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Summer isn’t summer without swimming- especially when you are in Cape Town, the summer capital! Our beaches are endless and days spent under an umbrella in Camps Bay, people-watching on Clifton or penguin-spotting at Boulders are all must-experiences for anyone with a noteworthy bucket-list.
What you perhaps won’t know all about are our favorite ocean pools and mountain dips, the places you’ll find locals doing laps and Cape Townians fitting in a quick swim before work. Nothing better than a walk and a swim. Have a look… tempting, right?
Dalebrook Pool, Kalk Bay.
Park at Muizenberg beach and remember to look out for the iconic, brightly coloured changing rooms that line this beachfront. Follow the “Muizenberg to St James” walk that hugs the coastline- a 2.5 km stroll with the most beautiful views of the bay. When you reach the St James pool (most certainly worth a dip too) you go under the tunnel and surface on the picturesque main road of Kalk Bay that is dotted with vintage stores and coffee shops. A few hundred meters on and you’ll see the sign for Dalebrook, a more local spot that sees its regulars braving a sunrise swim every day of the week. Warm rocks and a small sandy beach make this a swimming spot you just cannot miss- don’t forget to grab a takeaway coffee from the Dalebrook Cafe before you go under the tunnel, you’ll find their baked goods a real temptation too…
Silvermine Dam, Constantia
A scenic drive over Ou Kaapse Weg will take you towards the turn off to Silvermine Nature Reserve. This plateau sits above Tokai and Muizenberg, offering a spectacular panoramic view of the city. The Reservoir stretches as far as the eye can see, making it a popular training venue for open-water swimmers. A wooden boardwalk circles the water, a great option for the less energetic strollers. There are also some beautiful hikes that start and end at this swimming spot, Elephant’s Eye is one such trail that will get you yearning for the fresh mountain water. There are some lovely picnic spots along the water’s edge and packing a few snacks for that post-swim sunning is strongly recommended.
Miller’s Point, Simon’s Town
Simon’s Town’s Boulders Beach is well-known as the penguin paradise, but the gorgeous old naval town deserves an afternoon of its own. After exploring the old-world shops and the pretty harbor, you can take a longer walk to Miller’s Point. 5km outside of the town, this pool is wedged between the Caravan Site and Rumbly Bay. A hidden gem, this pool is perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
Saunder’s Rock, Seapoint.
A smaller tidal pool option, this is a much loved spot for Cape Townians looking to fit in a dip before work on those sunny summer mornings. The Promenade is a beautiful way to see this coastline and you’ll be entertained by the cyclists, dog walkers and exercise-enthusiasts. You can choose your walking distance by parking anywhere along the promenade- from the Seapoint pools it is about a 1km walk, from the iconic Light House it is approximately a 3km walk. Alternatively, you can see the Clifton coast instead and park near Glen Beach and walk from that direction.
Constantia Nek’s Reservoirs, Constantia.
An up-hill adventure is rewarded with the most beautiful dams at the top of the mountain range. Park in the Constantia Nek lot, opposite La Parada. You can treat yourself to a quick coffee from a food truck or some fresh fruit from the stall set up each day. The hike is a challenging uphill that will take you approximately an hour to summit. But the views are all worth it and luckily, what goes up must come down…