The 20 Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town

The 20 Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town The Marly

From sky-high plunge pools to glistening reservoirs, we’ve been swimming in the best pools in Cape Town, and these are our picks!

Whether you’re looking to hone your backstroke, dose up on vitamin D, or enjoy a memorable sunset with friends, Cape Town is dotted with an endless array of plunge-worthy swimming pools ready to cool you down on a hot summer’s day. Some are small, some are swanky, and some are off the beaten track, but they’re all open to the public! So grab a towel, some sunblock and a hat, and get ready to try out our top picks.

Have you enjoyed an epic swim in a Cape Town pool lately?  We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Important note Although the Cape is rich in natural beauty, tourists and locals alike are urged to take necessary precautions when exploring secluded areas, as crimes and accidents do happen. Those venturing into the Table Mountain National Park should have the following emergency numbers on hand: 086 110 6417/ 107 or 021 480 7700. Criminal incidents should be reported to the nearest police station as soon as possible.

We also recommend @safetymountain as a useful resource for hikers. This free safety tracking service allows you to notify local trackers of your contact details, intended route and travel time via WhatsApp. You are then able to provide hourly updates on your progress, and to notify trackers when you are safely off the mountain.

Where would you like to take a dip?

Hotel + restaurant pools
Tidal pools
Rock pools
Public swimming pools

Hotel + restaurant pools

Belmond Mount Nelson

The Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town: Mount Nelson

Where Gardens, Cape Town
Set in the heart of Cape Town, this luxurious five-star hotel is a tranquil oasis with a sparkling blue pool situated among rolling green lawns. Use of this legendary pool is usually reserved for hotel guests only, unless you take advantage of the Oasis Bistro Summer Lunch Special – which allows nonguests access to the pool when they order lunch! The cherry on top? A refreshing cocktail when you arrive.
Why we love it You can’t say you’ve been to Cape Town until you’ve had a G&T poolside at the Mount Nelson.
Good to know This special ends on 20 April 2020.
Cost R650 (adults); R350 (children 4 – 11 years).
Contact 021 483 1948, restaurantreservations.mnh@belmond.com
Where to find it 76 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town
Book Now

The Marly

Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town: The Marly

Where Camps Bay
Boasting what are arguably the best ocean and mountain views in the entire city, this sun-soaked rooftop pool – at the spangly new-and-improved Marly Boutique Hotel & Spa in Camps Bay – is an absolute must (when the dreaded southeaster is at bay). You’ll find it hard to tell where the pool ends and the ocean starts as you make yourself comfortable on one of the loungers and slip into a sun-drenched sopor.
Why we love it There are a few loungers inside the pool – the perfect spot to work your way through the utterly delicious cocktail and snack menu.
Please note A minimum spend of R500 per person is required for use of the pool and loungers, subject to availability, to be settled on arrival.
Contact 021 437 1287, manager@baptisterooftop.co.za
Where to find it 201 The Promenade, Victoria Road, Camps Bay, Cape Town

Radisson Red

The Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town: Radisson Red

Where V&A Waterfront
This sun terrace and pool deck of this funky hotel boasts killer views – of the sea, the Silo District and Table Mountain – with a slim industrial-style pool making you feel as if you’re in a Manhattan penthouse. More of a drinking dip than an Olympic training pool, this space is perfect for hanging out with friends on a hot day.
Why we love it An experience on the Radisson Red rooftop doesn’t end with a dip in the pool; there’s a banging cocktail list, fiery-red food truck serving everything from pizza to jalapeño balls and a playlist that’ll invite you to stay on long after the sun has set.
Good to know While you’re in the area, take a quick walk to the Zeitz MOCAA art museum, which houses some of the best contemporary art on the continent.
Cost There is no cost to use the pool, however the hotel does encourage bookings as the rooftop can get very busy.
Contact 087 086 1578, baxter@radissonred.com
Where to find it Radisson RED Hotel, Silo 6, South Arm Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Cape Milner

The Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town: Cape Milner

Where Tamboerskloof
A combination of old-world charm and contemporary design, The Cape Milner Hotel offers a secluded swimming experience hidden beneath towering trees – the perfect place to relax without the crowds, while enjoying top-notch cocktails and tapas. 
Why we love it After your dip, nab a table in the Glass Lounge, whose greenhouse-like roof, makes you feel like you’re still outside.
Cost Minimum spend of R180 per person.
Contact 021 426 1101, res@extraordinary.co.za
Where to find it The Cape Milner, 2a Milner Road, Tamboerskloof, Cape Town

The Glen Boutique Hotel

The Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town: The Glen

Where Sea Point
Taking the definition of a glistening pool to new heights – literally – The Glen Hotel in Sea Point boasts not one, but two pools stacked on different levels. If you feel like killing two birds with one stone, the day pass also allows access to all the spa facilities – including the sauna and steam room.
Why we love it With an extensive cocktail list and champagne bar, it’s like a never-ending pool party.
Cost R225 per person per day (includes access to the pool terrace and sun loungers, wifi, outdoor Jacuzzi, spa facilities, and the restaurant and champagne bar)
Contact 021 439 0086, info@glenhotel.co.za
Where to find it The Glen Boutique Hotel, 3 The Glen, Sea Point, Cape Town

The President Hotel

The Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town: The President Hotel

Where Bantry Bay
Situated in the exclusive (and wind-free) suburb of Bantry Bay, The President is set against the backdrop of Lion’s Head and Table Mountain and boasts beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean. Its uniquely shaped infinity pool is one of the most Instagrammed in the city – and it’s open to the public every year from 1 February until 14 December!
Why we love it There is a kiddies’ play area with dedicated child-minders, so you can really get your chill on without worrying about your kids.
Good to know Day visitors are welcome from 1 February until 14 December 2020. Booking is advised. A minimum spend of R200 per adult is required at the bar or restaurant, excluding R100 entrance fee. There is no minimum spend for kids.
Contact 021 434 8111, club@presidenthotel.co.za
Where to find it 4 Alexander Road, Bantry Bay, Cape Town

Shimmy Beach Club

The Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town: Shimmy Beach Club

Where V&A Waterfront
Why we love it Situated on a scenic strip of the V&A Waterfront harbour, Shimmy Beach Club is a popular lifestyle, event and dining destination, offering visitors a variety of tasty cuisines, refreshing cocktails, and a sizzling lineup of entertainment, with the sweeping Atlantic Ocean as a backdrop. The swanky two-storey interior flows onto a view-drenched deck and sand-covered “beach”, where two sparkling pools and chilled harbour views set the scene for a day out in the sun.
Good to know The pool is only for the use of Shimmy Beach Club customers, so you will need to purchase a meal or a beverage in order to swim. No children under 12 are allowed in the rim-flow pool, and no swimming is permitted after 7pm.
Contact 021 200 7778, info@shimmybeachclub.co.za
Where to find it 12 South Arm Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Cloud Nine Boutique Hotel

Cloud Nine Swimming Pool

Where Gardens
With no buildings blocking the 360-degree scapes, the view from the rooftop of Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel on Kloof Nek Road really is a never-ending visual feast. The plunge pool places you directly in front of Table Mountain, which means that good views (and an equally impressive Instagram shot) are always guaranteed, and the menu boasts an extensive selection of burgers and pizza to tide you over for the sunset.
Why we love it The relaxed vibe and super-central location means you can arrive straight after work.
Good to know Happy hour is from 3pm to 7pm on Wednesdays. Cocktails are R45 each, and it’s two-for-one on all local beers and ciders!
Cost Minimum spend of R150 per person. Please bring your own towel.
Contact 021 424 0291, gm@hotelcloud9.com
Where to find it 12 Kloof Nek Road, Gardens, Cape Town

Tidal pools

Dalebrook

Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town: Dalebrook

Where Kalk Bay
Tucked between St James and Kalk Bay lies this easily missed – and often overlooked – tidal pool. To get to it, simply walk along the subway under the railway line. It’s one of the most beautiful pools along the coast, as it seamlessly melds into the ocean (as the eye skips over the low wall), but it’s best to get there in the early morning, as it loses the afternoon sun behind the mountains.
Why we love it The large boulders in the pool invite bathers to languish and contemplate the horizon… And the low wall means that the water is kept clean with a constant flow of fresh water breaking over the wall’s edge. It’s also a fabulous whale-watching spot.
Good to know It has an outdoor shower and a changing room, making it the perfect pitstop on the way to a day of cave-exploring.
Contact 021 788 1929 / 021 788 3654 / 021 788 3655 / 021 788 7881
Where to find it Main Road, Dalebrook, Kalk Bay (via M4)

Miller’s Point

The Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town: Miller's Point
Kyle Goetsch

Where Simon’s Town
Found on the southern side of the False Bay coastline, some 5km outside of Simon’s Town is Miller’s Point, which is divided into two sections. The first leads to a caravan site and The Black Marlin Seafood Restaurant, and the second section takes you to Rumbly Bay, where you will find one of two nearby boat-launch sites and, wedged between, this secluded tidal pool. Caution is advised, as there are crafty baboons in the area, so please lock your cars carefully and don’t approach or feed these sneaky rascals.
Why we love it For its secret location – unless you know it’s there (quite a few locals do), you could miss it. It offers incredible views across the rocky bay, a fun water slide and some natural rock pools (ideal for kiddies to paddle in), change rooms, grassy picnic and braai spots. (No dogs allowed.) It’s also a great area for kayaking, snorkelling, surf skis and scuba-diving, with popular dive sites (Partridge Point, Castle Rock and Smitswinkel) nearby.
Cost Boat launching fee is R90, and a separate entry fee is charged on weekends and during peak holiday season.
Contact 021 788 1929 / 021 788 3654 / 021 788 3655 / 021 788 7881
Where to find it Miller’s Point, Cape Point (via M4)

St James Tidal Pool

The Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town: St James
Faine Pearl Loubser

Where Kalk Bay
Arguably one of Cape Town’s most well-known and popular tidal pools, you’ll find this one below the railway line, in the seaside suburb of St James, which is tucked neatly between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay. During summer, the beach and tidal pool become especially busy, so it’s best to get there in the early morning to beat the crowds, and have a refreshing dip in peace.
Why we love it St James is a sheltered, ultra family-friendly beach, making it perfect for sunbathers and young families, though surfers can ride the reef here, too. Also, we adore the characteristic colourful change rooms; they add a bright splash of colour that, with the aqua waters below and children playing on the beach, paints an idyllic seaside-holiday scene, like something out of an Enid Blyton novel.
Contact 021 788 1929 / 021 788 3654 / 021 788 3655 / 021 788 7881
Where to find it St. James Beach, Main Road, Kalk Bay

Maiden’s Cove Tidal Pools

The Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town: Maiden's Cove
Moises De Gouveia

Where Camps Bay
Hidden among clumps of rocks, these tidal pools offer spectacular views of the mountain and ocean. Close by, a buzzy restaurant strip beckons, making the prospect of a dip in the pool (or sunbathing on the boulders that surround it) yet another incentive to visit the area.
Why we love it As well as boasting some of the best views you’re likely to find from any poolside, Maiden’s Cove has a grassy area that’s perfect for a braai or picnic.
Good to know Whales and dolphins have been known to pass within sight of the shoreline.
Contact 021 438 8212
Where to find it Victoria Road, Camps Bay (the two largest tidal pools at Maiden’s Cove are located between Glen Beach (a favourite for surfers) and Clifton 4th Beach.)

Rock pools

Silvermine Reservoir

The Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town: Silvermine Reservoir

Where Between Hout Bay and Noordhoek
The large, glistening reservoir is open to everybody, including your pooches, but there are no lifeguards on duty, so swimming is at your own risk. There’s a 1km trail around the water with a boardwalk that’s easily accessible for wheelchairs and prams. There are also loads of picture-perfect picnic spots dotted around the reserve.
Opening times Daily, 8am – 5pm (May to August); Daily, 7am – 6pm (September to April)
Cost Conservation fee (rates valid until 31 October 2020):
R32 (SA citizens and residents with ID); R16 (SA children, 2 – 11 years)
R64 (SADC nationals with valid passport); R32 (SADC children with valid passport)
R128 (international visitors; standard conservation fee); R64 (international children; standard conservation fee)
Important note In order to qualify for SA rates, you must be able to prove you are an SA citizen, by presenting a valid SA ID, passport or driver’s license.
Good to know The SANParks’ My Green Card entitles you to 12 free entries into the pay points of the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP) within a one-year period. If you are a frequent visitor to Cape Point, Boulders, Oudekraal, Silvermine, and the braai and picnic areas at Tokai, Newlands and Perdekloof, this card is worth purchasing.
Contact 021 712 0527, tablem@sanparks.org (Table Mountain National Park)
Where to find it Silvermine Reservoir in Table Mountain National Park (via M3)

Crystal Pools Waterfall

The Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town: Crystal Pools Waterfall
Around About Cars

Where Gordon’s Bay
Distance from CT 1.5 to 2 hours
This hiking trail is very doable for anyone who is reasonably fit, and slightly challenging for those who are not. The rockpools along the way, where you can cool down during your walk, make it well worth the slog. The half-day hike takes you through rocky, but generally flat, terrain, and all the way at the top is a wonderful waterfall, but it is quite a trek, so make sure you have plenty of snacks, water and energy to get there.
Good to know To ensure the hiking trails are not too crowded, a maximum of 50 people per day is allowed, so try to book as early as possible.
Opening times 7.30am – 2.30pm (office hours)
6.30am – 7pm (hiking trails may differ slightly according to sunrise and sunset)
Cost R75 per person (until 30 June 2020)
Contact 021 444 6927, steenbras.naturereserve@capetown.gov.za (bookings must be done via email, at least 3 to 5 working days before your visit)
021 957 4725 (emergency number)
Where to find it Steenbras Nature Reserve (via N2 and R44)

Krom River Trail

The Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town: Krom River
mountainfreespirit

Where Paarl
Distance from CT Around 1 hour
The Limietberg Nature Reserve offers some of the best hiking trails in the Western Cape, and the Krom River trail in particular stands out, as it guides you past waterfalls and deep, translucent rock pools that are clear enough to snorkel in. The water is ice cold, but that will probably come as a relief after the long hike.
Please note You’ll need to bring some cash, as using the Huguenot tunnel requires a toll.
Dog-friendly? Pets are not allowed in CapeNature Reserves.
Opening times Daily, 8am – 6pm
Cost R50 (adults); R30 (children)
Please note Permits can be purchased at Du Kloof Trout Farm (just after the tunnel on your left) or from the CapeNature booking office. Only 24 permits are issued per day to prevent overcrowding, so plan ahead.
Contact 021 871 1535 / 087 087 4145 (reserve office)
087 087 8250, reservation.alert@capenature.co.za (permits)
Where to find it Du Toitskloof (to the left after the Worcester exit of the Huguenot Tunnel), Limietberg Nature Reserve (via N1)

Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area

The Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town: Groot Winterhoek

Where Porterville
Distance from CT 1.5 to 2 hours
A mere 120km north of Cape Town, this small conservation area is well-known for its rugged landscape and rich heritage. Among the interesting rock formations, exquisite fynbos and clear-water rockpools, you’ll find ancient rock paintings by the San and Khoi people. It is popular with hikers and mountain bikers, and there are plenty of places to stop for a refreshing swim with not a building in sight.
Important note Groot Winterhoek Wilderness was closed as a result of fires, but part of the reserve has been reopened to the public, including day hiking trails such as De Tronk to Die Hel (where the pictured rockpool can be found).
Opening times Monday – Friday, 7.30am – 4pm (office hours)
Cost R50 (adults); R30 (children)
Contact 022 931 2860 / 022 931 2315 (reserve office)
087 087 8250, reservation.alert@capenature.co.za (permits)
Where to find it Groot Winterhoek Wilderness Area (via R44, R365 and Dasklip/Cardouw turn-off)

Suicide Gorge

The Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town: Suicide Gorge
Bee Outdoor

Where Grabouw
Distance from CT 1.5 hours
Recommended only for hardy and experienced hikers, the Suicide Gorge trail takes you high up into the mountains… and then downhill through the gorge that gives it its name. You’ll be getting wet on this journey, so bring the appropriate gear, including lightweight hiking shoes, a swimsuit, and a change of clothes – a wetsuit is also highly recommended. Much of the 16.2km hike involves slip-sliding your way along this natural waterslide, and at certain points you’ll be required to leap off cliffs – some as high as 14 metres – into the pools below.
An adrenaline-boosting experience to be sure, but if you’d prefer a less intense adventure, the nearby Riviersonderend Route offers a similar challenge, but with fewer drops – the highest being a more manageable seven metres.
Dog-friendly? Pets are not allowed in CapeNature reserves.
Opening times Daily, 8am – 4pm (1 November – 30 April)
Closed (May – October)
Please note

  • The Suicide Gorge and Riviersonderend Route may be closed at any time at the discretion of the reserve management (due to inclement weather or other unsafe conditions).
  • Hikers are advised to start early (no later than 9am), and must be out of the reserve by 4pm.
  • Groups must be guided by a registered and experienced kloofing guide. Contact CapeNature for information about guides.
  • No children under 12 are allowed on this trail.
  • As the routes are popular, advance booking is advisable.
  • Maximum capacity for each kloofing route is 30 people per day.
  • The reserve office is only open on weekdays, but there is a staff member who will be on duty seven days a week.

Cost R325 per person (for Suicide Gorge and Riviersonderend Route, cost of permit included)
Contact 028 841 4301/02 (reserve office)
087 087 8250, reservation.alert@capenature.co.za (permits)
Where to find it Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve (via N2 and R321)

Public swimming pools

Sea Point Pavillion Swimming

The Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town: Sea Point Promenade
benjam

Where Sea Point
Overlooking the dazzling Atlantic Ocean, this impressive swimming pool is one of Cape Town’s most prized and loved public spaces – attracting Capetonians and tourists from all walks of life. There are four pools, each catering for different types of swimmers. There’s the Olympic-sized pool for the pros; the two smaller, shallow pools, which are perfect for kids to splash around in; and the single diving-board pool, where you can attempt to master the elusive “flying squirrel and somersault” dive.
Why we love it  Besides the diving boards? You never have to go far to get a classic soft serve (with a flake obviously).
Fun fact The iconic landmark, which dates back to the 1950s, uses fresh seawater, which means it’s open for business year-round – drought or not!
Cost R30 (adults); R16 (children); free (pensioners)
Contact 021 434 3341
Where to find it Lower Beach Road, Sea Point

Long Street Turkish Baths

The Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town: Long Street Baths
fayros

Where Gardens
The city’s most famous partying street is probably not the first place you’d think of for a cool dip, but the Turkish Baths and Pool – slap bang in the centre of town – defies all expectations. The retro building right at the top of Long Street dates back to 1908 – but don’t expect turn-of-the-century facilities here; the slick, revamped pool is perfect for midweek laps or a casual splash with the kids.
Why we love it The steam room and sauna for R&R.
Good to know The Turkish Bath steam room and sauna facilities have alternate times for men and women.
Cost Pool: R30 (adults); R15 (children); free (pensioners)
Turkish baths: R84 (hour session); R158 (4-hour session)
Contact 021 422 0100
Where to find it Long Street, Gardens, Cape Town

Newlands

The Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town: Newlands
bevmuldrum

Where Newlands
The only swimming pool on our list that’s in the southern Suburbs, the Newlands public pool is a suburbian staple for everything from inter-school galas to first swimming lessons, and also doubles as a relaxing place to cool down on hot summer days. Currently undergoing renovations, the Olympic-size pool will be more sparkling than ever and ready for laps when it reopens in September 2020.
Why we love it The pool offers stunning mountain vistas.
Please note The pool reopens in September 2020.
Contact 021 674 4197
Where to find it Sans Souci Road, Newlands, Cape Town

Compiled by Hannah Littlewood and Bianca Hausle

For all the latest happenings in and around Cape Town, subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Add new comment

Disclaimer:

The Inside Guide has made every effort to ensure that the information in this post was correct at the time of publication. However, we do not assume any liability caused by errors, such as price, cost, time, and location.

Time of publication: 29 January 2020

3 Responses to “The 20 Best Swimming Pools in Cape Town”

  1. Avatar

    Sabera Bosch

    Am a pensioner and would like to participate in safe areas and swimming pools and other places of interest for outings. Thank you

    Reply
    • Avatar

      david aitchison

      pensioners get free entry to sea point pavilion pool everyday – its best during the week/crowded over weekends + holidays. get there and enjoy sabera bosch

      Reply
  2. Avatar

    Tannith

    Monkey Valley for restaurants with pools (and THE best view)
    Glencairn tidal pool
    Skellies tidal pool (Fish Hoek)

    Reply