Kayaking dates back to the 1500’s. The Inuit, an artic people, were the first to use these handy little boats mostly for hunting. Originally a kayak was made from wood and sealskin. The design has remained consistent over the years, a small hole for the rower in the middle, and a streamlined design to glide through the water.
In 1845 John MacGregor built the Rob Roy. Thereafter more and more people became interested in kayaking for fun. He used Intuit drawings of kayaks and canoes to tweak his design. He created the Canoe Club in 1866 for kayaking and canoeing enthusiasts to gather. The first competitive regatta was hosted in 1873. And in 1936, kayaking was included in the Olympics as an official sport.
Experience A Unique View of The Mother City
Do you like commandeering your own kayak or prefer to be a backseat driver while someone else does the hard work? Either way, there are various kayaking Cape Town tours available. It’s a magical feeling to peacefully float on the water, admiring the city in its full glory from a distance.
Not only will you go home with epic Instagram pics, you will also feel closer to nature, surrounded by aquatic wildlife of all sorts. The beauty of a kayak is that it’s a non-threatening water craft. Chances of a sea creature approaching the funny looking floating thing out of curiosity is big. This interaction is a great bonus experience.
The birds and animals you might come across include sea gulls, penguins, cormorants, turns, cape fur seals, sunfish, brooders whales, southern right whales, humpbacked whales, dolphins, and more.
A new company to the adventure tour scene, established in 2017 by Jordan Zeelie and Ben Brown. They are located in the V&A Waterfront, the perfect spot for a kayak tour starting point. Ben brings a lot of experience to the table. He’s a former World Champion Marathon Canoeist, as well as an internationally acclaimed photographer and videographer. He can offer you great tips to stay afloat, while taking amazing photos and videos of your experience. Jordan complements his partner perfectly, hosting fun tours. He is also a qualified Lifeguard, plus he represented South Africa at Marathon Canoeing.
The tours launch from the Oceana Power Boat Club, near the Grand Restaurant. This is a great protected kick-off spot. Find your groove in the safe waters between the boats before heading out to the open ocean. They use extremely stable kayaks, which means you are welcome to jump off for a dip in the ocean. If a pod of dolphins surrounds the kayak, it creates an amazingly memorable moment.
This adventure company has been operating for more than 15 years. The name comes from the Swahili word meaning ‘North Wind’. Their offices are situated in Three Anchor Bay, Sea Point. Look out for their doggy mascots that might join you on your tour. Depending on the weather, the starting point is usually from the beach launchpad near the Sea Point putt-putt course. Firstly, you will go through basic safety procedures and orientation. You don’t need much experience to kayak, only good balance. Settle into a tandem kayak with your guide and enjoy the ride.
The panoramic views of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head will take your breath away. Relax with the gentle sound of the waves lapping and keep an eye out for the seals, dolphins, and sometimes even whales frequenting the stretch of ocean. Before heading back, you will be treated to a gourmet picnic lunch, on a little secluded cove.
#3 Kayak Cape Town
This kayak tour is hosted in False Bay with the route passing by Boulders Beach for penguin watching. In the winter months you might also spot a whale while out on the peaceful waters. Passing by the penguin colony is a very unique experience, definitely on the Cape Town bucket list.
The tour starts at the town jetty in Simon’s Town. Here you will first be briefed on safety and paddling techniques. Head out past the Naval Harbour, admiring the massive naval vessels from up close before heading towards Boulder’s Beach. Look out for the Cape Fur seals frolicking in the water. Depending on the weather and time of the tour, a stop on the beach for a quick swim can also be scheduled. You can also swim closer to the penguins.
#4 Downhill Adventures
Pick and choose your tour starting point with this company – Mouille Point, Simon’s Town, or Hermanus. They’ve been showing people the beauty of the city from the waters since 1995. Sightseeing from a small, yet safe kayak, should be on everyone’s to-do list when visiting the city.
There’s nothing quite like staring into the playful eyes of a seal, curious whiskers twitching at the sight of you on its turf. Or listening to the dolphins chat to each other while playing in the waves. And a truly magical experience is your heart jumping in surprise when a whale breaches close by.
Book a sunset tour for a magical view of Table Mountain, Signal Hill, and Lion’s Head. If you want to ensure that you are very likely to see a whale, book a tour from the Hermanus launch spot during whale watching season, June to December.
This diverse adventure tour company offers a variety of exciting experiences. Founder Lesley Rochat is passionate about ocean and shark conservation. She is also a wildlife filmmaker, environmental writer, and underwater photographer.
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Tag someone you would like to go on a paddle tour with in Cape Town! . @gravityadventures offers paddling trips in the beautiful Langebaan lagoon just outside of Cape Town. . Follow @secretcapetown for more and tag us or use #secretcapetown to be featured. . Photo by @ak47rivers. . . . . #capetown #cityofcapetown #amazingcapetown #seecapetown #visitcapetown #thisiscapetown #ig_capetown #southafrica #southafricaza #visitsouthafrica #africa #ig_southafrica #thisisafrica #capetownmag #instagramcapetown #weheartsa #capetowntourism #westerncape #capetownsouthafrica #meetcapetown #capetownetc #thisisafrica #southafrica #capetowntravel #explorecapetown #paddle #kayaktour #langebaan #langebaanlagoon
The company serves as a self-funding initiative for AfriOceans Conservation Alliance, a non-profit organisation. Besides adventure tours, the company also has a great educational project, Swim Like A Shark, teaching disadvantaged kids to swim. So, while you are enjoying a fun kayaking experience, you will also be contributing to a worthy cause.
Based in the secluded Seaforth Beach bay, in Simon’s Town, they have a variety of kayaking experiences to choose from. These include a Penguin Paddle to Boulder’s Beach, a kayaking and snorkel safari, sunset kayaking, and a Full Moon Paddle.
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