’s Cove Tidal Pool is located between Camps Bay and Clifton and is a must-visit pool in Cape Town. This pool, flanked by two secluded beaches, offers a perfect spot for unwinding and soaking in the beauty of Cape Town’s coastline. it’s a mere 20-minute drive from Cape Town and Maiden’s Cove, in particular, steals hearts with its unrivalled panoramic views, making it a standout spot in Cape Town for poolside relaxation.
Besides offering breathtaking vistas, it features sunbathing-friendly boulders and a stretch of beach, complemented by a grassy area perfect for picnics or sizzling braais. Families cherish this location for its inclusive offerings, providing a perfect setting to witness the glorious spectacle of the sun sinking into the Atlantic at day’s end. The calm waters of Maiden’s Cove Tidal Pool make it a popular spot for families, providing a safe environment for children to splash and play. The adjacent grassy lawns are perfect for picnics or enjoying a mesmerizing sunset, making it a perfect destination.
Address: Clifton, Cape Town, 8005
Dalebrook Tidal Pool ⛱
Found in the suburb of Kalk Bay, Dalebrook Tidal Pool presents a unique blend of natural beauty and cultural heritage. Carved into the rocky coastline, this pool offers visitors an immersive experience amidst the crashing waves and stunning ocean views. Right between St James Beach and Kalk Bay, this gem stands out as one of False Bay’s most stunning pools. Accessible through a tunnel beneath the railway line, this east-facing pool is something you must experience. Mornings are ideal for a visit, as the afternoon sun dips behind the mountains, but early risers know it’s a magical spot at sunrise when it seamlessly merges with the ocean beyond the low wall. What makes this pool ideal are the large boulders within, inviting you to relax while watching the horizon and there’s a strong sense of community here, evidenced by the pool’s dedicated Facebook page. It’s renowned as a fantastic whale-watching spot, adding to its charm and appeal.
Dalebrook’s shallow and sheltered waters make it an ideal location for swimmers of all ages. Its proximity to the bustling Kalk Bay Harbour ensures easy access to delectable seafood offerings, allowing visitors to savour local delicacies after a day of seaside exploration. The practical amenities such as an outdoor shower and changing room enhance the visitor experience and the thoughtful provision of lockers by the Dalebrook Cafe allows swimmers to securely store their valuables while enjoying a refreshing dip. This tidal pool offers not just an awesome setting but also a sense of community and thoughtful amenities, ensuring a memorable experience along the South Peninsula’s coastline.
Address: Off Main Road, Dalebrook
Miller’s Point Tidal Pool 🦞
Located just beyond Simon’s Town within the South Peninsula, Miller’s Point is an amazing place waiting to be discovered, Divided into two sections, this coastal spot offers more than meets the eye. Follow one turn-off to the caravan park and the renowned Black Marlin restaurant, while the other leads to Rumbly Bay, home to two boat launch sites and a secluded tidal pool tucked between them. Named after an early settler who established a whaling station in 1825, Miller’s Point is now cherished as a prime spot for whale watching. The deep waters just north of the pool attract southern right whales and their playful calves, offering visitors a chance to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
Surrounded by breathtaking views across the rocky bay, the site boasts a thrilling waterslide into the pool, natural rock pools perfect for kiddies to splash in, changing rooms, and a grassy picnic area ideal for a braai. If you are into Water sports Miller’s Point has quite a few opportunities for kayaking, snorkelling, surf skis, and scuba diving, with renowned dive sites like Partridge Point, Castle Rock, and Smitswinkel nearby. However, caution is advised when parking due to the crafty baboons in the area, keep a safe distance and avoid feeding these curious troublemakers. Please note, that no dogs are allowed, ensuring a peaceful environment for all visitors to enjoy Miller’s Point.
Address: Miller’s Point Road, Murdock Valley
Buffels Bay Picnic Site and Tidal Pool 🐃
Located within the Cape Peninsula National Park and the tourist-heavy Cape Point area, Buffels Bay Picnic Site and Tidal Pool offer a pristine natural setting for visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of Cape Town’s coastline. This location boasts a tidal pool complemented by a beautiful sandy beach and the area is teeming with diverse flora and fauna and you have the chance to encounter antelope or ostriches. What’s captivating about Buffels Bay is its untouched landscape along the False Bay coast which presents a natural and “wild” swimming experience, accentuated by breathtaking vistas. The tidal pool is a safe spot for children and a perfect post-hike retreat it also serves as an ideal setting for picnics or braais, yet visitors must be cautious about baboons and leftover food. A slipway beside the pool is an easy launching spot for kayaks or canoes, adding another layer to this tidal pool.
Adjacent to Buffels Bay, accessed via a separate road, lies Bordjiesrif, a beloved fishing spot featuring a sizable tidal pool and braai facilities. From here, a hike leads to Venus Pool, a natural rock pool brimming with sea life, offering fantastic snorkelling opportunities. The reserve operates from 6 am to 6 pm (7 am to 5 pm, April to September), with entry fees ranging from R90 to R360 and requiring ID documents for payment, excluding cash transactions. The tidal pool’s calm waters make it ideal for families seeking a safe and enjoyable swimming experience and the surrounding indigenous flora and fauna provide an excellent backdrop for nature lovers and photographers alike.
Address: Cape Point, Cape Town
Saunders’ Rocks Beach 🌄
Tucked away in Bantry Bay, Saunders’ Rocks Beach offers a charming, hexagonal tidal pool that is close to many restaurants and shops. Surrounded by large granite rocks, it stands out amidst a lovely white-sand beach, drawing sun-seekers and adventurers alike. While it attracts a crowd on weekends being right by the Sea Point’s Promenade, during the week it’s pretty quiet. What makes this pool a favourite is its sheltered nature, often shielded from the wind by the encompassing granite rocks. These rocks offer a perfect vantage point for watching passing ships and serve as a launching pad for the adventurous few daring enough to leap into the sea (though caution is advised due to rip currents, rendering the open sea unsafe for swimming).
For the ideal experience, consider a late afternoon dip followed by a sunset picnic or dining out along the vibrant Sea Point strip. You can find this spot on Beach Road, Sea Point, inviting visitors to enjoy a great seaside vibe amidst the bustling energy of the Atlantic Seaboard. The Saunders’ Rocks tidal pool caters to both swimmers and explorers, with shallow waters ideal for a leisurely dip and rock formations teeming with intriguing marine life waiting to be discovered at low tide. Visitors often find themselves captivated by the stunning vistas this location has to offer.
Address: Sea Point Promenade, Beach Road, Sea Point
Kalk Bay Tidal Pools 1 & 2 🏄🏼♂️
Kalk Bay has not one, but two tidal pools, these adjoining pools offer a delightful escape for travellers seeking a relaxing day by the sea, surrounded by the charm of this historic fishing village. The Kalk Bay tidal pools, known for their calm and clear waters, provide an excellent setting for swimming and snorkelling. After enjoying the pools, visitors can explore the vibrant streets lined with eclectic shops, galleries, and seafood restaurants, immersing themselves in the unique culture and heritage of Kalk Bay. If you are in the mood Stop for a drink at Brass Bell or grab a cocktail at Cape to Cuba and if you want a bit to eat be sure to visit Kalky’s they have fresh fish and the portions are massive.
Address: Kalk Bay, Cape Town, 7990
Soetwater Tidal Pool 🌲
Kommetjie, a wild coastal stretch on the South Peninsula, sits about an hour’s drive from Cape Town and lies in the shadow of the majestic Slangkop Lighthouse. This area, marked by its untamed beauty, was declared a conservancy in 2009, boasting rich biodiversity and a dense kelp bed just offshore. The Infinity Pool, also known as the tidal pool, is located within the rustic Saltwater Recreational Area. Its unspoiled surroundings, featuring rocky shores and kelp-strewn beaches, offer an incredible setting for nature lovers. Visitors can explore the rock pools, take part in birdwatching and stand a chance of spotting the endangered black oystercatchers.
Adjacent to a braai area and picnic site, the pool caters to all, with a separate section for kiddies to splash about safely. Access to this tidal pool involves a nominal fee of R18 for adults and R7 for children, with day visitor numbers limited to 250 and no alcohol permitted. For those seeking an alternative experience, the nearby De Kom tidal pool at Beach Road and Van Imhoff Way is a fantastic free option, especially during mid- to high tide. Easily accessible with steps and handrails, it offers a grassy picnic spot, making it a convenient and charming choice for a day by the seaside. The surrounding area also offers stunning hiking trails, allowing adventurers to explore the coastal landscape and revel in the breathtaking views.
Address: Lighthouse Rd, Cape Peninsula, Cape Town
Silwerstroom Tidal Pool 🏖
Escape to the West Coast and uncover a true hidden treasure, the awesome tidal pool at Silwerstroom, just off Westcoast Road, about 13 kilometres north of Melkbosstrand. Here, it’s all about swimming, chilling by the braai, and picnicking like there’s no tomorrow. This spot isn’t just about fun in the sun; it’s a nature lover’s paradise too. Surrounded by lush plant life and offering stunning views of the sea, it’s a beautiful spot to unwind and soak in the rich biodiversity of the area.
Located in the heart of the West Coast’s beauty, this laid-back Tidal Pool in Silwerstroom invites you to kick back, swim, and enjoy family time around the braai. It’s the perfect spot for a day out not too far from Melkbosstrand, where you can splash, grill, and relax with panoramic coastal views. Whether you’re up for a dip, a beachside barbecue, or a lazy picnic, this tidal pool at Silwerstroom is your ticket to a fantastic day out, surrounded by the natural wonders of the West Coast.
Address: Silwerstroom Resort, off Westcoast Road, Silwerstroom
Spark’s Bay Tidal Pool 🐚
Situated on the outskirts of Cape Town, Spark’s Bay Tidal Pool offers visitors a serene escape with its pristine waters and captivating coastal views. This pool, surrounded by rocky formations, presents an excellent opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature. Spark’s Bay Tidal Pool is an ideal spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers, boasting vistas and fascinating rock formations sculpted by the ocean’s movements. The pool’s calm waters beckon swimmers and sun-seekers to indulge in a day of relaxation by the sea.
While amenities might be sparse, this spot is great for families. It’s got braai spots, clean restrooms, and a safe tidal pool for the kids to enjoy. But hey, get there early to snag a good spot since you can’t reserve seats. Even without booked chairs, Sparks Bay promises a carefree and enjoyable day surrounded by nature’s beauty along the Atlantic coast.
Address: Clarence Drive, R44, Gordon’s Bay
Cape Town’s tidal pools embody the natural splendour and diversity that the city has to offer. From family-friendly pools to the more rugged and secluded ones, each location presents a unique experience, inviting visitors to explore the wonders of the coastlines in Cape Town. Whether it’s swimming, snorkelling, or simply soaking in the breathtaking views, these tidal pools provide an ideal setting for a memorable day amidst the beauty of Cape Town’s coastal landscapes.