Cape Town; Recently recognized as the greatest city on Earth, this city is definitely a paradise for those looking for a peaceful, yet fun and adventure-filled vacation. Cape Town is the whole package, with its moderate temperatures, its beaches and its many flat-topped mountains; And most importantly exciting water sports in Cape Town. Or a quick trip to Robben Island just off the coast. This is the infamous island where Nelson Mandela was held captive. Now it has been converted into a living museum. If not a prison, enjoy the excellent view of the boats leaving the busy harbor, or the beautiful city, or the exquisite beaches, while the slowly closing cable cars are going up and down the level mountain peaks. But going up and down.
But whatever you do in the beautiful South African city of Cape Town, water activities in Cape Town should definitely be on your list. Fun water activities in Cape Town are extremely refreshing to the soul. You will be refreshed and your mind will definitely be filled with new energy.
5 Best Water Sports in Cape Town
Although there are many things you can do in Cape Town’s waterfront; Be it for leisure or some exciting adventure activities, it is not possible to include them all in one list. We will exclude activities such as sunbathing, swimming, kayaking, as these are true for any holiday destination located on the sea or ocean front. You can do any of these at any beach, and there is no need to make special arrangements. However, one needs to be fully aware of the potential dangers, if any, associated with any beach before visiting. We’ve included some fun water activities to do in Cape Town that are unique to the city, or extremely different from the rest of the city.
1. Shark Cage Diving
We decided to start the list with an extreme sport, especially for adrenaline lovers; Diving in ocean waters, in steel cages, with great white sharks. Keep in mind, this is not for the faint of heart, as sharks will pass just inches from your face. You can possibly stick your fingers out to touch them, however, this is highly not recommended. This is because no matter how high you think of yourself, the sharks are many times faster than you.
Anyway, this extreme sport is taking place in the city of Gansbaai, which is a 2-hour drive from Cape Town. It is officially operated by the White Shark Diving Company (WSDC), and they highly recommend that children under the age of 5 do not join the trip.
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2. Excel at Stand Up Paddling (SUP)
You must have heard about this game. Or maybe you never did. This makes perfect sense as it is a fairly new game, although the demand for it is very high. For some time now, most of the celebrities have been seen trying to master this game. Stand up paddling is a combination of surfing and paddling. The person involved in this sport stands on top of a surfboard and swims through the water using a paddle. The biggest attraction of this sport is that, unlike traditional surfing, SUP can be practiced in any body of water. One need not study the tides; Nor do they have to wait for big waves. SUP can be sported around the clock.
The best place to learn and enjoy this game is High Five. It is the only internationally recognized water sports school in Cape Town. It is certified by the International Kitesurfing Organization (IKO). Along with SUP, you can also learn surfing and kitesurfing in this institute. All three games have lessons of either one hour (abridged version) or 3 days (full version). If not interested in learning, one can also go on SUP tours around the Big Bay Islands from the institute. Everything from wax to wax is available to rent and buy in high fives. The best thing about High Five is that they also have several surf hostels in Table View. So, anyone can have the perfect surfing life experience with High Five.
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3. Seal snorkeling at Strawberry Rocks
Cape Town is known for its giant seals; So much so, that seal watching has become highly commercialized. And previously the most beautiful site for seal diving was Seal Island in Hout Bay. But now it is full of divers at any time of the day. Therefore, we recommend you dive with Ocean Experience when looking for seals, as they do it a little differently. Unlike any other company, Ocean Experience will take you to the lesser known and slightly secluded community of seals at Strawberry Rocks. Here you’ll find seals in their natural habitat, with very few boats and divers to interrupt your intimate contact with these playful, cute creatures.
Working with PADI, Ocean Experience primarily focuses on educating about marine life along with providing recreational activities for all. Even people who are unable to swim can have fun with them. Any Ocean Experience group consists of a maximum of six members, only two of whom may be non-swimmers. While you can dive with the animals, the best way to enjoy their company is snorkeling; In which you swim face down in water, watching cute creatures swim and dive all around you. Trips are mostly conducted in the early morning when the seals are most friendly and active. All equipment needed for the two-hour trip is provided by Ocean Experience.
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Although you can dive in any water body in any part of the world, except for a few dangerous ones, the experience of diving in Cape Town is unparalleled. These PADI dive trips and lessons are the safest worldwide with a 100% safety record to date. PADI is known for curating experiences that are more intimate than anything else in the world, in places that are most secluded, and untouched by the outside elements. They organize trips in small groups so that each member can be looked after and talked to.
We are of course talking about the diving tours organized by Ocean Experience in collaboration with PADI. Apart from shore diving, they will also let you dive from boats to explore deep water coral reefs. Apart from these, you will also be seeing shipwrecks and kelp forests in both the Atlantic Ocean and False Bay. You can take lessons on any of these dives, or proceed entirely, depending on your expertise. SCUBA diving lessons with Ocean Experience are for three days.
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5. Waltz with the Whales in Hermanus
Now we take you to the western part of Cape Town. More specifically, to that quaint village known as Hermanus. This location is recognized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as one of the twelve best places in the world for whale watching. Many people also call it the heart of the whale route. Most whales seem to prefer this small fishing village called Walker Bay. You will definitely find some species of whales in this bay.
Although many species of whales can be found here, only some of them are guaranteed to be found:
Distinguished by the calluses on its head, this variety of whale comes without a dorsal fin, and its long mouth starts above the eyes. An adult female of this variety can weigh up to 80 tons. These whales are best seen between July and November.
These are one of the most distinctive body structures among whales. They have long pectoral fins and a curly head. These whales are known to make some unique sounds, which resemble some complex songs. One such song can last between 10 and 20 minutes, and they are often repetitive. These whales are best seen between May and December.
This variety of whale is named as a tribute to John Bryde, the Norwegian consul to South Africa. He helped establish the first whaling station in Durban. These whales are of medium size and brown in color. They have a white underbelly. These whales can stay under water for 20 minutes. These whales can be seen throughout the year. In addition to whales, orcas can sometimes be seen in Hermanus.
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Although these are our recommended sports that you should not miss in Cape Town, you can also go for some other activities during your holiday in South Africa depending on your preference. However, be very careful in what you choose and as always, safety comes first.
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FAQs about Water Sports in Cape Town
What is Cape Town known for?
Cape Town is known for its beautiful shipping ports, stunning landscapes, rich culture and magnificent monuments. Unique mountain ranges like Table Mountain and Cape Point are the most prominent landmarks of the beautiful city of Cape Town.
When is the best time to visit Cape Town?
While March to May is the best time to visit Cape Town, mid-season from September to November boasts favorable weather, fewer crowds and lower prices.
What are the places to visit in Cape Town?
Some of the most amazing places to visit in Cape Town are:
1. Table Mountain – For mesmerizing views
2. Boulders Beach – Hang out with penguins
3. Victoria and Alfred Waterfront – An emerging hotspot
4. Kirstenbosch – For a flowery escape
5. Cape Point – For mesmerizing views of the ocean
What is there to do in Cape Town?
Some of the most amazing things to do in Cape Town are:
1. Cage diving with sharks
2. Meet the Penguins
3.Witness the rich wildlife and birdlife
4. Enjoy the nightlife
5. Enjoy water activities to the fullest
What are the most popular water sports in Cape Town?
Cape Town is famous for a variety of water sports and adventures. Some of the most popular are:
1. Seal snorkeling
2. Kayaking and Paddle Boating
4. Inshore Fishing
Are water sports in Cape Town suitable for children under 15?
Some activities like cage diving, kayaking, kite surfing and surfboarding are suitable for teenagers, provided they are done with proper training and under the supervision of highly trained professionals.
What are the best places to surf in Cape Town?
Some of the best surf spots in Cape Town are:
1. Long Beach
3. Big Bay
4. Glen Beach
Is it safe to swim in Cape Town waters?
Yes. Even without the presence of lifeguards, Cape Town’s waters are completely safe for swimming. However, it is always wise to learn all about it from the locals before you dive into the water.
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