2024 Dates: 2-8 November

Price: £1,649pp



Known by many for its Robben Island Freedom swim, South Africa is a swimming destination open water swimmers are curious about. We are extremely excited to working with with South Africa’s most experienced open water safety team at Big Bay Events to bring you a unique, exclusive swimming vacation in this stunning part of the world. Explore some of the most spectacular swimming spots along the Atlantic Seaboard, including the stunning 12 Apostles, Seal Island and Clifton Bay, before travelling up to Langebaan Lagoon for two nights on board a luxury houseboat with beautiful serene swimming. In addition, we will (weather pending) swim in relay to Robben Island. Expect a jam-packed itinerary, lots of travel, great company and the opportunity to complete truly unique swims you wouldn’t dream of completing under your own steam.


Robben Island lies 7km west of the coast of Bloubergstrand in  Cape Town. Nelson Mandela was imprisoned on Robben Island for 18 of the 27 years he served behind bars before the fall of apartheid, and the island is now a South African National Heritage Site as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is important to highlight that the Robben Island swim in our itinerary is extremely weather dependent. Much like an English Channel swim, conditions need to be right in order to attempt the crossing. If you would like to stay on in South Africa and attempt a solo crossing the following week, we are very happy to put you in touch with Big Bay Events who can organise this for you.


This is a trip suitable for experienced open water swimmers. You should be comfortable swimming 2.5 - 3km / hour or more, be able to swim for two hours without stopping, and should have ample open water swimming experience (you are welcome to swim with or with out a wetsuit, but must be acclimatised if you choose to swim without). The water temperature is usually between 14oC and 16oC, however can often be lower than this (10oC isn't out of the question!) and potentially turbulent conditions mean that some of the swims will be challenging. If you’re unsure, please don’t hesitate to contact the office for a chat. Throughout the week, you are more than welcome to swim both or just complete one swim a day – it is your holiday. Each swim will be escorted by a main boat and an additional tender that will have ample room for anyone wishing to watch or simply take in the scenery.


  • Places available from £1,649pp
  • This trip is ideal for anyone looking for a week of adventure, with challenging swims, wonderful food and time to relax
  • This trip runs from Saturday – Friday (please plan arriving 3pm Saturday and departing no earlier than 5pm Friday)
  • Non-swimmers are welcome to join the trip and can be on the boats if they wish. A 10% discount is offered to non-swimmers.
  • Max group size 12
  • Water temperature ranges from 10oC to 18oC in the various swim locations we visit on this trip.
  • You will need to fly to Cape Town airport (flights from Europe usually between £400-600)


  • Six night's accommodation (four nights at the Albatross guesthouse in Cape Town, two night's Langebaan Lagoon, see accommodation tab for details)
  • Breakfast every day (we will provide a basic breakfast of yogurt, muesli, rusks, toast, butter, spreads, coffee & tea. Kitchen facilities are available so breakfasts will be self service)
  • Airport transfers (assuming landing Saturday and returning Friday afternoon - return flights must be 5pm or later)
  • Picnic lunch on Monday
  • Dinner on Houseboat Wednesday & Thursday
  • A packed swimming itinerary, with full safety boat escort
  • SwimQuest & Big Bay Events guides who will work as a team to keep you safe
  • Opportunity (weather permitting) to complete the famous Robben Island swim as a relay
  • Transfers to and from all swim locations during the week
  • Optional stroke video analysis and one-to-one swim coaching sessions
  • A SwimQuest poncho and a SwimQuest swim cap
  • Entry fee to Boulders Penguin Beach
  • Robben Island ferry trip and tour
  • Entry fee & lunch for game drive
  • Any additional items or activities you wish to participate in outside of the tour schedule
  • VAT


  • Travel to and from Cape Town
  • Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday lunches
  • Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday dinners (please allow £10 for burger and chips type dinner with a drink, and up to £25 for fine dining with wines)
  • Any alcohol purchases (though listed table wine, beers and soft drinks provided with dinner on house boat)
  • Wetsuit hire (please bring your own wetsuit if you would like to swim in one)
  • Any additional items or activities you wish to participate in outside of the tour schedule.


ALBATROSS guesthouse

The Albatross Guesthouse is a comfortable guest house situated in Bantry Bay,  Cape Town, where we will spend four nights. The guesthouse is well located for our swims and the itinerary, and just a short walk from the beach and from the Sea Point Pavillion.

Kraalbaai Luxury Houseboat (WEDNESday & thursday evening)

On Wednesday we will take a transfer to Langebaan Lagoon, where we will stay two nights on a Kraalbaai Luxury Houseboat. Complete with flush toilets, large pentagonal showers, comfortable twin rooms and spacious lounges with fireplaces - this is a beautiful place to stay and swim. Finish the evenings on the large, wind-free foredeck and dine with a view.


Accommodation is allocated on a twin share basis. If you are travelling on your own, we will pair you up with a guest of the same sex, or you can choose to pay a £348 supplement to take a room of your own.


Your itinerary for the week is entirely based on the weather and your ability. On this page you will find some of the swims which you may complete during your trip. Most days involve a morning and an afternoon swim, with lunch in between. If you are keen to participate in some but not all of a swim, that’s fine, let the guides know and you can hop back on the boat and just relax. Your guides will structure the week carefully to ensure you get the very best swimming in the conditions you have each day - however there is an example schedule below which provides you with an idea of the week set up. 


Atlantic Oasis Guesthouse Your SwimQuest representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to the Albatross Guesthouse. If possible, we advise guests to arrive at 3pm. You can settle into your room, and meet your fellow guests and guides before an evening meal - time to chat, and your safety briefing.


12 Apostles swimOn Sunday morning after breakfast at the guesthouse, we will join the friendly locals for a swim in Camps Bay, with epic views across to Table Mountain - followed by a Hot Chocolate. A fabulous way to start the day. After lunch, the unique experience of swimming with seals off the support boat!

Penguins at Boulder Bay


On Monday, we will depart early (7am) and get breakfast on route as we travel to Boulders to see the penguins and take a dip in this special location, followed by a picnic lunch. In the afternoon, we will take a longer swim in False Bay, before heading back to Albatross with time to shower and change before dinner out.


Langebaan Lagoon A big day today! We wake up early and - weather permitting, attempt the relay swim to (or from) Robben Island. After a lunch, we will have an opportunity to explore the island before heading back to Cape Town for dinner and our final night in Albatross. the night.


After breakfast, we will travel to our home for the remainder of the trip - the wonderful Langebaan Houseboat. Please be aware that this is a long journey (approx 3-4 hours) but well worth it! We will arrive at Langebaan in time for lunch and a long afternoon swim, before dinner on the house boat and a stunning sunset swim.


SwimQuest South AfricaJump in for an optional sunrise swim (highly recommended!) before breakfast, followed by the Posberg Swim and lunch on the houseboat. In the afternoon, the team will take you to a different area for your final long swim - before a wonderful evening braii overlooking the water.


Wake up and enjoy apre breakfast dip before breakfast on board. On the return to Cape Town, we will take you to the impressive wildlife reserve for a game drive (no swimming this time!) - what a way to end the week.


Should you wish to extend your stay and take part in other swims, attempt a Cape Point swim or perhaps a Robben Island solo - let us know and we can put you in touch with Big Bay Events to arrange these extras (weather permitting of course).



  • This trip officially begins on Saturday at 3pm, when you can check into the guesthouse and settle into your room. We will run two transfers on Saturday (likely one morning and one afternoon) so please let us know when your flight lands as soon as you've booked it.
  • The trip finishes at 5pm on Friday, after our visit to the game drive. Please do not book flights before 5pm Friday. 


British Airways ( and Virgin Atlantic ( offer direct flights to Cape Town. You may wish to consult a flight comparison website such as to find the best travel options for you. Flight time is around 12 hours, but with a mere one-hour time difference (two hours during daylight saving), there is no jet lag. We will run two shuttles to Albatross Guest House on Saturday, please let us know your flight times once you have booked. Alternatively, once you arrive in Cape Town, several official operators offer shuttle services, and have desks in the airport terminal, though we recommend pre-booking so that you have someone waiting for you with your name on a board at arrivals. Expect to pay around R270 (270 South African Rand – about £17) for the first person and R30 (under £2) for every additional passenger thereafter to the City/Waterfront area. Centurion (00 27 21 934 8281; are reasonable and reliable.


In addition to your everyday SwimQuest t-shirtclothing and personal travel items, we would also recommend packing:
  • At least two swimming costumes
  • A wetsuit should you wish to wear one - our Partners at Zone3 offer a wide range of wetsuits, including the eco Yulex natural rubber range HERE and you get 20% OFF all full price Zone3 products with code : SWIMQUEST
  • Two pairs of swim goggles
  • Swim ear plugs if you are used to wearing them
  • Tow float (required) - if you haven’t got one yet, you can purchase from our online shop here
  • Rash vest (optional) - available from our online shop here
  • A beach / swim towel (the villa provides room towels)
  • Sandals, aqua shoes or flip flops which you would be happy to get wet if necessary
  • Swim footwear is advised for some of the swims due to rocky exits / entries.
  • Warm clothes for evenings
  • Suncream, sunhat and sunglasses
  • Insect repellent
  • Comfortable sportswear (optional - running / stretching / yoga)


Non-residents of South Africa require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for at least six months beyond the expected length of stay. Your passport should have at least 2 blank pages when you present it at immigration to enter or leave South Africa.


If you’re visiting South Africa for tourism or business purposes for a period of up to 90 days from the UK, you don’t need a visa, however we strongly recommend you check visa requirement prior to travel as requirements are subject to change. For more information on visas contact the South African High Commission or the South African Department of Home Affairs.


Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.


As a SwimQuest guest, you are required to have in place travel insurance that covers you for all activities you will be taking part in during your trip. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fully covered for these activities.

Whatever travel policy you decide on, you will need to bring a copy of your current Certificate of Insurance to the safety briefing at the start of your SwimQuest holiday. Your swim Guides will need to take a note of your insurer, policy number and the number to call in case of an emergency claim.

If you are looking for a travel insurance policy, we love because they make choosing the right policy as painless as possible. do not offer cover over 65s, however if you are over 65 and looking for insurance, please feel free to contact us and we can put you in touch with alternative providers.


We’re excited about meeting you on tour. To book your South Africa trip, simply fill in the booking form below. Once you have submitted the form, Charlie and Emma  will be in touch to request payment and to help you with any additional requirements. A deposit of 30% is required to secure your place, and the final payment is due 10 weeks prior to departure. Payments can be made by debit / credit card, by cheque, or by bank transfer.


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SwimQuest ABTOT Members In booking with us, you accept our terms and conditions, which can be found here. If at any point you have any questions, feel free to contact us: Charlie Beere | +44 7563 389238 | Alice Todd | +44 7825 301443 |  

Travel Insurance

As a SwimQuest guest, you are required to have in place travel insurance that covers you for all activities you will be taking part in during your trip. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fully covered for these activities. Whatever travel policy you decide on, you will need to bring a copy of your current Certificate of Insurance to the safety briefing at the start of your SwimQuest holiday. Your swim Guides will need to take a note of your insurer, policy number and the number to call in case of an emergency claim. Please note, if you are a UK resident and eligible for free health cover via the NHS, you do not need to take our a travel insurance policy for our UK based trips. You may still wish to take out insurance to cover you for events such as trip cancellation, luggage and personal liability.

World Nomads Travel Insurance

World Nomads travel insurance has been designed by travellers for travellers, with coverage for more than 150 activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more. World Nomads do not offer cover over 65s, however if you are over 65 and looking for insurance, you may wish to browse some of the below price comparison sites. Please note - we are unable to advise on the suitability of any particular insurance policy.

United Kingdom

If you are travelling from the US or another country, we suggest you use a travel insurance comparison site based in your own country in order to decide on a suitable policy.