Did you know?
The Otter Trail is adorned with relaxing rock pools along the length of this, the world's most famous hike.
Rock pools are found throughout South Africa, and in many instances are considered major attractions.
Rock pools in South Africa don’t come better or in greater abundance than the uKhahlamba-Drakensburg. Hikers will tell you there’s nothing more rewarding than rounding the corner, during a strenuous hike, to be greeted with clear natural pools to dip tired feet into, or swim in to cool off. Ploughman's Kop, at the edge of the Amphitheatre, is a slip-and-slide collection of pools.
In the North West province, Tonquani Gorge in the Magaliesberg Mountain Sanctuary Park has dozens of rock pools to float in combined with some high velocity bum-sliding. Near Rustenburg, the Tierkloof pool creates natural bubbles to tickle and tease – just like a jacuzzi!
Rockpools also abound in the Mpumalanga province due a high number of waterfalls – especially around Waterfall Boven, Sabie and Hazyview
If you favour marine rock pools then head for the Eastern Cape Wild Coast, where there are kilometers of intertidal zone to explore.
Another excellent spot for marine rock pools is northern KwaZulu-Natal, where the tidal pools on remote beaches like Black Rock and Rocktail Bay brim with sea life.
The Western Cape’s rock pool roundup is equally impressive. In Knysna’s Forest Edge Nature Reserve, the Drupkelders rock pools on the Homtini River are scenic, cola-coloured (from vegetation in the river water), and invigorating fun.
Experience the diversity of southern African rock pools on the country’s most famous hike, the Otter Trail. On the trail, inland, and beside the Indian Ocean, there are some exquisite rock pools in which to splash, or explore.
If it's size you want, look to the Winterhoek Mountains in the Western Cape. The Eden pool in Die Hel is one of the biggest in the country, but be warned paradise is at the bottom of a steep cliff. Another favorite Capetonian spot for liquid lounging is the Rondegat rock pools in the Cederberg Mountains.
To visit South Africa’s more extreme rock pools, like those in the Steenbras River gorge, alias the ‘Kamakaze Kanyon’, and Suicide Gorge in the Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve in Grabouw, it’s best to go with a professional kloofing (canyoning) operator.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Contact any of the provincial tourism offices.
SANParks Central Reservations
Tel: +27 (0)12 428 9111
Tel: +27 (0)21 483 000
The Mountain Club of South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)21 465 3412
Ezemvelo Nature Reserve
Tel: +27 (0) 13 680 1399
Mobile: +27 (0) 83 440 5886
Fax: +27 (0) 13 680 1397
Eastern Cape Parks
Tel: +27 (0)43 701 9600/ or 086 111 3320/
Fax: +27 (0)86 611 1623/4