Located on the rugged south-western coast of South Africa, Cape Town, lovingly known as ‘The Mother City’, is a bustling, multi-cultural city with European character. It is the most popular South African destination for overseas travellers, as it has an element of ‘feeling like home’, but is diverse and foreign enough that it still gives you the feeling of being in a completely new place.
Table Mountain is the famous peak that forms Cape Town’s backdrop, rising to 1,000 meters above sea level. The city sprawls beneath it on the Cape Peninsula, nestled around the slopes of the many peaks bordering the Atlantic Ocean.
The jagged coast hosts an array of gorgeous seaside towns, each with their own unique characters and wildlife. Simon’s Town is home to a colony of African penguins, and across Hout Bay, an islet supports a colony of Cape Fur Seals.
The confluence of the cold Benguela and warm Agulhas currents at Cape Point creates an environment that supports an incredible collection of sea life. From massive pelagics to tiny critters, there is something to delight every diver in The Mother City.
Cape Town has a Meditteranean climate, with mild, wet winters and warm, bright summers. The confluence of a cold ocean current from the south and a warm ocean current from the north results in a brisker climate than you would expect.
Winter: May to August. Average temperatures between 11°C – 22°C
Spring: September to October. 17°C – 29°C.
Summer: November to February. Average temperatures between 17°C – 29°C.
Autumn: March to April. 15°C – 27°C
Cape Town was once one of the best places in the world to see Great White sharks. Unfortunately, a combination of climate factors, overfishing, and a pod of orcas moving into the area, has resulted in a large number of Great White Sharks leaving the area. This, in turn, has opened the door for many other shark species to move in and call this area home.
That being said, there are still some exciting dive spots here, with the water being much cooler which leads to more temperate species inhabiting the area.
There is quite a large seal colony, as well as a colony of penguins. It is also one of the few places in the world where you can dive with seven-gill cow sharks who live in the kelp forests of False Bay.
13-18°C year-round, 7mm+ wetsuit
For sightings of various species of whales, travel between August and November
Explore mysterious kelp forests on the hunt for seven-gilled cow sharks. These sharks can be up to 2.2m long, and they look positively prehistoric! Cape Town is the only place in the world where you can consistently dive with these sharks. You also have the chance to spot catsharks and spotted gully sharks swimming through the kelp. Max. Depth: 12m
Take the plunge with cape fur seals! Instinctively very curious and friendly, these playful marine mammals are known to approach divers and snorkellers and interact with them for hours. Definitely an experience of a lifetime, not to be missed!
Located about 5km from Simon's Town, this shore dive is sure to keep you enthralled. Entry to the site is through a rocky plateau, from which you descend to a shallow, sandy area and begin your dive through the kelp forest. There are numerous huge boulders scattered through the kelp forest, and a few deep holes and overhangs create fascinating swim-throughs. You can see a plentitude of marine creatures in this area, including Cuttlefish, Octopus, Hottentot, Romans, and a few shy Pyjama and Dog sharks. There is a small cave filled with sponges, and this area is excellent for a night dive. Max. Depth: 15m
Table Mountain is one of the most recognisable peaks in the world! Take a cable car to the top and view Cape Town sprawling beneath you. Head to Boulders Beach to meet a colony of up to 3000 African Penguins.
Cape Town is well-known for its small, quirky seaside towns. Take a train ride along the coast and explore these bustling little towns with their gorgeous markets and delectable culinary experiences.
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