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When the weather warms up, you know it is time to start looking for the best places to go swimming in Cape Town, so that you can cool down with a dip in the ocean, pool or even a dam or river.
Luckily, there are quite a variety of swimming options in and around the city. Depending on your preferences, how much (or how little) you’re prepared to pay, how far you wish to venture and what sort of mood you’re in, finding somewhere to enjoy a nice swim is a lot easier than you’d think. Jumping right into the proverbial cool water, here are some our top picks on where to enjoy swimming in Cape Town in the midst of a (or at least a nice hot day). Where to Go Swimming in Cape Town To keep thing nice and organised, I’ve broken down your Cape Town swimming options into three different categories: swimming pools, beaches and other bodies of water.
The other bodies of water include rivers, dams and other swimming spots that are always good for a dip. 1. Swimming Pools in Cape Town This is a basic list of pools open to the public, but please note that costs will vary according to each pool, as well as the season.
Opening hours also vary – public pools are generally open daily in the week and over Saturdays, but may not be open on Sundays. Hotel pools may require you to purchase beverages to use their pools. Sea Point Public Pools – Lower Beach Road, Sea Point Long Street Baths – Long Street, Observatory Swimming Pool – Willow Road, Observatory Newlands Swimming Pool – Main Road, Newlands Batstone Pool – Cape Quarter Square (Fourth Floor), Somerset Road, Park Inn by Radisson Cape Town Foreshore – Heerengracht Street, Foreshore Muizenberg Pool & Water Park – Beach Road, Muizenberg Romney Park All Suite Hotel and Spa – Hill Road, Green Point The Glen Boutique Hotel – Glen Road, Sea Point Trafalgar Swimming Pool – Searle Street, Woodstock 2.
Swimming Beaches & Tidal Pools in Cape Town All are technically suitable for swimming. With that said, some beaches are a lot better for swimming than others. The chilly waters on the Atlantic Ocean side (Camps Bay, Llandudno and Hout Bay) can get pretty chilly indeed.
This is great on hot days, but if you’re looking for something warmer, the False Bay/Indian Ocean side (Muizenberg, Fish Hoek, Boulders) is your best bet. A list of some great swimming spots in the ocean include the following: Llandudno Beach, Llandudno – while the water is cold, the beach is sheltered and scenic, making it great for lazy beach outings Camps Bay & Maiden’s Cove Tidal Pools, – both of these offer sheltered tidal pools that are great for a chilly dip Clifton, 1, 2, 3 and 4 – all of Clifton’s beaches are lovely, with cool waters, beautiful people and equally pretty scenery St James Tidal Pool, St James – on the False Bay side, this beloved old pool is always great for a dip Kalk Bay Tidal Pool – situated near Brass Bell in , this is a great sheltered ocean pool Millers Point, Simons Town – there is a large tidal pool here near the harbour that is great for fishing and swimming Boulders Beach, Simons Town – swim with penguins at this amazing nature reserve!
3. Rivers & Dams in Cape Town Rivers, dams and various other swimming spots include some that are free, and others that are not. Many dams and lakes are found within nature reserves, so you may have to pay a cover charge to enter the reserve. Others however are free.
We recommend doing a bit of homework before you head out to swim, to ensure that you don’t get into any trouble. Silvermine Nature Reserve – on the False Bay side, the beautiful dam of Silvermine is lovely for picnics, and perhaps a dip Solms Delta Delta Wine Estate – in Franschhoek, there is a lovely private river that you can swim in at a cost Berg River Resort – near Franschhoek, the epic Berg River is a fairly major river within the Western Cape – this huge river runs through a number of small towns, including Bonnievale and Swellendam Crystal Pools – near Gordon’s Bay, this popular spot can get busy, but is quite beautiful for swimming Jonkersoek – near Swellendam, this river, braai area and wooded area has a small entry fee (totally worth it) Kwaggaskloof Dam (also spelled Quaggaskloof) – in Worcester, this dam is ideal for swimming and water sports … Once again, we recommend taking time to do your homework when choosing a place to swim.
Beaches and many public pools, larger rivers and established swimming areas should all be fine with little to no notice, but some hotel pools, private estates and paid swimming options might require more planning. Now it’s your turn. Do you have any great swimming spots in Cape Town that you’re willing to share? Let us know in the comments below!
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has no shortage of expensive and unique date options. These include everything from spectacular fine dining, to touring exclusive wine estates and once-in-a-lifetime activities. But if you have a , or you just want to get the most of the city with your date without spending a fortune, there are a wealth of options available. Take a walk on the mountain It may be the number-one free activity in , but it’s for a good reason.
There are endless scenic walks to take in and around the city, and it’s a great way to hang out with someone without the pressures of a traditional date. If you’re both hiking enthusiasts, you could take on an all the way to the summit, or you could just explore the lower reaches of Table Mountain or Lion’s Head with a bottle of wine. Walk along the Pipe Track | © Andrew Thompson Watch the sunset on the beach Right up there with an afternoon walk on the mountain is an all-South African sundowner on one of the city’s incredible beaches.
A sundowner – essentially having a drink while watching the sun go down – is a great idea for a cheap date. But bear in mind that consumption of liquor is illegal on most beaches in South Africa, so either pack a non-alcoholic tipple or head to one of the city’s famous ocean-side bars with a view of the sunset, such as those in , though you’ll likely pay a bit more for the privilege.
Meet the penguins If you want to establish just how susceptible your date is to all things cute, head to the famous Boulders Beach. You’ll have guaranteed sightings of the little critters if you pay the R70 ($5 USD) to enter the walkways of the protected area. But there is also a good chance of spotting the penguins on the beaches and rocks either side of the reserve.
If you feel like giving back, you can also spend an afternoon together learning more about the penguins at . African penguins | © Head to a wine farm are not only the domain of expensive fine dining. Most estates in Cape Town, and the surrounding towns of Paarl, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek, offer cost-effective tastings of their best wines, in remarkably date-worthy locations.
Each estate handles tasting in their own manner, so a bit of planning ahead might be helpful. Some offer free unlimited tastings, but most require a payment of about R40 ($3 USD) to sample a selection – which often includes their flagship wines. Wine tasting at Groot Constantia | Go to a book launch The city has a thriving literary culture, and there are exciting launches almost every week at selected venues.
These launches usually include readings, an interesting, intimate interview with the author, and often a few glasses of wine.
The two most popular locations for regular book launches are , and . , +27 21 788 2266 , +27 21 462 2425 Keep an eye on their events page to stay in the loop | © The Book Lounge Enjoy ice cream on the beach A cliché it may be, but sharing ice cream on the beach makes a great cost-effective date idea.
There are several popular spots serving ice cream located near to most busy beaches in Cape Town, ranging from cheap soft-serve cones to sublime small-batch combinations, such as those at and .
The latter has a small branch perfectly located next to the Sea Point Promenade, which makes a great budget date combo. , +27 21 790 8143 , +27 21 434 2455 Visit a museum or gallery Visit a museum or gallery Cape Town is packed full of incredible museums and galleries, from those that examine the country’s history, right through to natural history and contemporary art.
Many of these cost little or no entrance fee. The is a particularly good option. Entrance is just R30 per person, and you can include it with some time in the surrounding gardens. , +27 21 481 3970 Stroll around a food market Cape Town’s food markets are no longer the location of killer deals, but they still represent good value for a morning out.
There are several great markets located throughout the city, including the , , , and the classic . All offer vibrant atmospheres and enough diversity in their delicious food offerings to add a positive element to any date. , +27 83 275 5586 , +27 87 940 7474 , +27 83 628 3426 , +27 21 447 8194 Grab a coffee The dating classic of “let’s get coffee” is a great option to consider in Cape Town.
The city has a slew of vibrant that make for the perfect coffee-date locations. Though the trendier joints like Truth charge up to R30 ($2 USD) for a speciality coffee, you can easily pick up a good-quality cup at other spots, like for just R18 ($1.50 USD).
, +27 60 871 6561 Spend an afternoon with a rescue dog in Hout Bay does amazing work for abandoned and neglected dogs. They provide food and shelter for some of the city’s cutest hounds, and they encourage members of the public to get involved and help out. Though ideally they’re looking for people to give back regularly, they are also open to the idea of visitors popping in to take one of their members for a stroll, so why not bond with your date over a puppy?
, +27 21 790 0383 Picnic in Kirstenbosch Gardens is one of the best natural attractions in the city. Though entrance costs R65 per person, when you venture through the gates into the tranquil surrounds, you’ll realise that it’s a sound investment.
It makes for the perfect date location, too – you can pack a picnic, walk around the peaceful gardens, and find a secluded spot beneath the trees to hang out with your significant (or soon-to-be-significant) other. , +27 21 799 8783
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