Rondegat river rock pools are famous with hikers and rock climbers. This pristine river, than runs through the majestic 70 000 hectare Cederberg wilderness area, creates natural pools and ponds that make for fabulous swimming. So pack your bathers and head for the hills to rediscover swimming at its best.

Did you know?

The Cederberg holds the highest possible conservation status, which accounts for the pure river water.

What could be more pleasurable than basking on a boulder until you're warmed through by the sun, then slipping into the cool, refreshing depths of a natural rock pool? Where in the world do you still find rivers clean enough to swim in, where you can even safely drink the water? At the Rondegat River rock pools in the Cederberg, these simple pleasures still exist.

There are so many pristine rock pools in this wilderness area that you can take your pick. Proclaimed a wilderness area in 1973, the Cederberg holds the highest possible conservation status, which accounts for the pure river water and unspoilt rock pools that make swimming here so memorable.

Cederberg rock pools come in all kinds. Whether you want a quick dip in a pond surrounded by tall grasses, a shallow paddling pool for your toddler, or to leap off a ledge into a majestic pool surrounded by rocks and fed by a sparkling waterfall, you'll find your favourite in one of the rivers that crisscross the 71 000 hectares of the reserve.

The Cederberg is also renowned for its unusual rock formations, spectacular landscapes and its plant and animal life. It's a favourite place for hikers and climbers, who enjoy cooling off in the rock pools before tackling another challenge. Rock art enthusiasts find it a rich source of ancient rock paintings, created thousands of years ago by the San people who once lived in this area.

The Cederberg stretches between the towns of Citrusdal and Clanwilliam, and is an easy morning's drive from the city. For those who want to truly experience the wilderness, and even take midnight dips in a natural rock pool, Cape Nature has a camp site at Algeria Forest Station right on the banks of the Rondegat river.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

CapeNature Reservations
Tel: +27 (0)861 227 362 or +27 (0)21 483 0190.

How to get here

Clanwilliam is three hour's north of Cape Town off the N7.

Best time to visit

Late spring, summer and early autumn (September to April) are the best times to swim in the rock pools.

Where to stay

Algeria Forestry Station camp site or on a Cederberg farm like Driehoek.

What to eat

You'll have to come supplied with all your self-catering needs as there are no shops nearby.

Best buys

Peace of mind and restoration of the soul and body.

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