The Best 5 Ways to Explore Cape Town’s Marine Life

The icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean that crash onto the shores of the Cape Peninsula are considered to be one of the most dense, ecologically diverse and complex marine environments in the world. They are also home to a wealth of marine life and vibrant reefs, allowing tourists and locals alike to enjoy exciting activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving, and much more.

Cape Town Marine Life


If you’re looking for some of the best ways to explore Cape Town’s ocean wildlife, look no further. We’ve put together a list of the five best ways to do so:

Shark Cage Diving

Probably the most adrenaline-fuelled way to experience Cape Town’s marine life is to go shark cage diving. Observing a Great White Shark in its natural habitat is fascinating, bewildering and an experience like no other. Get up-close-and-personal with these majestic creatures in the cage, or opt for a dryer vantage point from the deck of the boat. Shark Zone offer a variety of different shark cage diving tours in and around Cape Town. The coastline off Gansbaai – just two hours from Cape Town – offers the best shark cage diving in South Africa. For an experience a bit closer to the Mother City, however, choose a morning or afternoon trip in False Bay. Here, you are far more likely to witness an incredible shark breach as they hunt for seals.

Gansbaai Shark Cage Diving
Sea Kayaking

Sea Kayaking is the perfect way to cruise along the ocean surface whilst remaining close to the water. What’s more, a kayaking adventure in Cape Town allows you the possibility of seeing marine life, such as dolphins and whales, that don’t often linger along the shoreline.

Sea Kayaking Cape Town
Swim with penguins at Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town hosts its own penguin colony and provides a great opportunity to swim with penguins in their natural environment. The beach is packed with African penguins that co-exist with visitors to the beach, however they’re not very interactive so don’t be offended if they walk away when you approach. Tan on the beach as the penguins walk by, or throw on a wet suit and swim with them amidst the gentle waves. Through Shark Zone, this activity is included in the scenic Cape Peninsula Half Day or Full Day Tour. Find out more about what these tours entail, here!

Boulder's Beach
Snorkelling with Cape Fur Seals

Partridge Point, in Simon’s Town is home to a colony of over 100 Cape Fur Seals, providing you with the ideal setting for a snorkelling extravaganza. By nature, seals are charming and are known to eagerly show off with their underwater acrobatics and adorable personalities. Grab your snorkelling gear, slip into a wetsuit and hop into the ocean to witness these lovable creatures in their natural habitat.

Seals Cape Town
Scuba Diving

The ocean floor of Cape Town’s coastline is littered with thousands of shipwrecks, whilst closer to the surface are diverse reefs, kelp forests and coral gardens. Both of these underwater attractions make for great scuba diving locations. Divers are also able to experience the smaller sea creatures and organisms that make up the marine food chain here. For the more adventurous divers, the waters of Simon’s Town will allow you to experience an unforgettable day of under the waves. Not only is Simon’s Town home to inquisitive Sevingill Sharks, but, as mentioned above, it is also the one of the only locations in the world where you can dive with consistently high numbers of Cape Fur Seals.

Scuba Diving Cape Town
For more information on how best to explore Cape Town’s marine life through Shark Zone, or to book shark cage diving or a trip to Boulders Beach, simply explore our website, call +27(82)894 4979 or email

Image Credits: Flickr/Anna Phillips, Flickr/gaftels, Flickr/Michael Coghlan, Flickr/Adam, Flickr/Tim Sheerman-Chase, backpackersbanter