About Mermaid's Pool

East London has quite a diving scene, albeit small. Two of their top dive sites are Three Sisters, and Mermaidís Pool at Nahoon Reef (beyond the turnoff to Nahoon beach).

When visibility is good this little pool, so close to the shore and easily accessible, holds untold wonders and time spent here with a GoPro will give you some spectacular under the sea shots.

If you have not been to Mermaidís Pool before, you will need to time it with low tide as it is easier to find - the rocks form a natural tidal pool perfect for children to splash in and excellent for snorkelling as there are good examples of coral (although scarce and mostly sea grass), seaweeds and tropical fish.

Nahoon Point has strong longshore currents and incoming tide and shore access is much easier at low tide. At low tide, particularly spring low tide, the pool is cut off from the sea, making it a lot safer (not privy to the strong back current) and only two metres deep. This is a good time for snorkelers as well.

Out to sea, and more adventurously for divers, is Nahoon reef. Use the boulder to the left of Mermaidís Pool as an exit or entry point. This is great area to test out scuba gear, although the initial going can be a little awkward as there is a lot of rock around, making it difficult to walk.

Once out beyond the shore, the best part of the reef is 2 km out to sea. It is a series of overhangs, pinnacles, caves and ledges that serve as a hotel for a huge selection of marine life - butterflies, angels, moorish idols, surgeons as well as blacktails, stripies and mullet. The reef starts at shore and extends out to sea, diveable all year round. It is also a popular night diving spot.

It is also considered a great white shark hot spot, so be cautious in the water, although you are more likely to spot juvenile raggies than great whites.

Find Mermaidís Pool

Epsom Road all the way to Nahoon Beach until a fork in the road gives you the choice of either going to Nahoon beach (left) or Nahoon reef (straight). Park in the area facing the sea at the reef. Mermaidís pool is on the small beach to the left of the parking.

Need to Know

WhereMermaidís Pool, Nahoon Reef (beyond the turnoff to Nahoon beach), East London

WhenDaylight hours but is apparently also a popular night diving spot.

How muchFree

OvernightThe closest town is East London, in Eastern Cape

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