You have had a busy week and the weekend’s approaching fast. Now, what would you do? Spend your weekend indoors like every other weekend? No, how about you spice it up this weekend and take your family for some “recreational sea activities”? Yes, we are talking about some leisure boating stuff that you can safely do with your family and friends. Make it exciting. Let’s see some of the recreational boating activities you can do in South Africa.

But wait, don’t forget your skipper’s license!

Of course, be it recreational activities or commercial activities, you will always require a skipper’s license in South Africa. We have been covering the importance of a skipper’s license in almost every article these days. But yes, if you are looking for more information on the license, we highly recommend you read this article.

Related: Getting a Skipper License in South Africa

Remember, South African marine laws are strict and they are made for your safety. It is extremely dangerous to drive a boat without a license and any other proper training. Apart from that, SAMSA does take enforcing these laws seriously. So if you ever get caught, you may face severe punishment depending on your offence.

Stay safe, stay happy, and get your skipper’s license!

Or, you can always hire a skipper onboard.

Recreational Boating Activities in South Africa

So, you do have a skipper’s license? Great. Let’s see how you can use it for some recreational boating in South Africa. Also, even if you do not own a boat, it is okay. You can always rent a boat as well.

Also, we highly recommend joining a boating club (also known as Yacht Clubs) in South Africa if you feel like recreational boating is something you genuinely enjoy. These boating clubs occasionally host interesting events and parties. And also, you will get to make other boating friends, which may make this experience even more enjoyable for you.

a. Cruising

Cruising (or specifically, day cruising here) is basically driving your boat without having a destination or goal in your mind. Just drive your boat, relax under the serene blue sky, chew on some light snacks as you have family or friends bonding time. That’s what cruising is all about. The majority of us drive a powerboat these days, but it would be fair to define cruising as follows.

“Go wherever the wind carries you!”

However, that is all not there is to it. Cruising can also involve some watersports like wakeboarding, water skiing, or parasailing. Of course, this goes without saying, but the most important part here is to practice safety. Make sure your boat and the equipment are in good condition before you indulge in such activities.

b. Fishing

Fishing is yet another common and popular recreational boating activity. Since the olden ages, humans have formed communities over fishing activities. It is an experience like no other. Whip out your fishing rods and hit nearby lagoons or shores to enjoy fishing with your family or friends.

Of course, you must be aware of the rules and regulations during fishing. For example, you must only fish in the areas allocated for fishing. Fishing illegally in a restricted area will get you in trouble.

And then there’s saltwater fishing, i.e. fishing out in the sea. The thrill of fishing in the sea is that you will never know what kind of catch you will find. Sometimes, it might be as small as a snapper or sometimes, you may even find a shark looming under your vessel.

So, in short, freshwater fishing means a serene fishing experience. Saltwater fishing means getting ready for the unknown.

c. Exploration and Camping

Sometimes, you just feel like getting away from the crowd—the noise, the pollution, the liveliness of it… it can be sickening. Gladly, South Africa’s blessed with a lot of inland waterbodies as well as wonderful coves and beaches. How about taking your boat to such remote areas for exploration, and possibly having a chill time with your family and friends?

Yes, it is one of the underrated yet highly rewarding recreational boating activities in South Africa. Also, if you do not know how to plan an itinerary for this, you can always get a guide. A good guide will surely give you a memorable experience.


Recreational boating in South Africa is one way to get away from all the stress and pollution. It can be a rewarding experience given that you have a license, a well-conditioned boat, and safety gear. Make sure you practice safety all the way throughout your voyage. Oh but not only that, but also make sure you make some wonderful memories too!

If you are looking for getting a Skipper’s License in South Africa, Skipper’s Training SA can help you obtain one. We are a SAMSA-accredited marine training institute with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. Interested? Feel free to connect with us to know more!

Recreational Boating Activities in South Africa