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Kayaking with Dolphins: An Atlantic Outlook Experience at the V&A Waterfront

There are certain moments in life that are hard to describe. Watching a school of dolphins power through the deep blue water beneath your kayak, just centimetres from your awaiting fingertips, is one of them.

This is just one of the wonders that lie in store for those who choose to venture out into the open sea and paddle along the coastline with Atlantic Outlook – conveniently located at the V&A Waterfront.

What to Expect
While dolphins are a bonus, they are not the sole reason to grab an oar and head out into the deep and cool waters of the Cape. Indeed, from the moment you sit down in your kayak for two, the bow gently gliding in the awaiting mouth of the sheltered Granger Bay, your view of Cape Town takes on a whole new perspective – your senses awakened to the sights, smells and all-encompassing wave of the magnificent ocean.

Our guide, Jordan, was infectiously enthusiastic, his effervescent personality and sheer
excitement about the ocean catching. In a few short moments our crew of 8 were strapped into our life jackets and ready to head down to the bay, just a minute walk away from the office.

After a few cumbersome strokes and much splashing of icy water into our laps, we got the hang of the paddles and fell into sync, cresting past the breakwater and rounding the corner of the the industrial side of the waterfront – the lighthouse at Green Point our loose target.

Almost immediately, we spotted our first pod of common dolphins, their dorsal fins slicing the water’s surface as they gamboled below, zigzagging beneath our kayaks in flashes that saw them pop up 100 metres away from us mere moments later. This game continued for the duration of our cruise, and, much to the delight and gasping awe of us all, some of the younger ones lept straight out of the water, playfully teasing us to a full view of their sleek forms before plunging back down again with a splash.

In the quieter moments, there is much to take in. The light on the water, velvety and soft in the morning, made it feel like there was no end to our heavenly seascape, golden and tranquil as it was.

Paddling around the bay, Jordan lead us to the shipwreck poking it’s rusty remains out from the kelp forest below – regaling us with stories of the 17 ships that met their watery end in a fated stormy gale that took place in the early 19th century.

Then there is the unique view of Table Mountain and Lions Head. Entirely different from a land-based view, being out on the water and at sea level gives one a special sense of awe and is a wonderful opportunity to snap some unusual pics.

Speaking of pics, Jordan takes care of those – his GoPro always in hand (or mouth) to
capture footage of the group’s adventure. If you’re feeling brave, he also provides a
waterproof pouch in which you can place your phone – understandably at your own risk.

There are, of course, a plethora of birds: cormorants, terns and gulls nesting along the walls of the harbour or diving beneath the water – most species endemic to our coast alone. Other forms of wildlife include the seals that call the waterfront home, as well ‘Crush’ – the resident sunfish – though he only makes the occasional appearance.

Pausing at the Green Point lighthouse, we bobbed in the wake, resting our arms and taking a moment to enjoy the ephemeral dolphins around us – the beachy tunes from Jordan’s kayak the soundtrack to a magical morning. Two of our party even took a dip in the water – their shrieks of shock and delight a confirmation that leaping out of one’s comfort zone is truly the best way to feel alive!

Slowly, we made our way back, lingering in efforts to prolong our stay. Just before we re-entered the harbour, Jordan lined us up, explaining that we were to race to the finish in a last burst of energy. With much laughter our kayaks set off, the short sprint to the finish a great workout and team building exercise.

Eager to return, I asked Jordan about the schedule. He encouraged us to try the sunset session in which the group head’s out at around 6pm in order to watch the sun dip below the fiery waves. I’m already reaching for my paddles.

Just a day later, Jordan sent through our video footage and some fantastic pics – allowing us to relive our adventure all over again – a special touch to a true life highlight and Cape Town bucket list must.

Book Your Tour
Excursions with Atlantic Outlook can be booked online. Alternatively, call Jordan Zeelie on 082 788 5053 or email

Blog post by: Tarah Darge

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    South Africa
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