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,

What a great Christmas holiday season we had!  Thanks to all our guests who have touched our lives and inspired us to continue offering a fantastic and unforgettable stay in Simon’s Town.

A question we often get from guests is: “What is there to do in the Cape Peninsula?”.  Well, here are my top 5 …

  1. You can’t visit Simon’s Town without taking a walk down to the African penguins. There is a lovely wooden walkway from Seaforth to Boulders Beach, taking you through the penguin nesting area.  Take along your beach wear and even swim with the penguins!
  2.  Take a 10 minute drive to Cape Point National Park and visit the lighthouse at Cape of Good Hope.  Plan at least 2 hours to explore and make the most of the hiking trails and remember your sunscreen.
  3.  While on route, make a day of it and stop at Cape Point Ostrich farm, view the kite surfers at Misty Cliffs, have lunch at Imhoff Farm (great for kids!), taste some local wine at Cape Point Vineyards and drive Chapman’s Peak.
  4. Go on a boat trip from Simon’s Town pier.  Depending on how adventurous you’re feeling, there are different options from a leisurely harbour cruise, to visiting Seal Island or even doing Shark Cave Diving to view the Great White up close.
  5. Last but not least, take a leisurely walk along the cobbled streets of Simon’s Town.  While the ladies explore our beautiful interior & gift shops and have cake at the decadent “The Sweetest Thing”, the men can go on a Submarine Tour and visit the Toy Soldier and Navy Museums.

Of course there’s much more to do…  And if you don’t feel like going out, you can just relax on your balcony all day; enjoying a good book and the best view in the world!