What would a trip to Cape Town be without some time spent out on the ocean? The coastline of the Cape is dotted with beautiful beaches and bays that are perfect for surfing, kite surfing, swimming, boating, SCUBA diving and many more activities.
If you’re looking for the perfect place in Cape Town to break out your kiteboard or try your first surfing lesson, here are some of the most popular spots for ocean-bound adventures.
While summertime in Cape Town is best for swimming, tanning and taking it easy on the beach, the city’s prime surf season runs from autumn through winter and into spring. From April to September, Cape Town gets regular cold fronts that lead to large, consistent waves perfect for surfing. The biggest waves typically roll around in the middle of winter, from June to August.
Big Bay beach is just north of Blouberg, an exposed beach break where light offshore winds create good-sized rideable waves. Cape Town surfers of all skill levels can enjoy this beach, although beginners may prefer to stick to the days with a smaller swell. The sea temperature at Big Bay is on the colder side, so be sure to wear a wetsuit. Boards, wetsuits and surf gear can all be rented or bought at local surf shops.
‘Dungeons’ is a series of open ocean reefs of various depths, found at the bottom of the Sentinel Mountain in Hout Bay. The beach can only be reached by a 15-minute boat ride from the harbour. This famous surf destination is suited to advanced adventurers looking for a challenge. Dungeons waves can get seriously big – up to 60 feet – combined with cold water and hazardous conditions, this extreme surf scene is suitable for professionals only.
This scenic beach is great for intermediate and advanced surfers. Llandudno is around the corner from Camps Bay and is a little more remote and secluded than the big tourist beaches in the area. Surfers can expect crystal-clear waters and a big swell. You’re most likely to find the best surf conditions at Llandudno during April.
This sheltered beach break in the south peninsula is known for having consistent surf, mostly suited to those with intermediate to advanced skills. The Long Beach stretch is popular with locals, with south-west winds and a decent swell creating some truly perfect waves.
Muizenberg is home to Surfer’s Corner, a sheltered area with gentle waves and north-west winds. It’s especially great for beginners of all ages, with multiple surf schools right on the beachfront. The ocean temperature is a little warmer, but if you’re planning to spend a day in the water you can easily rent a wetsuit and all your other gear from the Muizenberg surf shops on the beachfront.
Kite surfing season in Cape Town is at the opposite end of the calendar to surf season, running from October to March each year.
Local and international kite surfers flock to Blouberg and its surrounding beaches in the summer months to take advantage of the cross-shore winds. Dolphin Beach, Sunset Beach and Big Bay are also popular kitesurfing spots in the area, with the picturesque Table Mountain providing a scenic backdrop.
Camps Bay offers an idyllic sandy beach, clear blue waters and small waves that are fun to ride. You’ll also find a great choice of restaurants and cafés along the Camps Bay strip, perfect for grabbing some refreshments after an invigorating kiting session. Note that this is a very popular tourist spot, so you will have to share the space with plenty of swimmers on sunny days.
Strong gusts of north-east wind make Scarborough (and the neighbouring Misty Cliffs) great for experienced kiters. Scarborough is known for having clean waves, and its remote location in the south peninsula means it never gets too crowded.
Cape Town is a paradise for those who love water sports, so be sure to make a stop at one of these excellent surfing or kiteboarding hotspots to get your fix of ocean action.