Buffelshoek Farm, Magaliesberg.

Dome Pools


Some hikes are for swimming

It’s swelteringly hot. Our shiny-with-sunscreen group of friends do a quick gear check before we set off from the car. Sunscreen: check. Old swimming trunks: check. Towel: check. Well… at least one to share. We climb the stile over the fence at Buffelshoek farm and start down the jeep track.

The Dome Pools hike is not the most interesting hike, in fact it’s quite mundane. The path leads down to an unnamed river. We follow this river upstream, cross a series of smaller streams. At a bigger perennial river we turn south and head up the spur towards the escarpment. 

Interesting quartzite rock formations. 

In the heat of summer it is a dusty walk. Everything around us is coated in a stubborn red film that steals the luster from any plant or insect that may otherwise have caught our attention. This is the ‘beige’ of nature and lacking any vistas or views our attention remains solidly on making good progress, one foot in front of the other. Luckily, the hike itself is not what Dome Pools should be judged on or why we are here. 

The short hike and massive rock pools make Dome Pools perfect for families with young children.

We finally reach the side of the gorge with a clear view of the cascading swimming pools and it’s magnificent. A series of wide slides run into deep pools and pour out the other end. 

Pack an old pair of swimming trunks for the slides.

It takes a few slides for us to gain our confidence. Soon we are trying new routes, ramps and starting points. From the right angles we even get some air-time before we land back-side-first into the pools. It doesn’t take much to pick up speed. The rocks are slimy and slippery. Even so, it chews through a few swimming trunk bottoms.

Dome Pools offer some of the best swimming spots in Magaliesberg.

There are several shady spots next to the slides, perfect to spend an entire afternoon.

It’s easy to tell that you like a place when you start to make plans to return even before leaving.

Hiking is usually about the journey. Dome Pools, however, is less about ‘getting here’ than it is about ‘being here’. Here we are the hot rocks, in the cold water with good friends. Some hikes are for walking, this one is for swimming.

Trail Head Location (WGS84)

S25°47'45.3" E27°32'37.1"
MCSA Parking – Jan van Staden's Farm.

A permit is required to visit this property.

Route Info

Total Distance : 8,8km
Trail Type : Return
Trail Markings : Good
Starting Altitude : 1302m
Summit Altitude : 1485m
Lowest Altitude : 1390m
Difficulty Rating : 4 / 10
Dustbins : N
Water points : Y
Toilets : N
Swimming : Y 
Picnic : N

Hiked 22 February

How To Book

MCSA - Magaliesberg Section


The MCSA has requested that we do not post downloadable maps of hikes on their property.