The Mother City is surrounded by ocean—so you can bet they have plenty of adventurous activities to offer on the open water! Everybody knows Cape Town has some of the best beaches in the world, here’s what else their oceans offer.

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Surfing

When it comes to surfing, Cape Town is in the unique position of offering surfers great surfing conditions in every direction, virtually all year round. From point breaks to beach breaks and giant reef breaks, The Mother City has options galore for everyone from noobs to pros, no matter how the wind is blowing.

The waters around Cape Town are on the cold side but can warm up a bit during December and January. While summer is surfable, winter is best.

Kitesurfing

Thanks to its incredible coastline and infamous wind, Cape Town is an idyllic kitesurfing and kiteboarding destination.

Blouberg’s Big Bay is a global kitesurfing hot spot, so much so that Red Bull chose it as the venue for the annual Red Bull King of the Air competition. It has the perfect combo of waves, wind and an epic backdrop of Table Mountain.

Although conditions are best from November to March, you can enjoy kitesurfing year-round, as long as the wind conditions are right.

Water Bikes

Water Bikes are a unique and ecologically-friendly way to explore the Cape Coast.

Take a guided water-bike tour from Simon’s Town, or set off on your own to discover the scenery and wildlife of Cape Town’s fascinating False Bay.

You can also explore the spectacular Cape Town Waterfront canals, with historic landmarks and breathtaking views of Table Mountain on the world’s most advanced water bikes.

Water bikes are silent, do not release any emissions and allow you to explore at your own pace. Think of water biking as taking a leisurely ride, but on the ocean.

Kayaking

A popular sport among the locals, kayaking offers a great way to experience the ocean and its inhabitants up close while enjoying some spectacular views of the city.

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 Cape Point.

Shark-cage Diving

Shark-cage diving is the best way to experience the ocean’s most majestic, and feared, predator up close. It is one of the most popular activities among visitors to Cape Town.

With the densest populations of great white sharks in the world, Dyer Island in Gansbaai is arguably one of the best places in the world for Shark-cage diving. ‘Shark Alley’ has been the subject of numerous documentaries.

False Bay is also a great place for viewing great white sharks, especially around Seal Island just off the coast of Simon’s Town, with the large colony of Cape fur seals making it a favourite hunting ground for the great white.

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Scuba Diving & Snorkelling

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 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.

I highly recommend giving seal snorkelling a go! This is a wildlife adventure that brings you nose-to-nose with these playful and inquisitive wild animals in their natural habitat and affords you the privilege of viewing them on their own terms. The experience is for everyone, with no diving experience necessary.

Boating & Sailing

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—Cape Town has a boating adventure for everybody.

While most cruises depart from the famous V&A Waterfront, there are also a number of cruises that 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 heading out in your direction.

Whale Watching

South Africa may be known for its Big Five, but the marine wildlife is just as impressive. Every year, southern right whales take a vacation in Cape waters, treating Cape Town locals to a display of aquatic acrobatics.

Of the whale species seen in the waters around the Cape, southern right whales are the most common. However, you might also get a chance to see humpback whales and Bryde’s whales. The peak season for whale watching is from July to December, and southern right whales are pretty much guaranteed between August and November.

The Hout Bay whale-watching area stretches from Llandudno to Kommetjie. It is a beautiful stretch of coastline where one is likely to see Humpback, Bryde’s and Southern Right Whales, most especially between November and June when the Humpback supergroups are feeding.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is one of the newest additions to the surfing family, but it has quickly gained popularity as a fun way to explore the water.

It can be done on the ocean or on canals, lakes or dams, and it’s suitable for all ages and fitness levels—so it’s a great option for those that want to get started in the world of water-based adventure.

There are several businesses offering SUP lessons and rentals in Cape Town and dozens of places to dip your paddle, from the calm Cape Town Canals to the wilder waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

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