South Africa has an abundance of outdoor activities to choose from, and when it comes to water sports, there is no exception.
Dawid Mocke, four-time World Surfski Champ and founder of Mocke Paddling, has been a competitive paddler for 14 years, so the water is his second home. While it might be tough for Dawid to narrow down his favourite paddling spot in South Africa, he does recommend you tick the following off on your list…
The 5 Great Capes
Along the beautiful, yet fierce and wide open Southern African shore lies five great Capes, each with their own special story. Be awe-inspired by the stunning cliffs of the Cape of Good Hope, or venture out to the continent’s most southern tip, Cape Agulhas. Another breathtaking paddle is around the Cape Seal into Plettenberg Bay; or along Cape St Francis. Lastly, skirt the Thunderbolt shipwreck and ride the world’s longest paddling wave at Cape Recife.
The 4 Great Rivers
If ever you want to awaken the adventurer inside, or find peace and solitude, then floating down one of our most famous rivers is the way to do it. Dawid rates the Orange, Breede, Fish and Dusi Rivers as ‘legendary’. And according to Dawid, anyone who has not yet taken a rafting trip on the Orange has not yet experienced South Africa. Similarly, if a competitive paddler has not yet raced the Breede, Fish or Dusi River Marathons, their paddling pilgrimage has yet to be completed.
The 3 Great Lagoons
Take the R27 up our famous West Coast and explore the wonderful Langebaan lagoon from the West Coast National park, or take the Garden Route and paddle at the Knysna Heads and the Knysna lagoon. Another option up North, is to dodge hippos and spot the big 5 at Lake St Lucia.
The 2 Great Beaches
While South Africa has many beautiful beaches, the warm water of Durban’s Golden Mile and famous North Beach, is one of a kind. Another option, and a beach which Dawid regards as the best family beach in the country, is Fish Hoek Beach. It is extremely safe and provides an abundance of activities like snorkeling along the rocks or splashing in the small waves.
The 1 Great Island
One of the most amazing paddling trips you can do is to paddle around Robben Island in Table Bay, Cape Town. You can paddle from Big Bay or you can paddle from Three Anchor Bay – either way, it’s a special thrill paddling around such a famous landmark with Table Mountain as a backdrop.