During my recent trip to Tiwi Beach (alone, without kids!), I FINALLY made my way over to the famous “Africa Pool.” It was an incredible experience – the highlight of my weekend! Tiwi Beach is a long stretch of coral reef, and the Africa Pool is a natural rock pool set in the cliffs and coral reef, visible only during low tide.
I went with one of the local fishermen, who showed me the way to the pool. We took a long walk along the edge of the reef, where the tidal pools drop off into open water. We arrived at the area where the coral reef forms some amazing natural pools. From above, the Africa Pool looks remarkably like a map of Africa!
I spent ages swimming around with my mask and snorkel, checking out all the amazing sea life inside the pool. The water was about 2 meters deep, and surprisingly clear. I saw lion fish, hermit crabs, reef crabs, shrimp, and all manner of tropical sea life.
When I had seen all there was to see of the Africa Pool, we took a walk to another pool along the cliffs. This pool was located partially inside a cave, with a hole in the ceiling which sent an ethereal sunbeam shining down into the center of the cave.
Inside the cave was eerily silent, with just the sounds of water dripping from the ceiling above. Outside the cave was a winding maze of pools for snorkeling. The area was full of sea grass, and plenty of beautiful fish!
Jesse and I have been visiting Tiwi Beach for nearly 10 years – I simply cannot believe we never visited the Africa Pool in all that time. To be fair, it would be hard to visit it with kids. While I think Claire could handle the long walk, she’s not good enough at swimming yet to be able to enjoy the pools themselves. When the girls get a bit older, though, I think they would love it! And I will definitely be sure Jesse gets a chance to see it next time we’re at the beach. This was an incredible way to spend a morning, and was definitely the highlight of my weekend away!
(Lead aerial photo of the Africa Pool courtesy of Iris Africa.)