Cape Town Ocean Activities
Cape Town is based in a unique position surrounded by oceans. The 1000m high peninsula divides the Atlantic Ocean side with the Indian Ocean side and the expansive False Bay is 30 kilometers wide at its widest point. Cape Point provides a spectacular view and although not the true place where the two ocean meet, it is one of the most beautiful view points in the world where the ocean view is endless. Cape Town’s ocean teems with wildlife provides the perfect opportunity for endless ocean based activities.
Cape Town is a famous surfing destination where seasoned surfers from across the globe seek out the thrill of riding the notorious waves. Cape Town is dotted with both idyllic, beginner beaches and adrenalin pumping big waves that will intimidate even the most experienced surfers. For the beginners, Muizenberg Beach is the place to be with its small, fun waves and relaxed beach vibe. Long Beach in Kommetjie is a scene of serenity and picture perfect waves that makes it the perfect destination for the intermediate surfer and surf photographers. Intermediate to advanced surfers can also escape the crowd and head to the nearby Scarborough beach with its stunning views and low levels of congestion. Big Bay between Melkbos and Bloubergstrand is popular with all levels of experience depending on the weather. On small days it is perfect for the beginner and more suitable for the intermediate and advanced on bigger wave days. For the very experienced surfers, there is Off The Wall in Mouille Point, Dunes near Noordhoek Beach and the Crayfish Factory near Kommetjie where surfers can escape the crowds and experience some of Cape Town’s most exhilarating waves. If you have the courage of a soldier, Dungeons is a big wave, tow-in spot near Hout Bay. Red Bull Big Wave Africa used to hold their annual event here due to the monstrous waves the size of buildings. In 2006, the record for the biggest wave ridden in Africa at the time was made at Dungeons with a tow-in surfer tackling a colossal 60 foot wave. This spot is definitely not for the faint hearted and if you are either inexperienced or value your life, a short hike up the mountainside provides the perfect location for a picnic while watching adrenaline junkies through binoculars.
Snorkeling and Diving
Cape Town has a wide range of snorkeling and diving sites with gentle sheltered bays for a tranquil day out to deep offshore wrecks and reefs for the adventurous and skilled divers. Long Beach in Simon’s Town is a sand bottomed site with a few small wrecks and old mooring tackle providing artificial reefs. This is a great training destination with a wide variety of ocean life to keep your dive interesting. Windmill Beach is one of the most popular sites amongst both snorkelers and divers. The protected beach entry and small sheltered bay provides a tranquil snorkel and the offshore reefs to the East of the beach produces a wide variety of fish and invertebrates for divers. If you have a spirit for adventure, free diving with Cow Sharks is a once in a life time experience. Shark Alley in the Castle Rock Marine Protected Area is one of the best places to dive with these magnificent creatures. Diving is best done during Winter and a permit is required. Cape Town is dotted with shipwrecks and many provide excellent diving opportunities. One of them is the SS Clan Stuart, a 3500 ton British steamer that was wrecked in 1914 in Simon’s Town and lies in fairly shallow water at 8m. This historic wreck is a local favourite amongst divers as it provides accessible shore access, is well protected from the South Westerly swell and provides a diverse and interesting population of reef animals. Other popular sites include Sunny Cove, the Quarry, Roman Rock, A Frame, Spaniard Rock, Outer Castle and Outer Castle. For the adrenalin junkies, you can face the most fearsome and feared creature in the ocean from the safety of a metal cage. Come face to face with the majestic Great White Shark with the many Shark Cage Dive operators that operate in False Bay which is home to this frightening predator. You don’t need any diving experience for this adventure, just the courage of a lion.
Boating and Cruise Adventures
Cape Town is the perfect destination for anyone who would love to get out to sea. From relaxing booze and lunch cruises in the harbour to thrilling deep sea fishing adventures, Cape Town has something for everyone. At the famous V&A Waterfront there are a variety of cruises available for all ages. You can choose between site seeing cruises, lunch or champagne cruises, dinner or sunset cruises and even a Jolly Roger Pirate Boat themed adventure. Cape Town is famous worldwide for its whale season when Southern Right Whales migrate to calve and breed. The whales are frequently seen close to shore but to guarantee a sighting, it’s best to hop on one of the many whale watching boat cruises available. If you are a bird watcher, Cape Town is renowned for its pelagic birding trips where you can spot Petrels, Albatross, Shearwaters and much more. These trips often produce rarities that people travel from all over the world to spot. Cape Town also has a unique and sought after variety of game fish and you can try your luck in catching Tuna, Snoek, Yellowtail, Mako Sharks, Dorado and more over 40 miles offshore.
With all these great adventures and many more, Cape Town is a must on your itinerary.