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TThe waters of the Atlantic Ocean, which wash most of the coast of South Africa’s Western Cape province, are not particularly warm. That’s why many adventurers in these parts prefer to be on top of the ocean, rather than in it.
But if the water isn’t warm, at least it’s welcoming – sea kayaking is one of several popular water-based ways to explore Western Cape, ideal for visitors who want to combine exercise, relaxation and sightseeing.
Whales, dolphins, sharks, sunfish, seals and several seabird species are among the wide variety of marine wildlife common in these parts, while a superb blend of urban and natural landscapes offers an excellent backdrop along most kayaking routes.
In and around Cape Town, there are numerous operators offering Atlantic sea-kayaking trips.
Simon’s Town, approximately 30 minutes’ drive from the City Bowl, boasts a penguin colony as well as fantastic kayaking conditions. Local operator Sea Kayak Trips allows you to view this fantastic stretch of coastline from the sparkling blue waters that surround it.
Experienced and energetic paddlers will enjoy the Cape Point kayaking tour, run by the same company.
Langebaan, a West Coast town 90 minutes’ drive from Cape Town, is a great destination for first-time sea kayakers. Gravity Adventures has a sea-kayak rack on the beach and rents kayaks, life jackets and oars for sessions that range from an hour to a full day. The waters of this bay are very gentle, allowing even novices to adapt to sea kayaking quickly.
Hermanus, approximately 2 hours’ drive east of Cape Town, is known for offering the best land-based whale watching in the world. Walker Bay Adventures has been taking explorers on kayaking trips on the Klein River Lagoon and along the coast of Hermanus since 1999.
TTravel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Walker Bay Adventures
Tel: +27 (0)82 739 0159
Sea Kayak Trips
Tel: + 27 (0)82 501 8930
Tel: + 27 (0)21 683 3698
Best time to visit
If you like it hot, summery weather generally extends from October to March.
What will it cost?
Sea-kayaking trips start from R350 per person for a 2-hour session (Sea Kayak Trips), R480 and up (depending on excursion: Gravity Adventures) with kayaks for hire at R150 per hour, and R400 per person for 2 hours (R450 in season, July to November: Walker Bay Adventures).
What to pack
You are going to get wet, so pack a wetsuit and a change of clothes for afterwards. Don’t forget the sunscreen.
Where to stay
Western Cape has a great selection of accommodation to suit all budgets. Finding somewhere to stay won’t be difficult – but book ahead in season.