Besides being well-known for its vibrant nightlife and numerous cultural attractions, South Africa’s Mother City is home to many incredibly beautiful places for snorkeling. From protected bays to rocky reefs, there are plenty of amazing snorkeling spots in Cape Town to choose from. Dive into the deep blue waters to find an exceptional array of marine life including dolphins, blue sharks, whales, and mako sharks. To help you decide where to go, we’ve made a list of the 8 best snorkeling spots in Cape Town.
1 Windmill Beach
One of the most popular places for snorkeling in Cape Town, Windmill Beach is located in the western part of False Bay right next to the famous Boulders Beach and its colony of South African penguins. It’s a perfect spot for both experienced snorkelers and beginners. The coral reefs here are amazing and you will have a chance to see plenty of cow sharks, seals, and cold water fish. Keep in mind that although the beach is open to visitors throughout the year, the best time to snorkel is on a calm day when there is no wind.
2 Pyramid Rock
Pyramid Rock is a rocky reef located close to the Miller’s Point in Castle Rocks and it’s an excellent spot to spot gully sharks, cow sharks, and puffader shy sharks. This marine protected area is well-sheltered, but the only downside of the Pyramid Rock is that the shore access is not that great. Travelers can also swim here from the Shark Alley.
3 Long Beach
Nestled in Simon’s Town, Long Beach is famous for its calm waters and attracts many snorkeling enthusiasts. Expect to catch a glimpse of a number of kelps, as well as cow sharks and coral reefs. The beach is also safe for swimming and many families with children come here on the weekends. The good news is that Long Beach is open for snorkeling throughout the year.
4 Cape Point
Part of the Table Mountain National Park, Cape Point is home to dozens of protected bays and offers ideal conditions for snorkeling and free diving. If the weather conditions are right, this nature reserve is probably one of the best snorkeling spots in Cape Town. The most popular place here at Cape Point is the Venus Pools where you will find a variety of sea life.
5 The Old Harbor in Hermanus
Thanks to its excellent whale-watching opportunities, the sleepy town of Hermanus attracts large crowds of visitors from winter to spring months. If you are interested in snorkeling, head out to the Old Harbor in Hermanus to find a wide range of Kelp and hear Southern Right Whales while being underwater. The good news is that the access to the harbor is quite easy.
6 Sandy Cove
Located close to the Oudekraal dive spot and just north of the Twelve Apostles Hotel, Sandy Cove is a little sheltered dive that offers ideal conditions for snorkeling. The bay is surrounded by kelp forests and the best time to visit it is during the summer season. Keep in mind that reaching Sandy Cove can be quite challenging because of its steep shore access.
7 Shark Bay
Travelers who wish to see dozens of great sharks should head out to the amazing Shark Bay. The best time to visit is between September and December when the sharks are active and this place is also available for free diving. Expect to find hundreds of Cow sharks here and the great thing about them is that they are not considered being dangerous. The shore access is a bit tricky, but definitely worth the trip.
8 Partridge Point
Located just south of Simon’s Town, Partridge Point is one of the best snorkeling spots in Cape Town for seal spotting. Its extensive reef system offers excellent visibility, which means that you will get to see plenty of seals. The easiest way to reach the point is via boat. Make sure to visit the popular features here including Peter’s Pinnacles and Seal Rock.
What are you best snorkelling spots in Cape Town? Tell us how much you enjoy snorkelling in Cape Town, and while you’re at it.