We have to give credit where credit is due, okay? When we talk about boating, we mainly talk about the wonders of sailing on the seas. So how about we divert our attention for a while and talk about some wonderful sheltered waters of South Africa for Category R Skipper’s License holders in South Africa? Because, even though the category R skipper’s license restricts your watersport activities, it does not mean you are missing out, really. Let’s see how you can make the most out of the Category R license in South Africa.

The Category R Skipper’s License

As we all know, the Category R skipper’s license only gives you access to landlocked water bodies, such as lagoons, dams, rivers, estuaries, and lakes. If you are driving a boat longer than 9m in length (for sailing vessels) or having a boat with or greater than a 15hp engine, you will need a skipper’s license in South Africa

While boating on the seas is glorified, and for the right reasons, it does not mean you cannot make anything out of your Category R Skipper’s License in South Africa. In fact, there are a lot of options for you to explore. Let us see some of the best options in this article.

If you are planning to sail on sheltered waters, make sure you give this extensive Category R Skipper’s License guide by Head to Head a good read.

Wonderful Sheltered Waters for Category R License Holders in South Africa

1. Knysna Lagoon

Knysna Lagoon is probably one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in South Africa. It is also one of the tourist destinations on the Garden Route. As Knysna Lagoon is considered sheltered waters, you can enjoy the beauty and thrill of the lagoon with just a Category R skipper’s license. Enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Knysna Heads Lagoon or dive down to explore the Lagoon underwaters. Knysna Lagoon houses a wide diversity of marine species, including the Knysna Seahorse.

Also, this goes without saying, but you should contact local clubs such as the Knysna Yacht Club to understand the rules and regulations prior to going there.

2. Langebaan Lagoon

One of the most pristine boating locations and home to a wide variety of crabs, prawns, and other crustaceans, Langebaan Lagoon is worth a visit for an unforgettable experience. The local highlight of boating in the Langebaan Lagoon is fishing, bird-watching, and the green lush surrounding the lagoon.

One thing to remember about Langebaan is that the local boating laws are strict. There are numerous accounts about it on the internet, like the one here. So make sure you contact Langebaan Parks Board or Langebaan Yacht Club before planning your boat trip to the lagoon. There might be some restrictions for Category R license holders, so better confirm before you make the trip.

3. Vaal River Dam

Vaal River is one of the exciting and diverse waterbodies to enjoy all sorts of boating activities, from taking a leisure cruise to enjoying some adventurous watersports. There are many boating and yacht clubs situated across the river that can help you get set up with your adventure. Different areas may have different rules so it is better to get in touch with a local agency prior to going to your desired location.

In this article, we are mainly mentioning the Vaal Dam, the home to exciting watersport activities. From wakeboarding to jet skiing, Vaal Dam has a variety of watersport options available in a relatively safer environment. Contact local yacht/boating clubs like Lake Deneys Yacht Club or Loch Vaal Club to understand more about the regulations.


Even with a category R license, you still can enjoy various boating activities in South Africa just like other regular boaters. Of course, the water access is restricted for Category R holders, but do not let that stop you. Besides that, you can use this to your advantage to learn the ropes around boating.

There are many more destinations a category R license holder can explore. In fact, how about you start your journey with these top 10 destinations by Trip Advisor? Make sure you contact local agencies before showing up at these locations. Not all locations might allow category R vessels or license holders. So it is better to confirm in advance.

Or you can consider upgrading your Skipper’s License to a Category E license. How? Contact us for more information. Oh, and don’t miss these Top 5 sailing destinations in South Africa!



Word Count: 743 Words


Meta Description: