What to do in Gordon's Bay: Rent a Kayak
January 1, 1970
by Claire Nieuwoudt
What to do in Gordon’s Bay
When you arrive in Gordon’s Bay, you may very well be welcomed by a strong hurricane-like wind. You may also have been forwarned by friends or family that have visited the bay previously of this. I am going to give you some advice: do not let this deter you from planning a holiday here. I have been living in this beautiful bay for roughly seven years, and have experienced the best and the worst of it. I will tell you the secret to planning the best holiday, and I will show you why you have to rent a kayak whilst visiting.
There is much to do in Gordon’s Bay, you might be surprised by this small town. I suggest, as already mentioned, renting a kayak. I will go into more detail on this one, in this article. Some other things that you can plan into your holiday:
- Rent a SUP (Stand up paddle board) and head down to Bikini Beach with it
- Spend the day swimming at one of the gorgeous beaches, from the main beach, around the rock side beaches, all the way up to Bikini Beach
- Horse Ride at ‘Journey’s End’
- Wine Tasting
- Spend the day wakeboarding at ‘Blue Rock’
- Take a slow drive around Clarins Drive, and stop at the Whale watching points
- Walk down to the Jetty, and have a drink at the ‘Thirsty Oyster’
I promise to write about these activities in coming articles, and to provide more tips for planning a superb day out.
Best time of year to visit
Like many, you might be planning a gorgeous December, summer-drenched, beach holiday. This is an excellent thing to do, but not if you are planning on visiting Gordon’s Bay. In my experience, and what you will hear from other locals guaranteed, is that the windiest time of the year in the bay is from November to December. Yes, fine, you are right, it is usually windy here. But the secret is: the wind dies down from middle January through to April. Since it starts to get chilly in April, my advice if you are looking for a hot, beach going, cocktail sipping holiday, would be to come from the middle of January. This way you will also miss the December hustle and bustle, and jam-packed beaches.
This time of the year is picturesque, with mountains closing you in on one side, and the ocean on the other, you cant go wrong. It is hot all day, and the evenings are perfect for sundowners and staying out until the stars appear.
You may even be lucky enough to spot dolphins! I have spotted them in January and in April. When you do spot them, prepare to see hundreds. Jumping, diving, and playing. I saw them now in the January of 2018, what a way to start the year. Funny experience actually. I had just been complaining to my friends, that the only thing which would make the view from the house we were visiting even better … would be to see some dolphins passing by. Twenty minutes later, hundreds of dolphins appeared in the bay, on the other side of the Jetty toward Clarin’s drive. It was an absolutely breathtaking site.
Rent a Kayak at Gordon’s Bay beach
You do not need to be a cross runner, with a superb level of fitness to kayak in Gordon’s Bay. The beauty of kayaking at this local beach is that the water is completely flat and shallow. No need to battle waves, surfers, and people; or worry about sharks whilst in the bay. Of course, you can never rule out the chances of spotting a shark in Cape Town waters (or within South Africa in general), but it is unlikely if you stay shallow.
You will usually find the kayak rental facility on the beach, which makes the event effortless to plan. If you are planning an early morning kayaking session, then I would suggest contacting ‘Gypsey’s Backpackers’ beforehand to arrange a time.
My advice on the best time of day: go in the morning before 11 am. In the unfortunate event that the wind does pick up, it is more likely to be in the afternoon. I also find mornings to be quiet and crisp, whereas afternoons tend to be busier and hotter. You will get 1 hour, a kayak for two, and a life jacket. They will help you into the water, which is as simple as climbing into the kayak and launching off. The water is still, so you will not have any trouble puddling out. Take a moment once you have paddled out, to stop and let it all sink in … the mountains, the water, the bay and the sunshine. You won’t be disappointed. I have been several times, and each time I am amazed at the beauty of this place. Sometimes when you live in a place, you forget how delightful it all really is. Thankfully we have these regular reminders.
Make it a group activity
I have found it even more thrilling to go kayaking with a group. Take along your friends, or the plan the activity for the whole family. Since life jackets are provided, it makes the activity relatively safe for everyone. If you have a GoPro, or an underwater camera this should definitely be taken along as well. The photos that you will take will be cherished forever. Since two people can go in one kayak, you could probably take up to eight people at once. Don’t be afraid to paddle out as a group. My friends and I got close to reaching the Jetty, and then lazed around there for a while to embrace the moment. But you can go even further out depending on your level of experience. My friends went on another occasion, and they paddled right past the Jetty, past bikini beach, until reaching some caves, which can only be spotted from sea level.
I have not tried this myself, and would not suggest doing it alone, or if you are not experienced. The point is, make an adventure out of this activity either way. It is true that if something does not challenge you, it won’t change you.