Die Hel rock pool
Did you know?
Residents in the area generally refer to themselves as 'Kloovers'.
Die Hel rock pool (translated as The Hell), which is 15 metres wide, is the biggest rock pool in the Western Cape. Swimming in its pristine mountain water is an unforgettable experience.
This fabulous rock pool in the Winterhoek Mountains near Porterville is only accessed through the CapeNature Reserve. Overshadowed by the rugged cliffs of a deep gorge, it is fed by a sparkling 5-metre waterfall.
The Winterhoek mountains, which rise up to 2 000 metres above sea level boast many rock pools. Over millennia, the elements have carved exceptional rock formations in the Table Mountain sandstone that characterises the area. It's a place of outstanding natural beauty, not just for the rock formations and pools, mountains and wonderful views, but for the flora too. Rare examples of mountain fynbos abound, with ericas, proteas and the famous red disas growing abundantly.
Most people hike to Die Hel, an easy 5 km hike from the overnight huts at De Tronk. The descent down the gorge, however, is dangerous and very steep, and shouldn't be attempted by the elderly, the unfit or by young children. An overhang on the left as you climb down the gorge is the site of some ancient rock art, executed hundreds, perhaps thousands of years ago by the San people who lived in the area until the European settlers arrived.
The adventurous might like to try kloofing into Die Hel, a spectacular trip that ends with a 5-metre jump into the pool. The route begins just before De Tronk, and requires boulder climbing, wading and swimming through tunnels between the rocks.
The biggest rock pool in the Western Cape is also one of its best-kept secrets. Where else in the world can you still swim in a river and safely drink its water too?
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
National callers: 0861 CAPENATURE (227 362 8873)
International callers: 0027 861 227 362 8873