Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula have two glittering coastlines with a beach to suit every mood and moment. Whether you’re after buzzing beachside bars, secluded coves, safe swimming beaches or a romantic spot for a sunset picnic, our guide to Cape Town’s best beaches will point you in the right direction.

CLIFTON BEACHES

Best for: sheltered sunbathing, seeing and being seen, sunset picnics

It takes about 10 minutes to drive from the city centre to any of Clifton’s four beaches. Coves of soft white sand separated by giant boulders that protect them from summer’s ‘Southeaster’  wind, each beach attracts a slightly different crowd though undoubtedly the most popular is Clifton 4th Beach.

In many ways it is the unofficial playground of the rich and beautiful but Clifton 4th is a classic Cape Town beach with a great holiday atmosphere. Toned bodies soak up the sunshine, vendors wander back and forth selling cold drinks and ice lollies, yachts bob about on the aquamarine ocean – just remember that the Atlantic Ocean here is usually quite cold and you won’t be doing much swimming.

Cape Town's Best Beaches

Popular Clifton 4th Beach is the playground for the rich & beautiful.

On balmy summer evenings locals love to round off the day with a sunset picnic on a Clifton beach. Head down in the late afternoon and you’ll find a festive atmosphere with blankets spread out on the sand, baskets stuffed with deli-bought goodies and candles ready to burn late into the night. Just be warned: it’s illegal to drink alcohol on Cape Town beaches (and these popular beaches are effectively policed) and you’ll have to carry all your stuff down from the car park – and back up again – via a long series of steep steps so pack light.

Best for: family fun, sunbathing, beach volleyball, sunset cocktails

Just down the road from Clifton you’ll find the gently curving crescent of Camps Bay – the best known beach on the Cape Town coast. Both locals and visitors flock to this palm-lined strip for people watching, to play beach bats or volleyball, walk their dogs or catch a tan while gazing up at the dramatic peaks of the Twelve Apostles range, part of Table Mountain.

If the wind picks up, nip across the road to one of many restaurants, cafes or fashionable bars where Cape Town’s beautiful people dine on seafood and salad or sip chilled local wine. On peak summer days these restaurants spill out onto the pavements, creating a wonderfully laid-back Mediterranean ambience.

Cape Town's Best Beaches

It’s an easy transition from the broad beach to busy cafes in Camps Bay.

LLANDUDNO

Best for: beach picnics, surfing, body boarding, a local favourite

Twenty kilometres south of Cape Town on the way to Hout Bay, Llandudno may be a bit off the beaten track but this spectacular beach is certainly a favourite among locals. A narrow road winds its way down through an exclusive hillside neighbourhood to a soft sandy cove where you’ll find children building sandcastles, groups of friends playing beach bats and Frisbee, surfers carving patterns on the waves and waggy-tailed dogs bounding about.

As with all the beaches along the Atlantic coastline the sea is so refreshing it can make your skin tingle. However, it’s also a great spot to watch the sunset so take snacks (there are no shops) and a beach umbrella and look forward to serious sunbathing followed by a romantic beach picnic.

 

Cape Town's Best Beaches

Llandudno Beach is a favourite with locals & is perfect for sunset picnics.

BOULDERS BEACH

Best for: penguin watching, family fun, safe swimming, snorkelling

For a Cape Town beach with a unique twist head to Boulders Beach; its soft sand and slightly warmer sea (Boulders is on the Indian Ocean’s False Bay coastline) are home to a large colony of endangered African penguins. These endearing birds have become minor celebrities and visitors flock to watch them strut their stuff between the hulking granite boulders – a highly entertaining sight to see.

Boulders Beach lies about 40km south of Cape Town, just beyond the naval base in picturesque Simon’s Town, which makes it a great stop on the way to Cape Point. If you’re travelling with kids, pack a picnic and plan to stay awhile as this is sure to be one of their holiday highlights.

Cape Town's Best Beaches

Watch African penguins strut their stuff at Boulders Beach.

credit: go2africa.com

Silvermine Nature Reserve

14 Junie 2017

It’s a cool misty morning when we visit the reserve and the clouds roll in over Silvermine as rapidly as the tablecloth covers the Mother City’s iconic landmark.

The reserve is popular during the warmer months for its beautiful hikes and picnic spots next to the dam, but the wild nature of the surroundings are equally highlighted in winter when the mist lies low above the fynbos and the rain turns everything green.

In 1675 it was thought that these mountains contained silver and so shafts were sunk to try and find it. There was, in fact, no silver to be found but the name has stuck and today we can enjoy the fynbos unspoilt by the mining.

In 1898 the reservoir was built to be used as a water supply, but since 1912 this beautifully still body of water, surrounded by picnic spots and trees, is home to a couple of Egyptian geese, schools of fish and happy human swimmers.

The reserve is divided by Ou Kaapse Weg into two sections, I’m visiting in the west area today where the reservoir is. This plateau sits above Tokai and Muizenberg, offering a spectacular panoramic view of the city.

In 1998 Silvermine was declared part of Table Mountain National Park which ensures that its natural beauty will be preserved. There are over 900 species of fynbos to be found in the reserve, made up mainly of proteas, ericas and restios. Stop by the main gate on the west side to see their display of the flowers currently in bloom.

On the boardwalk

It’s a weekday today and the reserve is wonderfully quiet, we’re taking the boardwalk which leads around the reservoir and the only people in sight are an elderly couple that are clearly regulars. She is taking their dog for a walk as he gingerly wades into the cold water. I am not quite as brave so I won’t be joining the schools of kurper fish in the dam today, but as soon as the weather is a bit warmer you’ll find me back here swimming in the  rooibos-hued water.

One of the Hoerikwaggo tented camps is in the reserve so you can spend a night there – it’s the perfect place to go recharge when you need a break from the city, but don’t want to drive for hours. There’s a fully equipped kitchen and a communal braai area (plus hot showers for those of you who don’t like the roughing it aspect of camping). SANParks has also just built a new set of bathrooms next to the reservoir for those of you just there for the day.

Things to do

14 Junie 2017 2

  • Bring a picnic, there are designated spots all around the reservoir
  • Braai during the colder months when it won’t be a fire risk – make use of the built in braais
  • Twitchers can spot swallows,orange-breasted and malachite sunbirds, rock kestrels, kites, buzzards and peregrine falcons. One may also be lucky enough to spot one of the resident black eagles.
  • Cool off in the reservoir; it’s a lovely place to swim
  • You can bring your dogs along but you’ll need My Activity Permit, and they’re only allowed on the far side of the reservoir.
  • Try out one of the many hiking and mountain bike trails (you’ll need a My Activity Permit to ride too), see below for the routes.

Walk and ride

14 Junie 2017 3

Both the east and the west side of the reserve offer lovely walks while the mountain bike trails are only on the west side. The walks all start out with clear maps and are well-marked. There’s everything from a short stroll around the reservoir to longer treks that will take you through the plethora of fynbos and past panoramic viewing spots. Pick up a map at the entrance, the various routes are clearly illustrated to keep you on track.

Circle the reservoir
Drive through the first gate to the west section on the right of Ou Kaapse Weg, if you’re coming from the Tokai side. Carry on up the road to the parking lot at the end of the reservoir, from here you can follow the wooden boardwalk.
Look out for:
The pair of Egyptian geese that call this area home.
Duration:
This picturesque route will only take about 20 minutes and is perfect for young children.

Elephants Eye

14 Junie 2017 4The hike starts from the parking lot at the reservoir, look out for the sign that has a detailed map of the route. You’ll start out on a path which will take you to a dirt road. The ‘eye’ of the elephant is a wide cave which is a good place to enjoy a break and snack while you enjoy the view.
Look out for:
The stream that turns into a mini waterfall as it falls off the edge of the mountain.
Duration:
It’ll take about 2.5 hours to get there and back.

Silvermine River Walk
Turn right after you go through the pay point on the west side and park here. The path sets off down the gravel road, past Hennie’s Pool/ Uthango picnic area and up the stream to the reservoir.
Look out for:
The various creatures that live in and around the stream.
Duration:
It’ll take about an hour-and-a-half both ways.

Noordhoek Circuit
Park at the reservoir and follow the track below the dam wall to get to the gravel road that will take you past a lookout, here you’ll have fantastic views of Noordhoek Valley and Long Beach. Continue along the gravel road and take the path to the left, marked by stone cairns, that leads up to the beacon with views of Chapman’s Peak Drive, Hout Bay and the Sentinel.
Look out for:
The highly photogenic landscapes and fynbos.
Duration:
It’ll take you about three hours.

Silvermine mountain bike trail
Drive up the road from the main gate on the west side and look out for the turn off to the right, there is a parking lot with a bathroom where the trail starts. The route passes the reservoir and goes up to Noordhoek Peak before circling back.
Duration:
The circular route is about 7.5km long.

Steenberg Peak
This is just one of the walks on the east side, above Muizenberg and Kalk Bay, the turn off to the gate is on the left of Ou Kaapse Weg around the corner from the first entrance if you’re coming from Tokai. Park here and follow the gravel road up to Steenberg Peak. The path then descends to Wolfkop and circles back to the parking lot.
Look out for:
Junction Poolbefore you reach the peak.
Duration:
This round trip will take about three hours.

 

credit: capetownmagazine

South Africans have been inundated with tips on how to save water, followed by warnings of what will happen should we not comply.

Now, it’s caution of a different kind headed our way, as experts warn Capetonians should be geared up for a significant winter storm this week.

Heavy rain and strong winds are expected in the western part of the country from Tuesday night through to late afternoon on Wednesday.

Consumers need to conduct appropriate maintenance checks to ensure their vehicles are in a roadworthy condition, as well as conduct comprehensive maintenance repairs and checks to relevant areas of their homes, says Christelle Colman, CEO of Europ Assistance South Africa.

“By being proactive and conducting the necessary risk management South Africans can lower their risk damage to their homes and vehicles caused by extreme weather.”

Christelle Colman provides tips on how to ensure your possessions are kept in good condition during this week's rainstorm. Photo: Supplied

Christelle Colman provides tips on how to ensure your possessions are kept safe during this week’s rainstorm. Photo: Supplied

Christelle has provided a risk-management checklist for those who won’t be throwing caution to the upcoming gusts of wind. Here’s how you can mitigate damage to your possessions ahead of the expected rainstorm:

Important vehicle checks for driving in wet conditions:

Tyre tread

One of the most important checks motorists can make this winter is to the condition of their motor vehicle’s tyres. A tyre tread below the legal limit of 1 mm, or level with the tyre-tread depth indicator, significantly increases the likelihood of an accident occurring, especially in wet weather. This could also result in an insurance claim being rejected should the insurer determine that the cause of an accident was a direct result of poor tyre maintenance.

Visibility factors

When driving in wet, rainy or misty conditions, good visibility is paramount. Something as simple as replacing worn windscreen wiper blades can drastically reduce the chances of an accident occurring. Car lights should also be in proper working order at all times, but the lights are especially important during winter months as they’re the only means to increase a vehicle’s visibility on dark, wet roads.

Car battery strength

One of the most common causes of motor vehicle breakdowns in winter is a weak battery. Due to the colder weather conditions a vehicle’s engine requires more battery power to start up. Motorists should check the strength of their car battery on a regular basis and replace it if necessary to avoid the inconvenience of an unplanned breakdown.

Brakes

One of the most important components of a motor vehicle is its brakes. Have brakes checked by a motor mechanic for any wear and tear to ensure the vehicle has the best chance of stopping in wet or icy conditions. Motorists should listen out for any metal-to-metal or squeaking sounds when applying the brakes and if brakes do make these sounds they need to be replaced as soon as possible.

Emergency driver assistance

South Africans need to ensure they have emergency driver assistance in place and have emergency numbers on hand in case of an accident or breakdown. These types of services may already be in place through existing providers (eg as a value-added benefit with insurance policies) or through banks or medical aid – so consumers are advised to review their policies or consult their providers.

Important home-maintenance checklist ahead of heavy rains:

Water supply

When it comes to preventing water damage, the most important thing all homeowners need to know is the exact location of shut-off valves for the following: the main water supply, appliances that use water (eg dishwashers, washing machines and icemakers), sinks and toilets. This will ensure that in the event of a leak the water supply can be quickly shut off before it causes further damage and a plumber can arrive to fix the problem.

Water pipes

It’s vital to conduct regular inspections along plumbing lines for any leaks, damage or corrosion. The sooner these problems are detected the sooner the homeowner can contact a licensed plumber for repairs to avoid further damage.

Walls and floors

Inspect foundation walls and floors for cracks that might allow water leakage, particularly when living in an older home or an area with poor soil drainage.

The roof

A home’s roof is one of the most important parts of the home as it protects the occupants and belongings from the elements, and the structure of the building. Regularly check the roof for missing, worn or broken roofing materials that can allow water to infiltrate and weaken the roof’s structure. After a severe storm, inspect the roof thoroughly or contact a licensed roofer for further evaluation and repairs.

Gutters

Clean gutters and drainpipes to avoid leaves and other debris from clogging them up and damaging your eaves. Clogged gutters can cause water to pool on the roof which is likely to result in rotting, leaks and possible damp. Gutters should be checked at least twice a year; the best time to do so is during the transitional seasons of spring and autumn.

Emergency home assistance

Ensure you have emergency home assistance in place and have these emergency numbers on speed dial in case of an incident at home, like flooding or a tree having fallen on the roof. During storm periods the use of home-assistance services can be of tremendous benefit to homeowners should they experience any type of emergency.

Keep safe and warm!

 

Credit: You.co.za

This historical gem on the False Bay coastline packs a lot in for such a quaint little village. Simon’s Town is a quiet harbour with a naval base, a rich history, charming shops, restaurants for every taste and more activities than you can do in a day. The best thing; you don’t even need a car to get there.

If you are looking for a day of sun and sea, Simon’s Town is the place to be. North facing and located on the shores of False Bay, it has warmer water and more sunlight than most places in the Cape. This sheltered little harbour can be anything from a lunch stop on your way back from Cape Point to a full day outing. In fact, this village is so charming you might just end up moving here.

1. Take the Train

If you are staying in town, take an early train into Simon’s Town. After the yellow and silver coaches have rattled past the eastern slopes of Table Mountain you will pass the reeds of Zandvlei and soon smell the sea. Once you have passed Surfer’s Corner (on a sunny day you will find hundreds of these carefree souls splashing in the waves), it is ocean views all the way to your final destination.

The Cape Town – Simon’s Town line is one of the safest ways to travel in the Mother City. Buy a Metro Plus ticket, and this will take you to Simon’s Town in about an hour for R13. Try getting anywhere in London for that price.

2. Whale Watching

While you’re on the train, keep an eye out for the marine life. While seals can be seen all year round, spring in Cape Town is whale season. Colossal Southern right whales can be seen frolicking all along the shores of False Bay. Take a pair of binoculars and watch the playful mammals from dry land or book a whale watching tour to get closer to the action. Enquire at any tourism office to make a booking in advance.

3. Boulders Beach Penguins

The cute little jackass penguins in their tailcoat costumes are a firm favourite with Cape Town’s visitors. Get here in the morning while the loud and smelly buggers are still in action. While the aquatic birds look rather wobbly on dry land, they transform into black bullets as soon as they break the surface. If you want to cuddle, stick to the soft toys from the souvenir shop. The real birds do bite.

4. Cruise Seal Island

The 75 000 furry inhabitants of the aptly named Seal Island are an attraction in themselves. What is more, the playful mammals attract the apex predator of these waters; the great white shark. In winter, especially, you will have great chances of witnessing the natural hunting behaviour of these boat-sized fish. The gruesome images of great whites munching seals in mid-air are all taken here in False Bay. In spring, boat trips to Seal Island will make for some incredible whale watching. Enquire with any tourism office to make a booking.

5. Visit Just Nuisance

The story of able seaman Just Nuisance is a curious one. Just Nuisance was the only dog, a Great Dane to be more specific, to be enlisted in the Royal Navy. Even though he was buried with full military honours, the canine never sailed to sea. The large dog earned much affection by acting as a morale booster during World War II and by escorting drunken sailors home from the pub. The community of Simon’s Town honoured this unusual specimen by erecting a statue on Jubilee Square. Read more about Just Nuisance.

6. Find Your Favourite Restaurant

Simon’s Town has so many little wonders to discover that sometimes your best plan will be to have no plan at all. Ease into the slower pace of the laid back seaside village and take a stroll through the side streets. You will find many little shops full of personality, unpretentious museums and many things that are not in the tourist guides but can make for a memorable holiday.

Of course it would be a shame not to sample some of the culinary diversity this tranquil little port has to offer. Some recommendations to get you started are Bertha’s Restaurant, Salty Sea Dog, Seaforth Restaurant and the Tibetan Teahouse in the Sophea Gallery.

7. Beaches

Just past the penguin colony is Boulders Beach, one of the warmest and safest beaches on the whole peninsula. For a nominal entrance fee you can swim in the warm(ish) False Bay water with penguins darting past you. Boulders Beach is sheltered from the wind and catches no swell at all, so it is safe even for the toddlers. Other popular beaches are Seaforth Beach with a natural swimming bay and picnicking lawn, and Glencairn Beach between Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town.

8. Sea Kayaking

Those with an appetite for exercise and salt water can explore the waters of False

Bay in a sea kayak. Professional guides and ridiculously stable boats make this a fun experience; even for landlubbers. Get up close with penguins, seal and even whales when the season is right (August to November is best).

9. Submarine Museum

Submarines are an extreme environment. Requirements of minimal space and maximal functionality left little space for luxury. Take a tour of the retired SAS Aaaegai and get a feel for life under seas. Apparently the guide in the engine room has a strong Scottish accent for the real Red October vibe.

10. Take Your Kids to the Scratch Patch

The Scratch Patch and Mineral World is a hit with the kids. Let the little ones dive into a large area filled with tumble polished gemstones. Equipped with containers that vary in price and size, children can sift through a sea of Tiger’s Eye, Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Jasper, Agates and Crystals and take home whatever they can fit in their bag. A great option if the weather is too miserable for the beach!

Celebrate your love of cuisine and vino at the Good Food and Wine Show.
Pick any weekend of the year in Cape Town and you’re bound to find a host of events planned throughout our hip and happening city. We have rounded up a bunch of super fun things to do in and around the Mother City this weekend like the Good Food and Wine Show taking place from 2 – 4 June 2017.

Catch the big guns of the culinary world at this year’s beloved expo

The Cape Town Good Food and Wine Show (GFWS) is one of the country’s foremost gourmet events, and as always, it’s back to whet the appetites of Mother City foodies at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from Friday, 2 to Sunday, 4 June 2017. This immensely popular event shines the spotlight on all things tasty and is highly anticipated by local lovers of yummy nosh and chefs alike.

This year’s fest returns with a spring in its step and will be tackling the controversial issue of food waste and how to minimize it in our kitchens.

The Good Food and Wine Show has eight separate sections for you to enjoy. These dedicated sections aim to totally encapsulate their respective ideas, and showcase the best goods and services available. There will be areas dedicated to Wellness, Lifestyle, Wine, Market, Beer and Alcohol, Kids, Street Food and Baking. So whatever aspect of food you love, this event provides the perfect experience for you.

WHAT TO EXPECT AT THE 2017 CAPE TOWN GOOD FOOD & WINE SHOW

LOADS OF FOODIE FUN: Interactive theatres and hands-on cooking workshops led by first-rate, internationally renowned chefs are on the bill for the 2017 festival. So, anyone with a passion for food and wine would do well to tear themselves away from MasterChef reruns, get off the couch and go check out what’s cooking in the show’s demo kitchens.

CELEBRITY CHEFS THEATRE: Join local and international celebrity chefs in an exclusive demo kitchen as they strut their stuff and demonstrate their cooking skills and signature dishes using fresh local produce. These experiences must be booked separately through Computicket.com, and ticket prices vary depending on the chef featured. See below for a full list of the chefs you could be seeing.

KIDDIES’ ACTIVITIES: Parents need not panic: the Good Food and Wine Show will keep your little one occupied with multiple activities and games.

SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLE FOCUS: Fitting the ‘fresh’ focus, this year’s show will incorporate multiple stalls with an urban farming and garden theme, with the aim of promoting sustainable lifestyles and healthier choices. If you’ve always wanted to grow your own veggie garden then this is your opportunity to get top tips from the pros.

THE ART OF WINE: Sip on delectable premium wines and learn more about the beloved beverage in this section of the festival. Not only focused on the sip ‘n swirl session, this zone also aims to teach eager attendees a little about food and vino pairings.

CHEFS TABLE: Be one of the 30 lucky people to spend some one-on-one time with the chefs at this year’s Good Food and Wine Show. There are four chefs offering this treat, namely Marco Pierre White, Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen, Jenny Morris, and Reza Mahammad. In this private session, the chosen chef will take you through the preparation of a dish in this masterclass of note.

CHEFS PERFORMING AT THE 2017 GOOD FOOD AND WINE SHOW AT THE CTICC

MARCO PIERRE WHITE: The godfather of modern cuisine is coming to Cape Town and we cannot wait to be terrified by him. He has trained the likes of Gordon Ramsay, so you know he’s top-notch (but hopefully not as shouty).

JAN HENDRIK VAN DER WESTHUIZEN: The winner of South Africa’s first ever Michelin Star will be in attendance to impart some wisdom on modern SA cooking. We also saw him on Suzelle DIY, which was hilarious BTW.

JENNY MORRIS: The Giggling Gourmet goddess is back at the festival this year, and her signature style of cooking is bound to draw in the foodies.

REZA MAHAMMAD: The popular TV chef and owner of the Star of India is appearing at the Good Food and Wine show for the very first time!

SARAH GRAHAM: The amazingly talented presenter of Food Safari is bringing her simple food philosophy to enrich your cooking, and excite your palate.

J’SOMETHING: Singer and chef, J’Something loves getting creative with food, and will have delicious recipes for you to attempt at home.

NEILL ANTHONY: The Cape Town based protegee is hitting the Good Food and Wine Show 2017 to show you just how the kitchens of Cape Town like to cook!

VANESSA MARX: Let’s hear it for the ladies of the culinary world! Marx has been trained by the best and she’s studied food all over the world; your cooking will benefit hugely from her tips.

TICKETS FOR THE 2017 CAPE TOWN GOOD FOOD & WINE SHOW

Tickets are available from Computicket.com and cost R160p/p for general admission (day pass), R100p/p for students and pensioners (with valid ID), R50 for kids aged 13 to 18-years, and R200p/p for a wine combo ticket. Weekend passes are available for R350p/p online or R380p/p at the door.

Credit: capetownmagazine

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