Cape Town’s heatwave has sent us all scuttling off to the closest cool-down joints, like thirsty hogs hunting waterholes in a parched landscape. And so it’s a good time, wherever you are – high and dry or lying low, in or out of sizzling Cape Town – to ponder some of the pool decks that could just become your chill-sites of choice. (They’re not in Cape Town, but out in the bush where the heat is always on in summer.)

There’s a dip-spot divine and deluxe at Makweti Safari Lodge in the Welgevonden. A gorgeous little rock pool is tucked away in the rugged gorge that forms Makweti’s sublime setting. From your rocky little hideout you can feel as though you’re the only creature on the planet, but you’re not, so keep an eye peeled for the odd four-legged visitor from beyond.

Kruger’s primarily about being out there to view its prolific wildlife, for sure, but all work and no play just isn’t on, so grab an interlude between safaris at Rhino Post and head for the pool, armed with mag and serious intent to do nothing other than chill. It’s a fabulous place to hide out and cool down under nature’s own leafy gazebo.

Ok, it’s true that pools need not always be cute little numbers inviting little more than a quick plunge. Let’s get big poolwise and go to Chitwa Chitwa. Pull up a lounger on a pooldeck with a wow-factor second-to-none. Actually, there isn’t just a pool here at Chitwa Chitwa, there’s also a huge lake, one of the largest in the Sabi Sand, so the pooldeck gives you the option of watching wildlife all day long from the horizontal, if you please. But there’s plenty of 4×4 action if you don’t.

Another blissful bush-basin is at Garonga Safari Camp in Limpopo. Kick back in the shade of trees with a long cool something in hand to enjoy the sounds of the bush around you. Cool as anything, is Garonga.

Oh, so many gorgeous places to dip and chill, and at many lodges you’ll have your own private splash pool a scant hip-swing away from your bed.

If we’ve wet your appetite for a bush-break, mail our Getaway Consultants for some cool suggestions, or hear about the hot favourites over the phone: 0860 102 907 (local) or +27 21 797-7122 (international).

If you do happen to be in Cape Town and thinking luxury-hotel-pooldeck, think Twelve Apostles, Romney Park, 26 Sunset Ave Llandudno.