Situated on the Cape Peninsula, just outside of Hout Bay, Dungeons is considered to be one of the world famous Big Wave spots. This hugely popular yet challenging surfing destination is definitely not for the faint-hearted; in order to ride these XXL waves, you’ll have to have loads of experience and some courage. It’s been said Dungeons was named by a surfer who got trapped underwater for two consecutive 7-meter waves. Fancy a paddle?
Adrenalin-Pumping Surfing Experience
Dungeons has been frequented by surfers for a couple of decades now, and while the first ones hiked over the mountain to paddle to the break, these days they normally arrive by boat. In 1999 Red Bull has organised the Big Wave Africa Specialty event, putting the Dungeons on the global surfing map.
The big waves occur normally during the winter, generated from the infamous Roaring Forties, the Southern Hemisphere ocean storms. Following a near-vertical takeoff, surfers can tackle one or more churning bowl sections and enjoy rides which can last for almost 300 meters.
This deep reef break consists of several sections, the first part referred to as “the slab”. This is where people head off to when the surf isn’t very big, and it features a fantastic barrel area as well as a grand take-off spot. Next comes the two-point-five section where the water is 2.5 meters deep, and then the Washburn’s Peak, a section occasionally boasting larger sets well worth the wait for surfers looking to experience a massive adrenaline rush. Warm drink or a refreshing beer at Hout Bay is a perfect way to end a day of an epic surf.
Plenty of Things to Do at the Quaint Town of Hout Bay
Situated about 20 kilometres from Cape Town, Hout Bay is a popular attraction for both the tourists and the locals. Protected by the Sentinel mountains, its sheltered bay and white sandy beach provide an ideal spot for swimming and engaging in water sports such as kayaking, sailing and fishing. Hout Bay is also one of the busiest fishing harbours in the area known for tuna and crayfish, which means you’ll be able to enjoy excellent seafood at one of the several local restaurants.
World of Birds is Africa’s largest bird park, home to more than 3,000 birds of 400 different species, giving you a chance to see some which you’d normally never spot in the wild. A cruise to Duiker Island offers an encounter with fur seal colony and other marine wildlife in their natural habitat.
The mountains surrounding Hout Bay on the north, east and west provide plenty of hiking opportunities. Table Mountain is home to Orange Kloof Nature Reserve and the hiking trail of the same name, the only area on the mountain requiring a hiking permit. This is done to provide additional protection to ancient Afromotane forest which can be found here. To the west, Hout Bay is bordered by Little Lion's Head which provides a short but taxing trail to the summit and spectacular views once you reach the top. You’ll need to head in the same direction to visit Karbonkelberg with its dune-like features, Kaptein's Peak and The Sentinel. While in the area, don’t miss out on the world-famous Chapman's Peak Drive, carved in the mountainside and offering one of the most beautiful marine drives in the world with stunning views.