About Soetwater Beach
Located south of the Slangkop Lighthouse, along Beach Road, you will find Soetwater Beach. There isn’t much beach as this stretch of the Kommetjie Coastline is pretty rocky with only a few sandy patches/bays. The attraction of Soetwater beach is the two tidal pools, the natural beauty and both the Soetwater Enviro Centre & Soetwater Resort.
Image Courtesy of Ikamu.co.za
Soetwater Beach is a popular destination particularly in the summer months or when the weather is suitable for swimming or fishing. The rocky coastline also provides a wealth of rock-pools for exploring. The two tidal pools also providing safe swimming areas, both of which are located near picnic and braai (bbq) areas, making them attractive to day visitors.
The first of the tidal pools, is Soetwater Tidal Pool also known as “Infinity Pool” or Soetwater-1, which is part of the Soetwater Resort. Access is controlled by means of a relatively low entrance fee and a capacity limitation to prevent over-crowding. There are lawns, a few braai areas scattered around and basic ablution facilities available. This is a very open and exposed area that isn’t very pleasant on windy days and usually best in the mornings, before the South Easter awakes.
The more popular Tidal Pool is ‘De Kom Tidal Pool‘ or Soetwater-2, which is located nearer the Soetwater Enviro Centre and accessible for FREE. Flocks of flamingoes are often seen frequenting this pool, giving it the local nickname;’bird island‘. There are concrete steps and a handrail for ease of access, but they are not always needed with the water level dropping considerably during low-tide and dryer seasons.
- Ample Parking
- Tidal pool
- Disability access
- Picnic and braai (BBQ) areas
- Public Toilets
- Fishing & Angling
- Various Water Sports
- Picnics & braaing (BBQ)
- Safe Swimming (Tidal Pool)
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Soetwater Beach and most of this stretch of the Kommetjie Coastline is mostly undeveloped and part of a registered conservation area as it comprises a sensitive and biodiverse landscape. It is home to various protected species of ‘fynbos’ and has one of the largest populations of the endangered ‘African Black Oystercatcher‘ (it’s a bird, for those that don’t know).
Offshore there is a dense Kelp Forest which is popular with divers and snorkellers for sightseeing and those after the Cape Rock Lobster (Crayfish or ‘Kreef in Afrikaans), which can only be captured with a permit and in Season. Catching Crayfish is restricted and limited to 4x Crayfish per person (subject to change at any time; please check with the authorities).
Line fishing or angling from the rocky shoreline is also popular, as is net and handline fishing from small boats, which can access the water via slipways in Kommetjie & Witsands.
Soetwater Resort provides Chalets, Camping & Caravan sites for those wanting to spend a few days enjoying everything on offer in the area. There are different camping areas within the resort, all with pretty basic facilities. Some campsite areas are more protected than others and while the beach-front campsites have spectacular views, you can get battered by the wind.
Overall the resort is somewhat rundown, but still worth a short visit (long-stays aren’t recommended, unless you like roughing it). The Tidal Pools, Picnic/Braai areas and the Enviro Centre itself, being major attractions. There are also nearby Hikes in and around the Slangkop Mountains, one in particular, taking you to an old abandoned World War 2 Radar Station.
It is important to note that the campsites do not have taps with fresh running water and only some have electricity outlets, so make sure to check before booking a site. You can get more information on facilities here or by contacting the City of Cape Town (scroll down the page for details).
Soetwater Enviro Centre
The Soetwater Environmental Education Centre (SEEC) or Parmalat Enviro Centre is a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) that provides outdoor enviromental and social education to children from grade-5 to grade-12. Groups, School Groups and Families are welcome to visit the enviro-centre to learn more about the diverse Fauna & Flora of the area.
Sleeping and eating facilities (with private caterers) are available for longer stays with dormitory or bungalow type accommodation for students and private rooms for teachers (adults).
For more information, contact SEEC directly via there website: