Cape Town is home to some of the most beautiful and world-famous beaches. Whether you’re looking for a place to swim, surf, or simply relax—Cape Town has it all. For those looking for a safe spot, tidal pools are rocky pools built along the coastline and regularly filled by the tides to provide a safe, family-friendly place to swim and play. There are 19 tidal pools to visit along the coastline of Cape Town, and we’ve listed them for you here. So load up the kids, pack some snacks, and check out one of these natural swimming pools.
#1 St. James
St. James Tidal Pool is considered Cape Town’s most well-known and iconic tidal pool, and is easily recognized with its colourful beach huts that sit near the water’s edge. Situated between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay in the seaside suburb of St. James, this pool is a great spot for kids to swim and families to hang out for the day. Located near a railway and main road, St. James is an easily accessible and popular spot to explore.
Please note: There aren’t any food or drink amenities available on the beach, so be sure to pack a lunch and drinks for the day.
Where to find it: St James Beach, St James, Cape Town
The Milton Tidal Pool, a natural seawater tidal pool located in the heart of Milton Beach, is a safe and family-friendly place to swim. With easily accessible, shallow, cool waters this tidal pool is the perfect swimming spot for kids and families. Read more in our post about Milton Tidal Pool.
Where to find it: Beach Rd, Sea Point, Sea Point, Cape Town
#3 Miller’s Point
Loved by locals for its secret location, Miller’s Point Tidal Pool is about a 5-minute drive from Simon’s Town on the Southern side of the False Bay coastline. Located in Miller’s Point Bay, the tidal pool can be found in-between two boat launch sites. With incredible views across the bay, a water slide, changing rooms, and grassy spots perfect for a picnic – Miller’s Point Tidal Pool is the perfect, secluded spot for a relaxing day.
Where to find it: Miller’s Point, M4, Simon’s Town, Cape Town
#4 & 5 Maiden’s Cove 1 and 2
Boasting some of the best pool-side views in the Cape, these two tidal pools provide a safe and clean environment to swim. The first pool can be found between Glen Beach and Camps Bay Beach; the second is located between Glen Beach and Clifton Beach. Located close to restaurants, bars, and cafes along Victoria Road, Maiden’s Cove Tidal Pools are a convenient and safe place to relax and swim for the day.
Where to find it: Victoria Rd, Camps Bay, Cape Town
Located on the Southern side of Glencairn Beach, this tidal pool is a family and dog friendly spot, perfect for safe swimming and sunbathing. The beach is easy to spot from the train that runs between Simon’s Town and Cape Town city center and is a popular spot for swimmers, snorkelers, and sunbathers.
Where to find it: Glencairn Beach, Glencairn, Cape Town
Located opposite the Kalk Bay Community Centre between St James and Kalk Bay, Dalebrook Tidal Pool is one of the most beautiful spots along the coast. With a low wall, there’s a constant flow of fresh, new water. The secret and often overlooked spot is located near an outdoor shower and a changing room, making it a great stop for a swim. Enjoy the shallow, warm water during the day before the sun sets behind the mountains.
Where to find it: Off Main Rd, Dalebrook, Cape Town
#8 Camp’s Bay
Located on Camps Bay beach, which is the most visited beach in the city, this tidal pool is easy to find and labelled as one of the most popular tidal pools along the Atlantic Seaboard. With many restaurants located nearby, this tidal pool is the perfect stop for a swim before grabbing a bite to eat. Although the waters are a bit chilly, the beautiful views of the Twelve Apostles are well worth it.
Where to find it: Camps Bay Beach, Camps Bay, Cape Town
#9 Buffel’s Bay
Making a trip to Cape Point Nature Reserve? Pack a swimsuit and visit the relatively sheltered and crowd-free Buffel’s Bay Tidal Pool. Take in the breathtaking white sand and abundant flora and fauna as you relax by the clear blue waters. The spot is perfect for picnics and braais, with safe waters for a post-hike swim. You’ll have to pay the Cape Point Nature Reserve entrance fee of R145 for adults and R75 for children to enjoy this spot.
Where to find it: Buffels Bay, Cape Point Nature Reserve, Cape Town
This tidal pool can be found South of Kommetjie, next to a braai and picnic area that forms part of the Soetwater recreation area. Located just across the iconic Slangkop Lighthouse, it is a quiet spot to swim. Due to the vibrant animal life that surrounds this spot, it was named a conservancy in 2009. You might be able to spot the endangered African Black Oystercatcher. After swimming, you can go fishing in one of the various famous fishing spots located just next to the tidal pool.
Where to find it: South of the Slangkop Lighthouse, below the coastal road leading from Kommetjie to Scarborough
#11 Shelley Point
Shelley Point Tidal Pool is a small, quiet pool great for a quick swim. The pool is also a popular spot for whale watching.
Where to find it: M6, Glencairn
Sparks Tidal Pool is in Gordon’s Bay near Spark’s Bay Beach. It is one of the best and most tranquil braai and whale watching spots in the country, as named by the City of Cape Town. Make a little mini road trip out of Cape Town to enjoy this great little town. Visit gordonsbaytourism.com to find out more about this little seaside village, just over an hour drive from the city.
Where to find it: Clarence Drive, Spark’s Bay Beach, Cape Town
This tidal pool is located in Kommetjie, a popular destination for kite-surfers and campers, and lies on the edge of the catwalk along the Kom, within sight of the famous Slangkop lighthouse. The area is known as “De Kom,” which is Dutch for “bowl.” With concrete steps and a handrail, it’s an easy descent into the pool’s cool waters. Grassy areas are nearby shaded by milkwood trees, making it the perfect spot for picnics. Keep an eye out for the vibrant pink flamingos that frequent the spot, earning it the name Bird Island.
Where to find it: Kommetjie, South of Long Beach at De Kom
Located on the rocky Saunders Beach, this tidal pool is situated between Clifton and Sea Point in the suburb of Bantry Bay. With white sand and blue waters, this beautiful spot is perfect for an afternoon swim. While the pool is a popular swimming destination on the weekends and holidays, it remains fairly empty during the week. So, put on a swimsuit, grab a towel, and head out for a swim at Saunders Tidal Pool. Afterwards, you can grab something to eat at one of the many restaurants located along the beach.
Where to find it: Saunders Beach, Bantry Bay, Cape Town
Want to take a day trip up the West Coast? Enjoy a getaway and visit the Silwerstroom tidal pool. Located near the Silwerstroom Resort, this pool is a great spot to swim, braai, and relax. Its gradual slope makes the pool a great safe spot for kids. With a thriving plant life and the blue outstretched ocean, this tidal pool has beautiful views you won’t want to miss.
Where to find it: West Coast Road, Melkbosstrand
Looking for a safe place to swim with spectacular views of Fish Hoek? Wooley’s Tidal Pool is the perfect spot. Located between Kalk Bay and Clovelly in the bend of the coastal road and a few steps off the ocean road, Wooley’s is divided into two pools. One is a small, splash pool great for the little ones. A bit further is a deeper pool, perfect for a relaxing swim.
Where to find it: Off Main Rd, Kalk Bay, Cape Town
Want to swim in the largest tidal pool in the Southern Hemisphere? Pack a picnic and head to the Monwabisi Tidal Pool. Located along an exposed stretch of False Bay, just off Baden Powell Drive in Khayelitsha on the Cape Flats, the tidal pool is the perfect spot to enjoy the sun, sea, and sand.
Where to find it: Off Baden Powell Dr, Khayelitsha, Cape Town
#18 Brass Bell
Want to let the kids swim after eating? This tidal pool is located right next to the Brass Bell Restaurant, making it an ideal spot for good food and fun. There are two separate tidal pools; one is shallow and perfect for splashing around while the other is deeper and best for swimming.
Where to find it: Main Road, M4, Kalk Bay
Located in the seaside town of Strand, this tidal pool is a great spot for kids and families of all ages. With lifeguards on duty throughout the day, it’s a safe place to have some fun. You can even spot small marine life in the pool, and a kiosk is nearby where you can buy snacks and drinks.
Where to find it: Gordon’s Bay Drive, R44, Strand
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