If the Mother City’s tidal pools are too tame for you, you’ll find plenty of rugged alternatives surrounding Cape Town. The nearby rock pools are stunningly clear and inviting, offering opportunities for relaxation or action depending on what appeals to you.

Discover the best of the best on these day trips from Cape Town.

Hottentot’s Holland Nature Reserve

Just beyond Somerset West about 60 km from Cape Town, you’ll come to this pristine water lover’s playground. Here the rock pools are like giant slip ‘n-slides incorporated into the Suicide Gorge Trail.

As the name suggests, this is an outing for the experienced hiker with nerves of steel as you’ll also come across some 14m high jumps into the water along the way. It’s a good idea to bring a wetsuit along for this one if you’re squeamish about chilly waters. Jackets, decent hiking boots, extra water, and energy-packed snacks are a must.

When you’re not whizzing by at high speed, take some time to appreciate the thousands of species of fynbos along the way and keep your eyes peeled for sightings of duiker, klipspringer, grey rhebok, grysbok, and some of the 110 resident bird species.

Limietberg Nature Reserve

About two hours from Cape Town, you’ll find the pristine wilderness of the Witte River. The reserve boasts some wonderful natural swimming pools and excellent campsites, so why not make a weekend of it?

While you’re soaking or walking your worries away among these gorgeous landscapes, you might also catch sight of some of the local wildlife like dassies, black eagles, klipspringers or even a caracal if you’re really lucky.

Bring plenty of water along, warm gear as you’re bound to leave late, and all your camping goodies if you decide to stay over. You can also braai or picnic if you please.

Kogelberg Nature Reserve

Head out on the Steenbras trail about 70km from the city for a day of exhilaration and relaxation. The reserve’s Crystal Pools are a wonderful reward for hikers heading out on this challenging trail, offering the ultimate refreshment about 45 minutes in.

The pools are the perfect way to recharge for the rest of your journey after a well-deserved picnic. Bring a solid pair of walking shoes and don’t forget your water and snacks. One of the top creatures to keep a lookout for in this part of the world is the Cape clawless otter but you should also keep a lookout for foxes, caracals, and spotted genets.

Hit the Roads Around Cape Town

Are you an avid explorer? Whether you’re lucky enough to live in Cape Town or you’re planning a visit soon, you’ll find plenty to enjoy both in the city and on day trips from Cape Town. Browse our blog for more inspiration or get in touch for some insider tips.

Image credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/waterfall-cascade-stream-pond-pool-5799384/