It’s no secret that many people visit South Africa’s abundant shores to enjoy the natural beauty and wildlife. Although game parks are a wonderful way to experience SA, there are plenty of other ways to get in touch with your “inner outdoorsman”.
Known for it’s beautiful landscape, mountains and beaches, Cape Town offers lots of opportunities to get involved with the outdoors – especially for those who love the ocean. Here are some of the ways we think you might like to explore the wild and wet side of the Mother City.
Although many seasoned surfers know South Africa as a hot destination for surfers, not many people know that it’s a place where you can actually learn to surf. Yes, you heard right. Muizenberg on Cape Town’s False Bay is a scenic, wide bay where you will literally see everyone from toddlers to over-80’s surfing. That being said, plenty of experienced surfers flock to Muizenberg because it is big enough and wide enough to accommodate surfers of all levels.
For intermediate and advanced surfers, Longbeach in Kommetjie is a more challenging break and the small-town, village mood of Kommetjie is welcoming and friendly. There are many other breaks around Kommetjie that have beach breaks as well as powerful reef breaks.
There are plenty of breaks that advanced surfers can enjoy too. Wild and unspoilt, the Cape Point Nature reserve has a number of breaks that will challenge even the most experienced waterman.
Check out these surf-schools and rental spots:
Gary’s Surf School in Muizenberg is full of heart. Gary is well know in the surf scene and his school is the oldest in the country. Gary’s vibrant personality and great team of coaches will get you up and riding in no time (pictured below).
The Surf Emporium is also based at Muizenberg . They have a big team of dedicated coaches and a cool shop where you can buy cool surf stuff.
Lifestyle Surfshop in Muizenberg also offer good quality surf gear and have friendly, passionate coaches. If you’re not really a surfer but would like to look the part anyway, their clothing range is a must-see.
All the above Surf schools hire out boards, wetsuits and bodyboards. They are happy to take any age (pretty much), any size and any fitness level – all you’ll need to bring is a good attitude. Because they’re located on a break that’s good for beginners, they’re all used to coaching people from scratch. So don’t be intimidated – give it a try!
If you know your stuff you can also check out the surf before you safari on these webcams:
Known by some as “Boogie-boarding”, bodyboarding is a great alternative for those who want to enjoy the ocean but who don’t have the time to learn how to surf (yes, it can sometimes take a while) . The same surf-schools and retailers that hire out surf gear also hire out body-boards. It’s a really fun, uncomplicated way to enjoy the sea – you don’t need any experience and you don’t have to worry about crashing in to anybody.
If you’re looking for a fun, no-fuss activity that the whole family can enjoy together, snorkeling is it. Provided that children can swim, there are a couple of places we recommend for snorkeling. One of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets (but now you know it!) is Water’s Edge Beach. Found between Seaforth and Boulder’s Beach, it is a small, off-the-beaten track beach that is relatively protected from the wind. When conditions are just right, snorkelers can hug the shoreline and explore the bay. Boulder’s Beach isn’t just for tanning with the penguins – it’s surrounded by HUGE boulders, which makes it calm and perfect for snorkeling. This is a nice safe spot for children to try snorkeling and chances are that they’ll spot a penguin swimming alongside them.
If you’re keen to try snorkeling in Cape Town, you can purchase snorkeling gear from Great White Sport & Surf in Fish Hoek or from a big sports retailer such as Sportsman’s Warehouse (you can find a branch here).
For those who like to enjoy the ocean but don’t necessarily want to be in the water, kayaking is the business. There’s no need to wear a wetsuit and almost much anyone can do it as the kayaks are pretty stable. Kayak Cape Town offers tours that leave from Simon’s Town Waterfront and follow a route through the Naval Harbour and on to Boulder’s Beach. Here, kayakers will be able to view this unique and world-renowned penguin colony from the sea.
Kayaking in Cape Town isn’t limited to inexperienced beginners – fit and experienced kayakers can take on the more challenging route near Cape Point.
So whether you’re a beginner “water-baby” or an experienced “ocean adrenalin junkie”, adventure awaits in the ocean in Cape Town so come on, get your feet wet!