The Western Province has a large number of historically significant Pools and Places of aquatic history, ranging from ponds, tidal pools, beaches, dams and oceans - to both indoor and outdoor swimming pools. The main centre is Cape Town, where tidal pools were developed around the coast and a number of indoor pools were later built. Tidal pools were mde around False Bay and later also along the Southern Cape coast towards Port Elizabeth.
Inland, the province developed into the Karoo although the area around Kimberley was to become the Griqualand West province. In the western Cape towns like Stellenbosch and Paarl numerous schools developed strong aquatic sports programmes, buiilding their own pools or often using the town's municipal swimming pools. Along the beaches surf lifesaving became popular. Swimming carnivals were held in the flooded dry dock in Cape Town harbour, intrepid open water swimmers braved the cold Atlantic Ocean for the Robben Island crossing, while races like the Gentry Cup were held in the warmer waters of False Bay.