The first Whales have been spotted frolicking around False Bay and the early morning golfers in Simon’s Town say you can hear them off-shore singing and calling. We can also see them beyond the harbour wall from our balconies at Mariner Guesthouse!

We have therefore launched our “Whale and Wine Weekend Special”: For R1995 this includes accommodation and breakfast for 2 adults sharing for 2 nights, as well as a bottle of “bubbly” on arrival, wine tasting at Cape Point Vineyards and a Simon’s Town harbour boat cruise. Book now to take advantage of this great offer!

Joining the whales in False Bay, are the yachts that are getting ready for this year’s Lipton Cup in False Bay. False Bay Yacht Club who are the defending champions, are hosting this event for the first time and the first racing day is on Sunday the 19th August, followed by 6 days of competitive sailing in False Bay.

This historic sailing race has been around for over 100 years and was first presented by Sir Thomas Lipton to the sailors from the Table Bay Yacht Club in 1909. The winners of the Challenge have hosting rights. The event is known as South Africa’s premier sailing competition and attracts top sailors from around the country. There are likely to be between 30 and 35 boats competing, each with a crew of about six sailors. The opening ceremony is open to the public and will be held on Jubilee Square from 16h30 on Saturday, 18 August.

While you’re there, have lunch or dinner at Bertha’s Restaurant on the pier. They currently have great winter specials.

See you there!
Liesel 🙂

“What to do” and “Where to eat” are the two questions we are most often asked by guests staying here at Mariner Guesthouse in Simon’s Town. I have decided to make this my focus for my next few blog posts.

The Cape Peninsula has so much to offer for visitors of all ages, but today, my family and I wanted to take advantage of the beautiful day by eating and playing outdoors. I have 3 girls under the age of 7, so we always choose restaurants that are “Kids Friendly”. Imhoff Farm is ideal for families with their many activities and restaurants. Within half an hour’s drive around Cape Point, lies this historical Cape farmstead dating back to 1743.

Activities to excite the whole family include:

  • Horse Rides on Noordhoek Beach
  • Snake Park for close up encounters with snakes and other reptiles
  • Higgeldy Piggeldy Farmyard where kids can stroke and feed a variety of farm animals
  • Camel Rides
  • Cheese Dairy and goat Milking Parlour
  • Jungle Gyms and Face Painting

Food to suit your mood:

  • Enjoy freshly prepared New Cape style cuisine, authentic pizzas and breathtaking views at Blue Water Cafe.
  • Treat your taste buds to delicious fresh fish and traditional Cape seafood at The Pickled fish
  • Fill your picnic basket with tasty, healthy and organic foods from the Free Range Farm Shop.
  • Select hand made chocolates in the silo
  • Stop at the Free Range Coffee Shop for a light meal in the courtyard
  • Savour free wine tasting at the Old Cape Wine Shop

Make sure to visit Imhoff Farm when next you visit the Cape Peninsula.

I was contacted by a travel magazine in New York this week requesting me to write a piece for them about “wildlife-viewing opportunities” in False Bay during our winter months. This is incidentally similar to my last blog post, but I thought this could still be usefull information for others as well…

From my experience and comments from guests who visit Mariner Guesthouse here in Simon’s Town, our winter months are actually the best time to visit the Cape!

The South Peninsula has moderate temperatures in general, ranging between 10 and 30 degrees Celsius throughout the year. August through to October are especially beautiful months with very little wind and calm seas. This makes it ideal to take a walk along the beach, go out on a Harbour Cruise or a Whale Watching boat trip in False Bay or just sit on our balcony above the harbour from where the whales are clearly visible. It is the most amazing sight to see these large beasts breach through the water surface, seemingly effortlessly. Two years ago, I counted 8 different pairs of Southern Right Whales lying some distances apart and one could even make out the new calves with some of the couples.

Also popular during the winter months in Simon’s Town, is Shark Cage Diving, Shark Predation and Shark Breaching trips. There are Shark Viewing Companies that take trips out to Seal Island for those more adventurous who want to see the sharks up close.

Then of course, Simon’s Town is home to the African / Jackass Penguin. These cute little creatures can be viewed best between Seaforth and Boulders Beaches by following the wooden boardwalk leading through the penguin nesting area. My kids and I often take a stroll to one of these beaches for a late afternoon swim when my husband joins us after work for dinner at Seaforth or Boulders Restaurants. From here we can keep an eye on the kids playing on the beach and literally swimming with the penguins!

For those travellers seeking to experience the splendour of unspoilt beaches and the wonder of viewing whales, sharks and penguins up close, Simon’s Town is the place to be. After 7 years of living here, I often still catch my breath when looking at the amazing views of False Bay and the mountains beyond. Guests from all over the world staying at Mariner Guesthouse often comment that this must be the best place on earth, and I agree!

Liesel 🙂

For most of us in the Deep South, March/April means Easter Holidays and nice weather! Locals make the most of this time to spend time outdoors. Whether you’re an avid cyclist or just a couple taking a leisurely walk along the beach, this is the best time of year to enjoy our beautiful coastline.

Cycling in the peninsula

From our balconies at Mariner Guesthouse, guests watched the thousands of cyclists cycling through Simon’s Town with the world renowned Pick ‘n Pay Argus Cycling Tour. Roads in and around Simon’s Town are closed for the morning to ensure the safety of cyclists, so guests took this opportunity to explore the town on foot. People are often surprised by the lovely selection of high quality gift and interior shops, not to mention the quaint Restaurants and Coffee Shops along the main road.

Get more info from Cape Point Cycling.

For many others, April also means the arrival of Shark Season!!!

Image: Rob Lawrence
Until around September, False Bay a few companies charter trips out to Seal Island to view the breaching Great White and other sharks. Shark cage diving is very popular and many of our guests during the winter months, come to stay for a week or two for this amazing experience. Visit this blog by one of our local shark diving companies (African Shark Eco Chargers) for more information .

That’s it for now then. I’m also off to take advantage of this beautiful day!

February was definitely the month of celebrating relationships at Mariner Guesthouse!

It was our pleasure to welcome a few couples who stayed with us to treat their Valentines’ to a romantic getaway. We appreciate all our out-of-town and international guests, but it is always lovely to also have “locals” come to stay.

From happy couples to wedding bells…

We’ve had brides get dressed here and having photos taken at our beautiful guesthouse before, which is always very special, but this time it was the groom and friends who checked in the night before the wedding to get ready for the big “I DO”. It was very nice to meet the Bride at breakfast the next morning after all the anticipation and to share in the newly wedds happyness. We wish Mr and Mrs Hornby all the best for their future together!

The month of love concluded with a couple who spoiled themselves in celebration of their 22nd Wedding Aniversary. As my dad would say:
“Don’t congratulate me on my birthday – I don’t have much to do with turning a year older. Rather congratulate me on my wedding anniverary – this is a celebration earned and worthy of congratulating!”

To all our happy couples – may there be many more!

Lots of love,
Liesel