Explore Cape Town by Sea
The city of Cape Town finds itself in the unique position that it’s surrounded by two of the world’s largest oceans – the Indian Ocean to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It goes without saying then, that the sea plays an important role in the lives of Capetonians and what better way for visitors to experience this magnificent city than from the seas that surround it? Here’s a look at some watery adventures you can take part in on your next trip to Cape Town.
Between July and November, Cape Town is one of the best places in the world to catch a glimpse of the giants of the sea. And while whales can often be spotted from the coast, even from the Sea Point promenade, the best way to get a closer look at these magnificent animals is by boat. There are many officially licensed whale watching boats with expert guides leaving False Bay and all around the shores of the Cape Peninsula. These operators adhere to strict whale watching rules that ensure the interactions don’t cause the animals any distress.
From a lazy trip around Cape Town harbour with views of Table Mountain, to a sundowner cruise to Clifton and Camps Bay or an adventure around Cape Point aboard a five star luxury yacht, there is something for everyone. While most cruises depart from the famous V&A Waterfront, a number of cruises also launch from Hout Bay and Simon’s Town. So whether you want to see the city from a different angle or just hang out, have some drinks and catch the sunset, there’s bound to be a yacht that’s heading out in your direction. If you’re feeling really adventurous, however, why not sign up for some sailing lessons at one of the many sailing schools in and around Cape Town?
With its unique position of offering surfers great waves in almost every direction, pretty much all year round, Cape Town is a surfers’ dream destination. From point breaks to beach breaks and even giant reef breaks, Cape Town has something for everyone, regardless of whether you’ve never set foot on a surfboard or arrive with your own quiver of sticks under the arm. For those who’d like to try surfing, Muizenberg is a famous learner beach with loads of places offering rentals and lessons. For the more experienced surfers, there are also guided tours that will take you to the gnarliest of waves.
A popular sport among the locals, who you can often see paddling up and down the coast in the late afternoon, kayaking offers a great way to experience the ocean and its inhabitants up close while enjoying some spectacular views of the city. Thankfully you don’t have to have arms of steel or the lungs of a seal to enjoy this unique interaction with nature, as there are numerous guided kayaking tours all around the city offering everything from a sunset cruise around the Atlantic Seaboard along Mouille Point, Sea Point and Clifton, to paddles out to Boulders Beach to see the penguins. For the more fit and adventurous types, there are also full-moon experiences and even tours out to the infamous Cape Point.
For those who fish, Cape Town is one of those bucket list trips. The cold Cape waters are arguably the best fishing grounds in the world, offering offshore anglers the opportunity to catch a variety of fish including Yellowfin, Longfin and Bigeye Tuna, Yellowtail, Kob, Cape Salmon, Snoek, and occasionally Marlin. Local operators offer highly professional services with well-equipped, world class boats, offering the highest quality equipment and tackle, and skippers and crew with an intimate knowledge of the local waters. They also offer trips for anglers of different experience levels and expert advice is always at hand.
The meeting place of two great oceans also provides an astonishingly diverse underwater spectacle for scuba divers. With everything from shallow shore to reef dives and even wreck dives, the cold waters around Cape Town have something for divers of every experience level. Even if you’ve never even put a snorkel in your mouth, there are many certified diving schools in and around the city that offer courses, equipment and diving tours that will ensure you experience the underwater wonderland around the Cape Town coastline.
Another thrilling water activity Cape Town is well known for is kitesurfing, especially in summer when the wind picks up a notch. On a windy day, hundreds of canopies can be seen floating up and down the coast on both sides of the mountain. While the most popular kiteboarding spot is around the Tableview/Bloubergstrand areas because of its proximity to the CBD, it’s also popular around the long beaches of False Bay. If you have your own kite and board, remember to bring a wetsuit, because the water around Cape Town varies from cold to frigid, especially during the summer months. If you’d like to get into this exciting sport, there are numerous schools offering lessons and rentals.