This article is kindly Provided By The Simon’s Town Historical Society

The part which Simon’s Town has played in maritime strategy is inseparable from that of the Cape of Good Hope and South Africa as a whole.

The meeting point of the two great oceans, the Atlantic and the Indian, is a key point in world naval strategy: it is a focal point of maritime trade between East and West.

Inevitably if followed that the two good anchorages, Table Bay and Simon’s Bay, became important havens for shipping. The dangers of the Table Bay anchorage during the winter months were quickly and forcibly brought to the notice of seafarers, but were tolerated when the callers were few. As ships began to frequent Table Bay in increasing numbers at all seasons of the year the incidence of ship-wrecks during the winter became greater than could be borne with equanimity.

Simon van der Stel Names The Bay

The False Bay side of the Cape Peninsula, sheltered from the violent northwest gales, was the obvious alternative, and Simon’s Bay was selected by Simon van der Stel himself as the safest anchorage. For many years to come there were no facilities for visiting ships and communications with Cape Town were exceedingly difficult. In spite of the greater safety in winter, captains of ships tended to avoid caling there whenever possible, preferring to risk the greater danger of Table Bay in order to enjoy the superior amenities of Cape Town.

France Controls The Cape

In 1650 the Dutch East India company decreed that a permanent settlement should be established at the Cape solely as a post for the replenishment of the Company’s vessels on the passage to and from the East Indies. At no time was it ever intended to gain any milirary advantage for which there was no necessity at that period.

The Cape of Good Hope only began to assume importance as a strategic point in the military sense with the increasing rivalry between France and Great Britain in the latter half of the eighteenth century.

In 1780 when Holland entered the War of America Independence in alliance with France and Spain against Great Britain, the British Government had become aware what a menace the Cape of Good Hope in the hands of an enemy could be to its trade with India. It was soon decided that an attempt must be made to capture the Cape to deny its use to the enemy.

The first attempt under Commodore Johnstone suffered so many delays that the French were able to forestall him and reinforce the defences too strongly to admit of successful attack.

During the next decade these dilatory methods cost Great Britain dear. With the Cape under their control the French were enabled greatly to increase their depredations on the British ships trading between India and Europe.

Relief only came with the termination of hostilities when the French troops returned to Europe. With the outbreak of the Revolutionary War in 1793 the Directors of the East India Company were not unnaturally nervous about the consequences of the Cape once again falling into the hands of the French. The occupation of Holland by the Revolutionary armies in the winter of 1794/5 brought matters to a head and called for action.

Two British Occupations

The British Admiralty lost no time in preparing an expedition for the occupation of the Cape, which object was successfully accomplished in 1795. The Netherlands government (in its new republican form) at last realised that an occupation of the Cape by a hostile power posed a very real threat to communications with Batavia.

With a well-situated base to work from the ships of the Royal Navy were able to establish an effective blockade of Mauritius which drastically restricted the depredations of the French commerce-raiding frigates.

During negotiations for peace in this year, the possession of the Cape became one of the most forceful bargaining points. Preliminary Articles of peace were not signed until 1801, and as one of the conditions, the short-sighted government of Addington agreed to restore the Cape to the Dutch. When the Treaty of Peace was signed in 1802, restoration of the Cape to its former owners was no longer possible as the Dutch East India Company had gone bankrupt in 1799. Its successor, the Batavian Republic, became the new owner of the Cape instead.

News of the terms of the Treaty did not reach the Cape until August 1802 and for various reasons the British evacuation was not completed until March 1803. The evacuating squadron had not reached England before war broke out again, but preparations for the re-occupation of the Cape were not put in hand until a new government under William Pitt came to power. In January 1806 a force too strong for the weak Batavian forces to withstand took possession of the Cape once more for Britain.

Within two or three months of the capture of the Cape all effective threats to the supremacy of the Royal Navy in southern waters were ended and their ships were again able to establish a blockade of the French islands, although it was not always possible to make the blockade entirely effective. The only complete solution of the problem was the capture of the islands, and measures to this end were put in hand. In 1810 Mauritius and Bourbon were captured and the fall of Tamatave in Madagascar in 1811 left the French without a single colonial possession. As a consequence there was little left for the ships of the Royal Navy to do in Cape waters and their number was soon reduced.

The Royal Navy Base Moves To Simon’s Town

The naval authorities now had leisure to give some time and attention to the consolidation of the base facilities. The removal of the whole naval establishment from Table Bay to Simon’s Bayand vice versa at six-monthly intervals was manifestly inconvenient and costly. It had furthermore become clear to the experienced seamen of the Royal Navy that Simon’s Bay provided a safe anchorage at all seasons, which Table Bay did not. The Commander-in-Chief of the Cape Station was emphatically in favour of removal of the principal base of the Royal Navy to Simon’s Bay and this was immediately accepted. The necessary buildings were completed in 1814.

It was perhaps fortunate that this was accomplished before peace was declared in 1814, as it is doubtful whether the considerable expenditure would have been authorised in peace-time!

A Period Of Peace

Valuable as Simon’s Town had been in wartime, in the years of peace which followed it proved to be quite invaluable. The first important task laid on the ships of the Cape of Good Hope Station was the guardianship of Napoleon Bonaparte during the years of his detention on St Helena. With his death in 1821 the Simon’s Town Dockyard establishment was drastically reduced. A nucleus of trained staff remained to cater for the ships which continued to call on their voyages to and from the East. There were still a few ships on the Cape Station, including those commanded by the illustrious surveyors who in the 1820’s carried out the survey of the coast of Southern Africa.

Simon’s Town was their secure base to which they returned for refitting and recuperation. Much the same consideration applied to the small vessels employed in the suppression of the slave trade. In addition the cargoes of slaves in the captured slave ships, which could number up to seven hundred or more, were landed and housed in any accommodation available pending their allocation as indentured apprentices.

Coastal Skirmishes

Nearer at home, the ships of the Royal Navy were in constant demand for the transport of troops and their equipment to the frontier during the many Kaffir Wars of the nineteenth century. Algoa Bay, the Kowie and the Buffalo Rivers and Waterloo Bay provided convenient disembarkation points and each was provided with a resident harbour master and boats crew. All had to be supplied from the main base at Simon’s Town. It was on short coastal journeys such as these that steam driven vessels proved most suitable. For all ocean voyages sail remained the normal means of propulsion until the end of the century.

Steamships And The Dockyard
It was in the middle of the nineteenth century that improvement in steam propulsion began to make a real impact on the Cape Station and purely sailing vessels unaided by auxilliary steam power were becoming the exception rather than the rule. The installations in the Dockyard, which had not been altered in any way since 1814, proved quite inadequate to deal with the complexities of steam engines. The increasing use of iron in the construction of ships as well as their very size posed new problems in maintenance. Considerable extensions and reconstruction took place during the 1850’s and 60’s.

With the advent of reliable steam engines the smaller vessels were able to approach close in to the shallow bars of the east coast rivers in comparative safety. These little ships found themselves much in demand by missionaries and explorers. Such occasions also offered convenient opportunities for “showing the flag” in places not usually visited by ships of any kind and to act as a warning to any potential slave trader that the Navy’s arm was longer than ever.

The Anglo-Boer War
Throughout the Anglo-Boer War, Simon’s Town and Cape Town were the principal ports through which passed the reinforcements of men, supplies and equipment for the British Army. Without these the few British troops would have been overwhelmed by the superior numbers of the Boer forces in the first few months of the war. As it was the British were able to maintain an uninterrupted flow of men and ammunition from the United Kingdom and other parts of the British Empire, while the Royal Navy’s command of the oceans virtually prohibited all similar supplies reaching the Transvaal and Free State Republics. There can be little doubt also that it was only the healthy respect for the Royal Navy which prevented Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany from intervening on behalf of the Republics.

East Dockyard Opened
In the closing stages of the nineteenth century the resources of the Simon’s Town Dockyard were once again proving inadequate for the needs of the larger steamships, but with the opening of the East Dockyard and Dry Dock in 1910 Simon’s Town once again became equipped to meet every requirement of any ship of the Royal Navy. It was not long before these facilities were urgently needed: In 1914 Great Britain and Germany were at war.

Simon’s Town During World War I
The part which Simon’s Town and the ships of the Africa Station were called upon to play in this war differed in no respect from the part it had played in earlier wars. These tasks were the elimination of all enemy ships, especially commerce raiders, from the waters around the southern end of Africa and the elimination of all the enemy bases within its sphere.At the outbreak of war there was a number of German warships at large in all the oceans of the world; these included the Emden, the Koningsberg and Admiral von Spee’s powerful squadron believed to be in the South Pacific. Until these ships were accounted for no protracted expedition by sea against the German colonies could be contemplated without a powerful escort of warships. The Emden was destroyed at Keeling Island, the Koningsberg in the Rufji River and von Spee’s squadron at the Falkland Islands. With all hostile warships satisfactorily disposed of, operations against the two German colonies of South West Africa and Tanganyika could now go ahead.

For the remainder of the war Simon’s Town spent a humdrum but busy and essential existence as a refuelling and refitting base for the escorts of the numerous troop convoys passing between Europe and Australasia, India and the Far East. The most destruction in South African waters was done by the mine fields laid by commerce raiders off Dassen Island and Cape Agulhas.

Simon’s Town During World War II

Simon’s Town activity followed much the same pattern in the Second World War as it did in the First. In the early stages of the war it was the assembly base for the ships engaged in the rounding up of the few German ships in the southern oceans, the most important of which was the Graf Spee. There followed other heavily armed raiders disguised as merchant ships, including the Atlantis which laid mines off Cape Agulhas and elsewhere. They operated with considerable success but were eventually intercepted and sunk by ships based at Simon’s Town.

With the closing of the Mediterranean all traffic between Europe and the East had to be routed around the Cape as in former days. Although the merchant ships put into Cape Town for replenishment only Simon’s Town was capable of dealing with the special requirements of the warships. The entry of Japan into the war and their swift conquest of Malaysia and the East Indies intensified the vital role which Simon’s Town had to play.

In the latter stages of the war, with the reopening of the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal, Simon’s Town lost much of its importance as a staging post. By this time, however, the war in the southern oceans was virtually over and Simon’s Town’s task was finished for the time being. It had done its task and done it well.

Postwar Simon’s Town

After the cessation of hostilities the tempo of naval activities slackened off. Following negotiations between the South African Minister of Defence and the British Government the Dockyard was handed over to the South African Navy in 1957. (The Union Jack that was lowered at the formal hand-over is now in the Historical Society’s rooms).

Ten years later, in 1967, Simon’s Town was proclaimed a White Group Area and over the next few years the coloured people, whose family ties sometimes went back to the very early days of the Town’s growth, were obliged to move away. Their houses in and behind the Town fell into disrepair and a lot of them were eventually bullozed flat: thus was part of Simon’s Town’s quaint attraction lost. The Historical Society’s efforts in preventing such destruction were to no avail, yet at the same time “Studland”, Admiralty House, St Francis Church, “Ibeka”, Palace Barracks and the Martello Tower were all proclaimed National Monuments.

In 1975 the face of the Town again started to undergo change when extensions to the Dockyard were started: a large area of land was reclaimed at Jaffa’s Beach and the harbour walls were extended further to sea to form a new and larger Tidal Basin.

Source Credit: www.simonstown.com

Cape Town Dive Center, False Bay Yacht Club and Manex and Power Marine are hosting the Women’s Day Dive taking place on 20 July 2019 taking place right here in Simon’s Town.

Here is all the information about this amazing event!

We are proud to announce the we will be hosting another woman diver event this year on the 20th of July. We had such an amazing time the last year with everyone that joined us, we cannot wait to do it again.

Last year we had so many people join us that we almost ran out of space, so this year we are using a bigger location, The False Bay Yacht club, so we look forward to seeing you all there and having fun.

For more details please contact us Info@capetowndivecentre.com
021 786 9493

JOIN US ON THE 20th July 2019!

Start time: 9am
End time: 17:30pm

Location: False Bay Yacht Club (King George Way, Simon’s Town, Cape Town, 7975)

Booking HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! Spaces are limited and on a first come first serve basis.

Please contact info@capetowndivecentre.com
021 786 9439 for bookings

The details:

Ladies: R50 event fee.

Men: R250 event fee.

What does this give you access to?

Discover Scuba Diving Experience in the harbor bay (no additional cost, gear included)

Discover Free Diving Experience in harbor bay (no additional cost, gear included)

Refresher course in harbor bay (no additional cost, gear included)

Snorkeling intro (no additional cost, gear included)

Shore dives (no additional cost)

PADI Basic Freediver Course for only R400

Discounted boat dives (discounted rates)

Half price gear rental

Chance to introduce all your friends to the underwater world!

T’s and C’s Apply

Walk With Ghosts In A Haunted Village And Hear Chilling Historic Tales

Discover the mysterious Lavender Lady, an unsinkable coffin, butchering barbers, exhumed skeletons, a baby killer and meander through the historic burial ground

Walk the historical mile in the village of Simon’s Town as you listen to tales about interesting buildings of yesteryear from an expert guide. Finish off by walking through the historic burial grounds in Seaforth (1813). There’s safe parking with a reliable car guard on Jubilee Square.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?
During the walk, learn about a mass murderer, baby killer, a mysterious Lavender Lady who haunts the museum, an unsinkable coffin, butchering barbers, exhumed skeletons plus a host of other interesting tales of the unknown.

GHOST GUIDE
André Leibbrandt is a  qualified Western Cape Tourist Guide who has been leading these walks for three-and-a-half years. Andre and his business partner have delved deep into Simon’s Town’s history at local libraries and museums to create this ghost walk tour experience.

SUITABLE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
The majority of the walk takes place at a leisurely pace on the sidewalk. Children of all ages who are brave enough and can handle a two-hour walk are welcome, and they particularly love the graveyard walk at the end. Andre can easily facilitate groups of up to 30 at a time.

HOW TO JOIN THE GHOST WALK
The Ghost Walk costs R100 per person and takes place every Friday and Saturday evening. Times vary: in winter, the walk starts by 6:30pm and in summer by 7pm. You can stay up-to-date with events by checking out the Simon’s Town Ghost Walks’ Facebook page. You can book by calling Andre on +27(0)76 190 4081, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger, or email andreswalks@gmail.com.

Souerce credit: www.capetownmagazine.com

www.capetown.travel has set a bucket list of all the must-see places when you visit Cape Town! Let’s see what they recommend!

 

Another year has come to an end, and here at the Cape Town Tourism offices, we’re ready to stride into 2019. When you live in one of most beautiful cities on earth, it’s not hard to find ways to make your future more exciting, fulfilling, and fun. We asked the Cape Town Tourism team to name some of the things they’d love to do before the next year is over. Here is a list of 52 things to do in Cape Town in 2019—one for every week—to make it your most memorable year yet.

TAKE A RIDE ON THE FRANSCHHOEK WINE TRAM

The Wine Tram is the best way to take in the Winelands. You don’t have to worry about driving or directions—you can just relax and journey through rolling vineyards, stopping at some of South Africa’s oldest and most distinguished wine estates.

franschoek-wine-tram-double-decker

GO UP TABLE MOUNTAIN ON THE CABLE CAR AND TAKE IN THE MAGNIFICENT VIEWS

No Cape Town bucket list would be complete without a trip up Table Mountain. The Aerial Cableway affords 360° views of the city on your way to the top of the mountain. At the top are unbeatable views of the city, along with a restaurant where you can grab some lunch.

GO FOR A WALK ON THE SEA POINT PROMENADE

The promenade is where Capetonians from all walks of life come together. You’ll see everyone here—joggers, dog walkers, families, cyclists, skateboarders, couples… you name it! The views are fantastic and the sea breeze is enlivening. Top it off with an ice cream at The Creamery Café to enjoy while you walk.

HAVE BREAKFAST AT STARLINGS CAFÉ

Starlings is one of the best brunch spots in Cape Town, and they specialise in tasty, healthy, fresh food. The eggs benedict is amazing, as are their fresh juices and home-baked pastries and desserts.

EAT FISH AND CHIPS AT SALTY SEA DOG IN SIMON’S TOWN

Cape Town does some of the best fish ‘n chips in the world, and it couldn’t get any fresher than at Salty Sea Dog in Simon’s Town. Get takeaways from here and take a stroll down the dock to enjoy your lunch overlooking the whole of False Bay.

ATTEND A KIRSTENBOSCH SUMMER SUNSET CONCERT

The Summer Sunset Concerts at Kirstenbosch are a summer favourite with locals. Take along a picnic blanket, drinks, and your favourite snacks and set up camp on the rolling lawns. There are great local acts as well as a few international headliners on the line-up every Sunday between November and April.

Jeremy Loops performing at Kirstenbosch

 

PICNIC AT CAPE POINT VINEYARDS IN NOORDHOEK

Cape Point Vineyards is the perfect place for a picnic. There are terraced lawns, shady tables, and comfy cushions to set up your spot with. The venue is alongside a dam, with views of Noordhoek beach. Kids will have an amazing time here, and so will the adults. The Cape Point wines are award-winning and the Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect summer drink. The picnic baskets contain generous servings of gourmet food.

HAVE TAPAS AT BISTRO 1682 AT STEENBURG

Bistro 1682 has an idyllic location on the Steenberg Estate. The dinner menu consists of tapas-style cuisine with a fine-dining flair. The wines made right on the estate are fantastic, and there are4 few better ways to spend an evening than by washing down fresh oysters with a glass of Steenberg MCC.

KLOOFING AT CRYSTAL POOLS

Kloofing is the South African word for “canyoning”. For those who want a little more adrenaline than your standard hike offers, take a trip out to the Steenbras River Gorge, known locally as Crystal Pools, located near Gordon’s Bay. It’s a scenic but sweaty day of jumping into pools from heights of between 3 and 24 metres, as well as 45-metre waterfall abseil.

CHECK OUT ‘ROLLER DERBY-ING’

Roller Derby is a full-impact women’s sport that’s taken Cape Town by storm. Women of all shapes and sizes take to the track for an hour of high-intensity skating. It’s not a sport for the faint of heart. Players smack into one another and falls are frequent. Try your hand at it, or head to one of the “bouts” as a spectator.

GO ON A STREET ART TOUR OF WOODSTOCK

Woodstock is a diverse and ever-changing Neighbourhood, and it’s at the forefront of Cape Town’s street art scene. There are walking tours available that take you around the neighbourhood to explore the art and get into the spirit of this eclectic, arty area. We recommend taking a tour with the enthusiastic and knowledgeable mural artist, Juma Mkwela.

Woodstock streetart building

 

SEE A CHEETAH AT CHEETAH EXPERIENCE ASHIA

By now we all know that posing with baby animals is a big no-no, so it’s great to find establishments that take conservation and rehabilitation seriously. Cheetah Experience Ashia is a sanctuary and retirement home for cheetahs, where you can meet ambassador cats, or watch the world’s fastest land mammal go for its morning run. Unfortunately, no kids are allowed.

PLAY PUTT-PUTT AT THE PROMENADE

Miniature golf is a great time for both young and old, and where better to tee off than along the spectacular Atlantic Seaboard? It’s really affordable fun for the whole family and makes for an amazing post-lunch activity.

CATCH A PLAY AT THE FUGARD

The Fugard Theatre is one of the best places to see theatre in Cape Town. This is where you’ll catch most of the city’s biggest productions. There’s a lot going on year-round, but if you’re here in January don’t miss the Fugard Bioscope National Theatre Encore Season. It’s a chance to see some of the most popular theatre titles of the 2017 bioscope season. The productions are filmed live and shown on the Fugard’s full-size high definition cinema screen with high-quality surround sound.

OMG QUIZ NIGHT AT ALEXANDER BAR

The Alexander Bar is an eclectic bar and theatre in the City Bowl. It’s a great place for a drink and a show, and their Wednesday night quiz-night is a hit with locals. It’s not like most quiz nights… check it out for yourself!

WALK THE CAPE CAMINO TRAIL

The Cape Camino Trail is walking pilgrimage route around the Cape Peninsula. It is inspired by the well-known Camino de Santiago, (the pilgrimage route in Europe) but is adapted for our South African conditions. The route takes in the diverse sacred spaces found in Cape Town, from the iconic Table Mountain to Cape Point, then back to the city along the Atlantic seaboard.

Cape Camino Forest Walk

GO SNORKELLING IN A KELP FOREST

Under the surface of the sea on Cape Town’s coastline is a truly magical landscape most of us have never seen. The kelp sways gently in the current and light streams in from the surface. The plants can rise 30 metres from the sea floor, and many fish, crustaceans, and even seals flit about in this other-worldly scene.

VISIT A MARKET

Cape Town is spoilt for choice when it comes to markets, selling food, vintage clothing, antiques, crafts, art, and just about anything else you can imagine. Try the ever-popular Neighbourgoods Market in Woodstock on Saturday mornings, or the Earth Fair Food Market in the City Bowl on Thursdays.

SAMPLE SOME LOCAL CRAFT BEERS

This is the year for tracking down the best craft beer in Cape Town. This is no easy task—there is a seemingly endless list of local breweries making some of the finest beer you can find, and new ones are popping up all the time.

HAVE A BRAAI AT OUDEKRAAL

Braai (barbeque) is one of South Africa’s favourite ways to eat. Make a fire, open a cold drink, and sit around with your favourite people watching the coals cook your food. Cape Town has a number of great braai spots, but Oudekraal, between Camp’s Bay and Llandudno, is one of our favourites. The braai areas are secluded and the view of the ocean is unbeatable.

INDULGE IN A SPA DAY

Take your pick of one of the best spas in Cape Town, where you can find world-class treatments to suit any tastes. We’d recommend the Heavenly Spa at the Westin, with its amazing views over the city and bay.

westin arabella spa

 

HAVE HIGH TEA AT THE MOUNT NELSON

Your visit to Cape Town should definitely include a visit to the iconic Pink Lady. The Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel is famous for its lush gardens, luxurious quarters, and its traditional British high tea service. Get dressed up and enjoy sumptuous cakes, pastries, and sandwiches while a live pianist music sets the mood.

GO FOR A PICNIC IN KIRSTENBOSCH

The Mother City is picknicking heaven, where you can find all sorts of amazing pre-packed picnic baskets in beautiful settings. Kirstenbosch is an attraction in its own right, and arguably the best place of all to spread your blanket and snacks. You can pre-order picnic baskets or pack your own, and there’s plenty of space on the rolling lawns to set up.

HAVE SUNDOWNERS ON ONE OF THE BAKOVEN BOULDERS

It’s not difficult to find a good spot to watch the sunset in Cape Town, but the Bakoven boulders are hard to beat. Soak in the view with a cold drink, ice cream, or some snacks, perched atop the amazing granite boulders that make this beach so distinctive.

HAVE BRUNCH AND UNLIMITED BUBBLY AT THE POTLUCK CLUB

Sundays at the Potluck Club are for those who need to level up their brunch game. It’s a tapas-style restaurant started by Luke Dale-Roberts, of The Test Kitchen fame. Here, brunch is a fine-dining set menu that kicks off at 11 am, on Sundays only. Tapas platters are served with many delectable treats. For an extra fee, you can also enjoy bottomless bubbly.

GO ON THE NEWLANDS BREWERY BEER TOUR

The historic Newlands Brewery dates back to 1820 is the oldest operating brewery in South Africa. The tour lasts about an hour and explores the craftsmanship that goes into the beers. It ends with a beer tasting and a couple of pints in the brewery’s historic pub.

Newlands Brewery (2)

 

HAVE LUNCH AT MARINER’S WHARF

Hout Bay is a fantastic sea-side neighbourhood in Cape Town that offers something for everyone, any day of the week. If you’re looking for some of the freshest fish and chips in the area, Mariner’s Wharf is where to find it. It’s situated right at the edge of the Harbour, and not only can you buy great food, but also marine artefacts, souvenirs, and antiques.

HIKE IN THE HELDERBERG NATURE RESERVE

The Somerset West area is known for its natural beauty, and the Helderberg Nature Reserve is no exception. There are hiking trails to suit every fitness level, and the bird life is rich. There are also beautiful shady lawns which are perfect for picnics.

GO GIN-TASTING

Cape Town is famous for its wine, but there’s also a burgeoning gin scene in the city. There are many little gin bars and distilleries to visit. Check out Hope on Hopkins in Salt River. Don’t miss the amazing Bloedlemoen gin, infused with Blood Orange flavours!

HAVE LUNCH AT NOMZAMO BUTCHERY IN LANGA

Langa is a township just outside of Cape Town, and Nonzamo does the best meat in town. There are also delicious sides, so even vegetarians won’t go hungry.

VISIT THE HARD ROCK CAFÉ

The Hard Rock Café is a relative newbie on the Cape Town bar scene, but it’s rocketed to the top of our bucket list. Grab a burger and beer, and don’t forget the t-shirt.

Get your city Sightseeing bus ticket and a free classic burger & chips at Hard Rock Café with a one day City Pass.

Hard Rock Cafe_Ocean view

GO HORSE RIDING ON NOORDHOEK BEACH

Noordhoek beach is a picture-perfect stretch of white sand, backed by mountains and forest. There are few better ways to experience it than by horse-back, and Sleepy Hollow Horse Riding can take you on a guided trail no matter your level of experience.

SWIM AT SILVERMINE

Silvermine Nature Reserve is located in the middle of the Table Mountain National Park and offers some truly exquisite hiking opportunities. Take the trails leading through the fynbos, overlooking the whole city and the sea, to Elephants Eye cave. On the way back down, cool off in the beautiful Silvermine Reservoir. It’s a wonderful way to spend a summer day and is great for kids.

LEARN HOW TO SURF AT LITTLE BAY

This beach, next to Big Bay near Bloubergstrand, offers amazing views of Table Mountain across the bay. Aspiring surfers of any age and skill level can hit the waves here, and there are a number of schools around to help you find your feet. It’s also a popular kite-surfing spot.

VISIT LANGA QUARTER

Langa Quarter is one of Cape Town’s coolest hubs. The non-profit organisation Ikhaya leLanga has turned the area into a vibrant hotspot where Capetonians and tourists can and enjoy what that local community has to offer. There are jazz venues, art galleries, and restaurants to explore.

SEE AN OPEN-AIR MOVIE

The Galileo Open Air Cinema has screenings almost every day in the summer. The venues are amazing, and you can take along picnic baskets and drinks. They screen classics, with a different line-up every year.

The Galileo Open Air Cinema

 

ENJOY BUBBLY AND OYSTERS AT SEA BREEZE

This trendy Bree Street eatery is one of the best places to get fresh seafood in the city, and their Happy Hour special is incredible—between 12-1 pm and 5-6 pm daily you can get oysters for R10 a pop!

CHECK OUT THE DUCK PARADE AT VERGENOEGD

Vergenoegd Wine Estate is a little outside Cape Town, in Stellenbosch, but it’s worth the trip for the ducks! Over 1000 ducks live on the estate as a natural method of pest control. They take care of any snails and bugs that might otherwise spoil the vines. Between 9 and 10 am on weekdays you can watch the army of ducks parade around the estate. It’s a fantastic option for families.

TAKE A TUNNEL TOUR UNDER THE CITY

Beneath Cape Town’s streets, there is a massive network of underground canals and rivers, some of them dating back as far as 1652. You can take tours of the underground tunnels for a totally different perspective on the city. Check the website first to make sure they’re open, and don’t forget your torch!

TAKE A TOWNSHIP TOUR IN IMIZAMO YETHU

Imizamo Yethu is the township located on the slopes of Hout Bay. You can hop off the City Sightseeing bus here to take a tour with a local guide. You’ll explore the community, visit a tavern for a drink, and taste amagwinya (a deep fried dough served with savoury mince or jam).

GO KAYAKING WITH THE PENGUINS IN SIMON’S TOWN

Visit Cape Town’s favourite monochromatic friends without having to get into the cool waters when you take to a kayak in Simon’s Town. Boulder’s Beach is the best place to see the penguins in Cape Town, but kayaking is a great way to beat the traffic and see the penguins and other sea life while letting your legs get a rest while your arms do the work. Just remember to apply tons of sunblock!

Two penguins looking into camera boulders

 

SWIM IN THE SILVERMINE DAM

The Silvermine part of Table Mountain National Park is a beautiful green oasis where you can braai, picnic, and swim with the whole family. You can also take a hike up to Elephant’s Eye for an incredible view of the southern side of Cape Town or take a guided hike to Noordhoek Peak. With the rich biodiversity in the area, there is much to see and appreciate and the water will cool you down on a hot summer’s day. There is an entry fee to pay at the gate (cash only), but you can get a great discount with a Green Card or Wild Card.

GO TO THE CAPE POINT VINEYARDS THURSDAY NIGHT MARKET

You’ll find everything from vegan sushi to beefy burgers (and amazing wine to compliment it) at the Cape Point Thursday night market. It’s a must-do for locals and visitors and for good reason. You’ll be spoilt with views of Noordhoek’s mountain and the awe-inspiring verdant vineyards.

DO THE HOERIKWAGGO TRAIL

Envisaged as a great Cape trek that stretches from Cape Point to the Cableway station on Table Mountain, the Hoerikwaggo trail was supposed to be a five or six-day hike with tented campsites along the route. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to do an uninterrupted hike, but you can still take advantage of the incredible views and unique camping spots on this route.

WALK IN NEWLANDS FOREST

Nature lovers will feel rights at home in this green paradise that feels like the home of fairies, gnomes, and unicorns. It’s right on the slopes of Table Mountain so you know you’re in for some inspiring natural sights and flora. Enjoy a peaceful walk or run under the trees or pack charcoal and meat for a braai at the nearby braai facilities.

RIDE THE CITY SIGHTSEEING BUS WINE ROUTE

City Sightseeing has combined three of Cape Town’s favourite things all in one tour: Wine, beautiful scenery and great food. Their Constantia Wine Valley bus stops at Groot Constantia, Eagles’ Nest and Beau Constantia while driving on some of the most beautiful roads in the city. These three green wine estates have incredible wine and food on offer and the views are unparalleled. Plus you’ll hear some fascinating facts (in no less than 15 languages) while you drive, so it’s something we’d recommend for locals and visitors as you’re bound to learn something new. To take this tour you’ll need to take the Mini Peninsula Tour and hop off at Constantia Nek.

GO PARAGLIDING

See the city from a bird’s eye view (literally) as you float about the Atlantic Sea Board on a tandem paragliding jump with reputable companies like Skywings, Fly Cape Town or Cape Town Tandem Paragliding. It’s not a scary experience as you don’t fall but rather float and have a chance to appreciate the view of the buildings, ocean, and Lion’s Head and Table Mountain. It’s a bucket list item we’d recommend you do annually for some fresh perspective on the beautiful Mother City.

ABSEIL DOWN TABLE MOUNTAIN

Abseiling down a world icon is something all adrenaline junkies and adventure lovers should try at least once. Table Mountain, one of the seven new Wonders of the World, is over 1000 metres tall and you’ll get to abseil down at least 100 metres as you see the city like not many others have. It’s quite a rush! Be sure to take the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway up and down for a 360-degree view of the city.

VISIT THE ZEITZ MOCAA

The Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa is the largest art museum in Africa, and the largest museum in the world showcasing the art of Africa and its diaspora. It opened at the end of 2017, and it’s still number 1 on many people’s to-do lists. The exhibitions change regularly, so even if you’ve been before, add it to your list!

RIDE THE TRAIN TO CERES

The Ceres Rail Company offers rides on a steam train from the 40s. It’s a fun and unique experience and takes you through some of the most picturesque areas of the Cape to Ceres. Onboard, you’ll find snacks, meals, and drinks to keep you going.

HAVE A CUP OF JOE AT DEPARTMENT OF COFFEE IN KHAYELITSHA

The Department of Coffee is the first township-based artisan coffee shop in South Africa. It’s run by Khayelitsha locals who wanted to bring good quality coffee home with them, and they make a mean brew.

WALK DOWN TO SMITSWINKEL BAY AND SPEND A DAY ON THE BEACH

Between Simon’s Town and Cape Point Nature Reserve, you’ll find the picturesque Smitswinkel Bay. Take a short walk down to the beach for an incredible view of the mountains and sea and the opportunity to snorkel, picnic, or go diving. Take a dip in the pretty rock pools when you feel warm and be sure to pack lightly for the trek up and down.

 

Source Credit: capetown.travel

We are making Winter even better at Mariner Guesthouse with our Winter-Warmer Special.

Warm up by our fireplace while enjoying a complimeraty sherry and our breathtaking sea views of False Bay.

Book directly with us at info@marinerguesthouse.co.za or visit our website at www.marinerguesthouse.co.za and get 30% off.

12345...