KITESURFING HOLIDAYS - CAPE TOWN
Consistently the spot of choice for the world's best riders in freestyle and waves, from October to March. Why? Because the wind is unbeatable, the area boasts 30+ kite spots, offering a huge variety of riding, from flat water to five or six metre waves. Also, unlike most good kite spots, one of the world's most vibrant cities is a short drive away offering endless entertainment, from the stunning wine lands and the culture of the city for the adults, to the parks and wildlife centre visits with the kids.
If you're a pro and your job requires wind, you'll be banging in the overtime around here. Most kiting is in the northern part of the Cape Peninsula and depending on the day, you can find everything from flat waters, to bump and jump kickers to big waves. Driving north from the city, Sunset Beach is the first spot to benefit from the consistent southeaster Cape Doctor wind system kicking in. The wind here is slightly crossoffshore
and can be a little fickle on the inside, but it's the first place you look for wind. Waves feature here and at all the next spots...
A little further around the bay you come to Dolphin Beach (Table View), popularly known as Kite Beach, featuring crossshore winds in the southeaster. Many kiters stay in Table View and this is the area's main beach with special views across the bay to its namesake mountain. This is a long open stretch of beach of several kilometres and downwinders from Sunset Beach, along here to Doodles restaurant at the far end of Table View
are very popular. However, many often carry on their downwinder round a section of rocks to Big Bay. 'Big Bay' comes next with a pleasant grassy area next to the beach with bars, resturants and shops. A lot of luxury residential development can now be found here too, and this is a hugely popular kite spot as there are more facilities here to keep the family amused while you kite. This spot is also busy with windsurfers actually in 'Big Bay' (which is actually quite a small bay within two sets of rocks, and most kiters now ride 150 yards or so down the beach and beyond the downwind rocks at 'Karmas' which can feature a nice clean wave and another long beach. The wind is cross/cross-onshore from the left. Drive north a few clicks (or downwind from Karma ) and Haakgat is a small beach holding a big, advanced rider's wave. Melkbosstrand (Melkbos) requires a little further drive to get to along the coast, but works when other spots to the south are getting blown out. As a rule; when the sou'easter is cranking, head north in search of less wind. The beach is huge here. Crossshore winds and beach-break conditions.
Sunset Beach is the first spot you come to as you head north from Cape Town. It has the most consistent wind in the peninsula and is the first place to get windy as the Cape Doctor kicks in. A general rule is that if one spot gets too windy for you, drive a few spots north and the wind won't be as strong. Cross-offshore winds and beach break conditions here. Shops to visit here: Watersports Warehouse (see tab above).
DOLPHIN / KITE BEACH
A little further around the bay you come to Dolphin Beach (Table View), popularly known as Kite Beach. Most kiters stay in Table View and this is the area's main beach, with special views across the bay to its namesake mountain. Southeaster cross-shore winds and you'll catch some good waves. Shops to visit here: Best kiteboarding, Liquid Force, Naish Suntrax, Ocean Spirit (see tab above).
'Big Bay' comes next with a pleasant grassy rigging area. A lot of residential development has sprung up here, but it remains a hugely popular kite spot, in spite of it being a relatively 'small' bay. This spot is also busy with windsurfers, so keep the peace. The wind is cross / cross-onshore from the left again. Shops to visit here: Cabrinha (see below).
HAAKGAT & MELKBOS
Drive north a few clicks and Haakgat is a small beach holding a big, advanced rider's wave. Melkbosstrand (Melkbos) requires a little further drive to get to up the coast, but works when other spots to the south are getting blown out. As a rule; when the sou'easter is cranking, head north in search of less wind. The beach is huge here. Cross-shore winds and beach-break conditions.
WIND, WEATHER & WATER
The southeaster (known as the 'Cape Doctor' as it clears any pollution from the city) comes in cross- and cross-offshore from
the left on the northern beaches and is generally reliable and strong during the summer, from October to March (December and January being peak wind season). Moderate in the morning, it frequently builds to 30+ knots by midafternoon. Get up early or drive further for less wind. 25 – 35°C / 77 - 95°F are typical day air temperatures in the summer, dipping to around 20°C / 68°F at night. Contrasting with the hot air, the Atlantic Ocean is relatively cold, averaging 14°C / 57°F. Head southeast of the city to the False Bay / Indian Ocean side where it jumps up to 19°C / 66°F. Wear a spring / winter suit at most spots.
Cape Town international airport (CPT) - 40 kilometres to kite beach in Table View. Airport transfers are typically £25 / €30 / US$45
The public transport system is unreliable so it's necessary to hire a car. Hire cars should cost £20 / €23 / US$30 per day / £250 / €280 / US$400 per month. We used ACKER RENTALS when the Kiteworld team visited, who offer classic Mercedes Benz and specialise in wind sport customer rentals.
As you'd expect from an area close to a big city, there's plenty of choice in accommodation, from guest houses, hostels and luxury self catering homes and apartments in Table View, Sunset Beach and Big Bay, to budget and extravagant hotels in the city. Almost anything is available (although for hotels, you're really looking at the city). Check out the Endless Summer Beach house / Mystic house if you want to be in the thick of the action, like a crowd and are keeping the budget tight and the fun large (www.themystichouse.com / www.endlessummerbeachouse.co.za).For a more luxurious communal experience, stay in Sunset Beach with KiteWorldWide (www.kiteworldwide.com) or Kite Kahunas (www.kitekahunas.com), both of whom offer tours and experiences as well Cape Town Guru are also very useful for searching out the right house / apartment for you, as well
FOOD AND DRINK
Cape Town comes near the top of many a travel writer's list of recommended destinations and is renowned for great food and wind with excellent restaurants found in and out of the city. Table View has the relaxed beach-life vibe, or head to the city for more upmarket and/or authentic cultural experiences. The dining experience is fantastic for a fraction of the cost the equivalent meal would be back home. Well developed, there are shopping centres and supermarkets in Table View and Big Bay.
No problem. You can easily fill every day around the beautiful Cape with endless attractions, including: Table Mountain, Lion's Head, Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point as well as sizzling night life, wine farms, wildlife, safari (we went to AQUILA GAME RESERVE, a couple of hours from town), world-class surf, a cable park and much more.
Cape Town has plenty of shops click here or the tab above