Between the holiday village of Gordons Bay and the popular surfing beach Kogel Bay (or Kool Bay) lies the beautiful Crystal Pools which prove popular for rock jumping and swimming. This moderate hike takes you up through the mountainside to an area below the Steenbras Dam in the Western Cape and what most people will tell you are four pools. In reality there are only really three decent ones as the first is not very deep and only useful for a quick dip rather than any kind of jumping or diving from the rocks. Anyway, lets call it 4 pools and the 2nd one takes a person of average fitness roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach.
Permits for access to the Crystal Pools can be bought (fifteen Rand per person at time of writing) either from the reception at Sunbird Lodge or from the small hut at the entrance near the gate in the fence at the start of the hike. Most people park in the parking area opposite the fence and simply cross the road although some prefer to leave their car in the Sunbird Lodge car park and walk across the bridge to get to the gate entrance.
It’s a beautiful place to visit and one that most nature lovers will certainly enjoy. Hikers cool off with a swim or two and those who are more adventurous take to rock jumping. There are different heights to jump from into the deep water varying from the relatively low and easy through to the ridiculously high and crazy.
Two lovely waterfalls can also be found along this hike as seen in the pictures of Crystal Pools displayed below. If you wish to visit the area and want to go on this hike but are not too familiar with directions, simply drive all the way through Gordons Bay until you get to the R44 Faure Marine Drive which goes around the coast to Kool Bay, Bettys Bay, Kleinmond etc. About 5-10 minutes travelling on this road you will come to Sunbird Lodge on the right hand side by the ocean. Either pull in here to park and buy your permit/s for the hike or travel for a minute or two more to park opposite the entrance to the Crystal Pools at the car park opposite the gate in the fence.
The following are a selection of images taken on a recent hike up to the Crystal Pools: