Watersports are a hugely popular pastime for many South Africans who make the most of our warm climate to get out there, have fun and make memories.
If you have always wanted to try watersports but are unsure of where to get started, or if you’re already a watersports enthusiast looking for your next holiday destination, then the Berg River region on the West Coast is the place to go.
This beautiful area – right on Cape Town’s doorstep and known for its open spaces and dramatic landscapes – boasts some of the most pristine and untouched nature reserves, wetlands, lagoons and rivers.
The Berg River Estuary is a vast open wilderness where bird and aquatic life abound. You can find yourself paddling around its many small islands dotted throughout the delta-like environment.
You can also gaze over the houses and catamarans docked at the Port Owen Marina as you continue onward to the industrial ports of Laaiplek.
You can dive in with your own equipment or with visit Canoe & Kayak World or Berg River Kayaks.
2. Stand-up paddling
A bit more of an acrobatic challenge, but more a very rewarding perspective as you peer over the same sites from an upright vantage point. Peaceful yet invigorating, supping is a must for water babies.
SUPS are available for rental in Dwarskerbos from Ozonick.
3. Surfing and kiteboarding
Just outside of Velddrif, the area of Dwarskersbos with its white sand extending for kilometres also has a gentle break to try your hand at surfing if you are a newbie.
The beach opens up to the wide Atlantic Ocean, so when the wind pumps, it also makes it a thrilling kiteboarding location with a beautiful sunset to match.
Ozonick in Dwarskersbos also rents out surfboards and wetsuits for those bold enough to brave the cold west coast waters.
Whether you prefer fishing in a boat or a river, Velddrif has the best of both worlds.
Whether you choose to cast your line out in the river mouth or off the beach at Dwarskersbos, you stand a good chance of reeling in a big one.
5. Water-based birdwatching
Okay, not technically a sport, but when you take into account the mental acuity needed to remain quiet as you wait for the avians to get comfortable enough with your presence to carry on with their lives, it definitely requires skill. Add to that the awareness of when to release the shutter on your camera, and it matches the intensity of a chess match – which is still a sport.
Top bird watching spots in the area include Rocher Pan, the historic Bokkomlaan, Rooibaai, and Laaiplek harbour. Take a cruise on one of the local boats and go further up the Berg River for the best bird watching experience.
The Berg River estuary is one of the best birdwatching locations in the country, with up to 60 species recorded. Cracklin Rosie offers riverboat tours.
For more information on the Berg River region and where to go for your next watersport adventure, as well as other things to see and do, visit Berg River Tourism here.