Tonquani rock pools, North West
Did you know?
The Cedarberg and Tonquani Kloofs are on private property owned by the MCSA.
If you're looking for a day hike – or a picnic outing – with spectacular scenery, then head for the Tonquani rock pools in the Mountain Sanctuary Park, just over an hour's drive from Johannesburg.
Situated in the Magaliesberg mountains, these rock pools are among the loveliest in the North West province.
Allow yourself a full day so you can take time to savour the scenery, take pictures and thoroughly enjoy the experience. Pack a picnic lunch, a swimsuit and plastic bags to keep your camera and other special gear dry, then head for the hills.
Do remember, however, that you will need a permit to hike in this area, easily obtained from the Mountain Club of South Africa (MCSA).
Your hike begins as you climb away from the Mountain Sanctuary Park office towards the Twin Rocks. From there it's quite a steep climb down into the Cedarberg Kloof where you'll find the Tonquani rock pools.
At the junction of the Cedarberg and Tonquani kloofs, you'll find yourself surrounded by high vertical rocks. Decide now to go upstream towards Red Gully and Boulder Kloof, or downstream to the end of the gorge. Either way is equally beautiful.
In summer, immerse yourself in the crystal-clear water of the pools and afterwards bask on flat rocks in the sun. In winter, forget swimming − the water will be freezing.
On weekends and public holidays, you'll find many other hikers. But during the week, you'll often be quite alone in one of the Magaliesberg's loveliest gorges. Safety is not an issue because MCSA members regularly patrol the area. Remember to carry your permit with you because they will want to see it.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Mountain Sanctuary Park
Tel: +27 (0)14 534 0114
Mountain Club of South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)11 807 1310
Around the area
The Magaliesberg Meander is a fun driving route which includes craft markets, funky shops, artists’ studios and restaurants.
What will it cost
Booking is essential as only a limited number of visitors are allowed. Adults R50; children 2-12 R30; R20 per vehicle.
Length of stay
Allow a full day for a hike. Accommodation is available in the Mountain Sanctuary Park if you want to stay longer.
What to pack
Your usual hiking gear, including comfortable walking shoes or boots, sunscreen and a hat, binoculars and camera. In summer pack a swimsuit for a cooling dip in the pools.
Where to stay
Log cabins, chalets and camping sites are available in the Mountain Sanctuary Park.