We meet at the town jetty in Simon's Town for a short introduction to paddling technique and a safety briefing. We then paddle out past the civilian and Naval Harbour where you get a bonus close up view of our biggest naval vessels and out to Boulder's Beach to see the penguins. On the way we will normally encounter a number of Cape Fur seals.
If the time and tide is right we may stop on a beach for a swimming break, or else we swim from the kayaks and get a close up look at penguins on the rocks nearby.
Our double kayaks are very stable and perfect for those with no paddling experience and children 10 and up.
This is a trip every able bodied individual can and should do.
During winter and early spring there is also a possibility of seeing whales.
The daily scheduled trip leaves at 8.30am in the summer season (9.00am winter season) when it is usually less windy and penguin sightings are better. In peak summer season we also have an 11am trip, and sometimes an afternoon trip. Groups of 4 or more can arrange an mid morning or afternoon trip by phone, text or email, if the availability schedule does not show one.
We also sell trip vouchers for gifts, please click here for details.
COST: R350pp for the 2 hour trip.
Frequently Asked Questions
Press coverage of our trips
Photos to whet your appetite
Facts about our Penguins
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I really do this, I've never paddled before?
Sure you can. 99% of our customers have not been in a kayak before.
How fit do I have to be?
Not very. If you can do a one hour walk then you can do this. It's only when it's very windy that the trip becomes quite strenuous. And if it's very windy we don't go out - unless you want to do some wind wave surfing which IS is for the fit and adventurous.
How many people do you take?
We have 10 double kayaks so that's 20 people max. If you are more than that we normally split the group so half paddle the outward leg, meet the rest on the beach and swap so the other half paddle back.
I'm nearly sixty? Can I do it?
Like I said, if you can do a one hour walk then you can do it. We've had many older customers and as long as you feel good you'll be fine.
Is there a weight limit?
Over 120kg is probably pushing it.
What about kids?
Generally from 10 years up kids are fine, especially if they are with an adult in the boat. Younger than that they need a strong adult with them because the adult does pretty much all the work.
Will I fall off?
Almost certainly not because our kayaks are hugely stable. About three people a year on average fall in and that's usually because they are messing about. Anyway, it's also very easy to get back on. Besides it's False Bay and the water is warm!
What kind of boats are they?
We use very stable two person sit-on-top type of kayaks. We find people who have never paddled before become immediately comfortable because they don't feel constricted as they would in a sit-inside type of kayak and also feel that should they fall off it would be easy to get back on. They also like the fact that they are sharing the paddling with another person - usually their partner of course.
Double kayaks? What if we are 3 people, or 5 or even just one?
We used to have a gladiator style battle to the death to get rid of the one odd person out, but while it proved very popular, it simply took too long so these days you will either be with a guide or with another person from an odd numbered group.
What must I wear?
Wear shorts and a T shirt. A hat and sunscreen too. You can go barefoot but sandals are a good idea (not flip flops as they tend to come off when you walk in water). You will get wet so bring a towel and a change of clothes for afterwards. In winter longs like tracksuit bottoms and a sweater or windbreaker will be better.
When is the best time of year?
You probably think summer only, right? You are dead wrong - all year round is best. Summer of course has warm sun and warm water but it also brings many windy days. Winter on the other hand is cooler and has many completely calm, warm, beautiful days. In winter there is also a good chance of seeing whales. In answer, the best time of year to paddle is the time you are available to do it.
What if the weather is bad?
You must always call in the morning before you leave for the trip to check the weather. If it's cancelled then we try and get you on the next nice day if you can make it. Note that a rainy day is not "bad weather", only a windy day is.
What will I see?
Penguins of course - cormorants, terns, gulls and the marvelous oystercatcher. Fish swimming under your kayak. Seals will often gambol around the kayaks and no, you won't see any sharks. But most important you will see the ocean (and the land!) from a perspective you never have before.
What about booking?
A day before is normally sufficient but the longer in advance the better.
Where do I go?
The trip leaves from Simon's Town Waterfront and there is a car park right there. A local landmark is Berthas Restaurant (see directions page). Please plan to arrive around 15 minutes prior to your scheduled trip time. You should also always telephone 082 501 8930 an hour before trip time to check weather because if the conditions are adverse the trip may be postponed.
It's a 45 to 60 minute drive from the centre of Cape Town. Take the M3 motorway from Cape Town (also called The Blue Route) to its end and turn right. In 2km at the second traffic light turn left up the mountain on the M64 "Ou Kaapse Weg". This 12km long mountain pass road has wonderful views through Silvermine and winds down to Sun Valley. Keep straight on past three traffic lights and over another hill you will reach a set of traffic lights at a T-junction by the ocean. Turn right and Simon's Town is 5kms away.
Enter destination "Wharf Street Simon's Town" into your GPS. It may try to route you via Muizenberg, so it's best to use our directions via the M3, M64, M6 route until you get to Sun Valley and then follow the GPS.
If you use Google Maps on your phone search for "Sea Kayak Simons Town"
Trains leave regularly from Cape Town Station stopping at most local stations on the way and the trip takes an hour and five minutes. It is then a 10 minute walk to the launch site. Bear in mind it is not the most reliable service.
Metrorail website timetable.
Call 0800 65 64 63 toll free from a land line to confirm train times.
Simon’s Town Shuttles 079 486 4228 - Unicab 021 486 1600 - Intercab 021 447 7799 - Uber
About 700 metres past the Railway Station you will see the Shell petrol station on your right. Shortly after passing it you will see ahead of you on the left a blue and white building with a tall mast on it. Turn left into Wharf Street at this building. There is a parking lot just there and there are usually free spaces.
Google Earth gives the co-ordinates as 34deg 11'33.94"S 18deg 25'56.80"E if you have a GPS with you.