8 Terrific tidal pools on the Dolphin Coast

There is nothing quite like getting up close to marine life while snorkeling. Photo: Tidal Tao.

Nothing says you live at the coast quite like a trip to the beach, and one of the most rewarding things to do is to find a tidal pool and snorkel, marveling at the life present right under our noses.

So let us take a look at a few of the stunning tidal pools on the North Coast that you have to pay a visit to.

1. Thompson’s Bay

Thompson’s Bay is one of the most popular beaches on the Dolphin Coast, and the amazing tidal pool is choc-full of life.

This popular pool attracts many swimmers and snorkelers and should be your first stop if you are interested in coming up close and personal with some of the fascinating creatures that live in the inshore areas.

The pool is also home to one of the southernmost coral colonies in Africa.

The Thompson’s Bay tidal pool is probably the most popular on the North Coast.

2. Salt Rock

Just a few hundred meters north of Salt Rock beach, this tidal pool used to be one of the jewels of the coast but lost a lot of its life after being drained a few years back.

Fortunately life is starting to creep back into the pool, which is itself stunning, and plenty of fish can be spotted on a snorkel there.

Salt Rock tidal pool is set in a stunning location.

3. Tinley Manor

A little off the beaten track, Tinley Manor’s tidal pool is ideal for those snorkelers who have already visited all those closer to home.

Lying below a large hill, Tinley Manor’s tidal pool is large enough to support all sorts of sea creatures.

Not to mention the fact that you can stop by Impulse at the Beach for some truly authentic Dolphin Coast cuisine while you are there.

Tinley Manor’s tidal pool is not as well known, but just as rewarding for snorkelers.

4. Chaka’s Cove

This hidden little tidal pool is truly one of the gems of the Dolphin Coast.

Not nearly as large as Thompson’s Bay or Tinley Manor, the pool nonetheless holds an amazing array of life, from fish to crustaceans, you will be stunned at the sheer amount to see.

The cove can be found just below Salt Cafe by following the beach access alleyway.

The Chaka’s Cove tidal pool is a hidden gem full of life.

5. Salt Rock Grannies Pool

The grannies pool below Siggi’s is the ideal spot for children to learn to snorkel.

Small and shallow, parents will be able to keep an eye on their little ones while they enjoy floating around the little pool and seeing some of the sea creatures that call it home.

The grannies pool is the perfect spot for youngsters to learn to snorkel.

6. Umdloti

For those of you looking for a natural tidal pool, a visit to Umdloti is a must.

Because the pool is natural, more life can find its way in and out and the ecosystem is in a naturally occurring habitat.

Umdloti’s tidal pool is a beautiful natural pool.

7. Ballito tidal pool

Closer to home, the Ballito tidal pool is a beautiful pool that easy to reach, with a walkway right down to it, and is yet another set in a stunning location.

The pool’s size also means that this too would be a great place for the kids to learn how to snorkel while mom and dad can watch from nearby.

The shallow kiddies section is ideal for those who have yet to master their strokes.

The lovely Ballito tidal pool.

8. The ‘secret’ tidal pool

Hidden somewhere north of Willard Bay and south of Thompson’s, the so-called ‘secret’ tidal pool is extremely small, but extremely lovely.

More like an ocean water tub, this tidal pool is perfect for wallowing in.

Nestled onto the side of a rock bank this tiny pool can comfortably only accommodate two or three.

So the next time you are in the mood for a beach walk, challenge yourself to find it.

Do you know where the ‘secret’ tidal pool is hidden?

So the next time you are sitting at home wondering what to do with your weekend, remember that there is a plethora of sea life just waiting for you to discover at the many beautiful tidal pools on the North Coast.

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  AUTHOR
Allan Troskie
Journalist

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