Things you have to do at least once (or every once in a while) as a visitor and local

This is our essential checklist of 59 things to do in Cape Town, for locals and tourists, adults and kids.

THINGS YOU HAVE TO DO IN CAPE TOWN BEFORE YOU DIE

1. Take a helicopter ride with the city’s TripAdvisor-rated number-one operator, Cape Town Helicopters, and see the Mother City like never before (ranked in the top three must-do tours in Cape Town). Using state-of-the-art, quieter and more eco-friendly (not to mention wider 270-degree window view) Airbus craft, you easily get the most Instagrammable views in Cape Town on the Cape Point flight or sweep that special someone off their feet and into the air on the VIP Winelands flight. Forget the ferry and see the historic Robben Island from a perspective-smashing new vantage point. And, get the full experience for a lot less than you think: the Hopper flight keeps you within budget with an extraordinary helicopter adventure for around the cost of two dinners at a city restaurant.

2. Go wine tasting, with a difference. There are over 2000 vineyards and wine estates in the Western Cape, so where to start? Book a wine tour with Wine Flies, the boutique touring company invites you to explore the province through wine. You can visit up to five wine estates a day – and even more if you choose to go on a weekend away.

3. Visit the world’s largest collection of contemporary African art. Marvel at the architecture, get lost in the art or just explore the Silo District at the V&A Waterfront around the Zeitz MOCAA Museum.

4. Soak up Cape Cape Malay culture and history through the sensational food by taking a Malay cooking course.

5. Be a beach bum. We have gorgeous stretches of sea and sand at every turn. Or opt for a thrill of a different kind and take a dip in one of our natural rock pools, dotted around the city and surrounds.


6. Take a Hop On Hop Off City Sightseeing Bus – this service is a tried, tested and very fun way of seeing the city’s main attractions. Or take an urban tour with Kiff Kombie.

7. Langebaan is a popular weekend destination for relaxing and unwinding. Rather than the usual holiday home accommodation, why not spend the weekend (or longer) living on a house boat in the West Coast National Park.

8. Join the Mother City’s favourite weekday past-time, First Thursdays when, on the first thursday of every month, city sights, particularly art galleries, restaurants and shops, stay open late into the night for all to enjoy the urban vibe after dark.

9. Sundays are about long lazy brunches and driving along our 9km stretch of paradise, namely Chapman’s Peak – it’s a must-do with breathtaking views.

10. Wile away the day at a tshisanyama, there’s a spot in any one of our townships. It’s where locals go to eat good meat, listen to music and chill with friends.

11. Collect a few of your friends to visit some of the very interesting caves we have around the city.

12. Soak up the urban creativity on a street art tour in Woodstock. This trendy neighbourhood boasts a number of walls adorned with art in an array of colours and designs.

13. Spend a day at one of the best nature reserves in South Africa, Cape Point.

14. There is a little walk that winds its way between Muizenberg and St. James, which is perfect for a gentle stroll with family and friends. Interestingly, this coastal stretch used to be known as Cape Town’s Golden Mile.

15. Give the Mystery Ghost Bus a go. This ride takes you to the Mother City’s oldest, spookiest venues, including the Kimberley Hotel and the Castle of Good Hope.

16. See the Garden Route on the Blue Train. This classic form of travelling is the epitome of elegance and luxury.

17. Try a Gatsby – Cape Town’s signature super loaf, which is usually stuffed with slap chips and a range of other fillings like polony, steak, atchar, and much more. It’s delicious.

18. This is a no brainer: You have to go up Table Mountain – it’s one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

19. Take an ever-awesome hike up Lion’s Head.

20. Spend a day exploring Simon’s Town (and be sure to travel there by train). It is home to the South African Navy’s largest naval base, and an authentic wartime submarine can be seen there.

21. Check out the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens – The stunning garden was named “International Garden of the Year” by the International Garden Tourism Awards Body in 2015. There’s also a great treetop canopy walkway called the “Boomslang” that was declared the Most Beautiful Object in South Africa at the 2015 Design Indaba.

22. Make some exciting new discoveries at the V&A Waterfront – it’s more than a tourist spot, locals visit here every day. You’ll find that escape game specialists HintHunt have opened a new escape room experience inside the new kiddies indoor play area, Superpark. And you can grab artisanal street food, from real Durban curry to Vietnamese salmon and avo rice-paper rolls for R30 to 500g steamed West Coast mussels for R95 or even choose your own rump or fillet before it’s braaied for you at R30/100g, every day (or check out the free live music on weekends and public holidays) at the V&A Food Market.

23. Take advantage of the wonderful Signal Hill. You could paraglide off the famous mound with Parataxi, or soak in the views of the cool and calm Atlantic Ocean below, or just take a moment to watch the sunrise or sunset.

24. Check out the Old Biscuit Mill in Woodstock. This hotspot is home to the Neighbourgoods Market, the weekly Saturday market with artisanal food and drink, as well as a number of great clothing stands.

25. If you’re keen to check out “Cape Town’s most loved group activity”, challenge yourself and a group of your friends with Hint Hunt; the most exciting live escape game to hit the city.

26. Visit Boulder’s Beach in Simon’s Town. It is here where you will find a colony of penguins that settled there in 1982.

27. Take a trip to the historic Robben Island, home to the prison that housed many political prisoners under apartheid, the most famous being Nelson Mandela.

28. It is imperative that you check out Cape Town’s famous Long Street. The CBD roadway is known for its endless offering of clubs, pubs, bars, restaurants and more.

29. Head to the quaint seaside town of Kalk Bay for its beautiful views of the False Bay coastline, its charming little shops and the much more.  It is also a top spot for getting tasty fish and chips at the well-known fishery, Kalky’s.

30. Get inked. Tattoos are like potato chips; you can’t just have one. Consider the hand poke technique for your next piece. Palm Black Tattoo Co. is one of the only tattoo studios in the city that offer this interesting alternative to the conventional tattooing technique.

31. Make sure you visit Muizenberg beach. The popular sandy shoreline is a prime spot for surfing and features those well-known colourful changing booths that appear in many Cape Town tourist photos.

32. Check out Rhodes Memorial, which is located on the slopes of Devil’s Peak Mountain (at the University of Cape Town). This location offers great views of the city, and is also a chilled spot for selfies and relaxing with friends.

33. Go shark diving in Gansbaai. Just two hours away from Cape Town, this location is known as the Great White Shark capital of the world.

34. Take a personal pilgrimage through the the peninsula by walking the Cape Camino – the sacred walk of approximately 200km takes between seven and nine days on foot. It’s a wonderful opportunity for reflection as you explore beautiful Cape Town.

35. Check out the Bay Harbour Market in Hout Bay. This weekend shindig has over 80 trader stalls filled with delightful goods and also features live music and much more.

36. Marvel at the magic of our Milky Way at the Planetarium. This popular cultural institution hosts themed shows, the schedule of which is available on their website.

37. Watch the sunset from the back of an electric bicycle with GONOW. This is perfect if you want to culture-up your Instagram account, as the two-hour trip includes four to five photo opportunity stops at the Lionel Smit artwork in Sea Point.

38. Take a stroll through the Company’s Garden – you can picnic in the garden or read a book in the sun while the playful squirrels scurry around you. The delightful restaurant in the garden is worth visiting too when you get peckish.

39. Cycle through parts of the CBD with Moonlight Mass. The popular event takes place every full moon and invites both Capetonians and tourists to see Cape Town streets in a different, er, light.

40. Watch the Mother City wake up at a secret sunrise. We could say more, but it’s a secret.

41. Go seal snorkelling. It’s an ultimate Cape Town must-do. And you don’t need to be a pro. Plus your equipment is provided. All you do is follow the instructions (there are pro PADI master divers on hand) and chill in the water while Cape Fur Seals dance and dive in the water around you

42. View over 3000 creatures at the Two Oceans Aquarium. Perfect for kids and curious adults alike, this spot is home to thousands of aquatic species and even hosts children’s birthday parties.

43. Explore the Cape of Good Hope. This rocky headland is on the coast of the Cape Peninsula and is known as one of the great capes of the South Atlantic Ocean.

44. Enjoy morning or afternoon tea at the Mount Nelson Hotel. This activity has been a firm favourite among Capetonians and travellers alike for years and is really worth a try (if you’re not already a regular). Tea at the 12 Apostles Hotel is as delightful. Here the view alone will keep you entranced for hours.

45. Take a walk on the Sea Point Promenade. This stretch of path on the Atlantic Seaboard is a great spot for casual cycling, a workout (there’s an outdoor gym) and is ideal for taking your pet out for a walk.

46. Visit the V&A Waterfront. Tourists and Capetonians alike love it for its restaurants, local and international shops, and endless variety of entertainment. The Silo District has become one of the most popular spots at the V&A. Wander there too.

47. Go for a swim at Long Street Baths. This facility has been a favourite spot for Capetonians to cool off for more than over 100 years. It features a large indoor pool and Turkish steam baths.

48. Go glamping. The company to use for your luxury lodgings is AfriCamps. The outdoor living experts, who brought the concept of glamping to South Africa, have five camps, placed at some of the most beautiful farms and estates in the Cape: in Oudtshoorn, Swellendam, Robertson, Stanford and Plettenberg Bay.

49. Check out St George’s Cathedral (which was designed by Sir Herbert Baker). It is the oldest cathedral in Southern Africa and is the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of Cape Town.

50. Visit the Iziko Slave Lodge, one of the oldest buildings in Cape Town. This museum has been renamed multiple times over the years, and now explores the history of slaves in South Africa.

51. Discover the Lookout Hill in Khayelitsha. Situated just 30kms from Cape Town, this attraction is built on the largest sand dune on the Cape Flats and boasts stunning views of the surrounding area.

52. Revel at South African art at the Irma Stern Museum. The former home of the famous South African Expressionist painter Irma Stern (1894 – 1966), the space features a permanent exhibition of the artist’s paintings, drawings, ceramics and sculptures, as well as her private collection of early European furniture, African and Oriental art.

53. Take a step back in history at the District Six Museum. Located in the former inner-city residential area of District Six, where more than 60 000 residents were forcibly removed under the controversial Group Areas Act in 1966.

54. Sip and swirl top-class wine in Constantia, where some of South Africa’s oldest wine producing estates can be found, including the popular Groot Constantia. But there’s more, in the CBD you can enjoy Open Wine in a wine bar.

55. Check out the World of Birds. This is Africa’s largest bird park with over 3 000 birds and 400 different species spread over four hectares of land.

56. While visiting the Mother City dare to try “the world’s strongest coffee” by Black Insomnia Coffee Company

57. Learn to kitesurf at a world-accredited kite school in Cape Town because there are few things more exhilarating. You don’t have to be an expert, book a private or group lesson at High Five, they have awesome options.

58. Rev up your day with a ride on a Harley Davidson, you’ll get to hug the corners and lean into the curves as you roar around some of the City’s most spectacular coastal roads. Satisfy your need for speed as you ride pillion with an experienced driver from Cape Bike Travel.

59. You haven’t been to Cape Town if you haven’t cruised the bay. And Tigger 2 have been in the luxury cruise business for 22 years. From sunset cruises to dinner and lunch on the powered cat or a wedding on the water. Or have your office party, team building events, private functions and others too onboard the Tigger 2 Royale.

Source credit: www.capetownmagazine.com

It comes as no surprise that Cape Town was voted as the greatest city on Earth in the Telegraph Travel Awards survey for 2018, making this the sixth year in a row that the Mother City has claimed the top spot.

The Telegraph Travel Awards performs an annual survey to find out Telegraph Travel readers’ favorite cities.

Over 45 000 readers responded to the survey and Cape Town was placed at number one, above popular cities such as New York and Tokyo.

Venice surprisingly dropped down to seventh place after having held a spot in the top three for six years in a row. Meanwhile, Seville, a small city in Spain, is slowly climbing the ranks, going from holding 13th place three years ago to holding fourth place in 2018.

Sydney, Florence and New York held their positions from last year’s awards.

From Table Mountain to wine farms to the penguins of Boulders beach, not to mention the laid-back Capetonian lifestyle, there are dozens of reasons tourists and locals flock to the Mother City’s shores.

Top 10 cities in the world as voted by the Telegraph Travel Readers (UK) 

1. Cape Town

2. Tokyo

3. Vancouver

4. Seville

5. Sydney

6. New York

7. Venice

8. Florence

9. Rome

10. San Francisco

The Telegraph/ Telegraph Travel Readers Awards

Here are several reasons why our beloved city was voted the greatest on Earth this year. 

1. The exquisite Winelands

2. Our ideal beaches, which make up the city’s unreal natural landscape.

3. Table Mountain, the landmark of Cape Town 

4. The African penguins who waddle along the beaches

5. Delicious eating out options such as La Colombe, which ranks as the sixth-best fine-dining restaurant in the world according to TripAdvisor

Source: www.capetownnet.com

 

Cape RADD

South Africa’s shoreline is absolutely bursting with marine life in massive variety, and Cape RADDoffers visitors the opportunity to explore this life and learn more about it with their bespoke courses. Based in Simon’s Town, just outside Cape Town, Cape RADD offers both SCUBA and free-dive training courses to showcase the marine environment and biodiversity. Alternatively, participants can explore the shallower waters while snorkelling.

More than this, though, these courses are designed to allow their participants to be first-hand contributors to the marine databases and to work alongside the Cape RADD marine biologists.

The trips start with a brief presentation where the local biodiversity and ecosystems are discussed. Participants will also be given some skills to identify some of the more common fish species that are likely to be spotted during their dive. Each dive or snorkelling excursion lasts for about an hour, giving you the chance to see the largest variety of marine fauna and flora, and to take some awesome underwater shots.

Afterwards, divers will get to compare what they saw, record their sightings, and chat about what they may mean in terms of the research being conducted here. All of the equipment is provided, including fish identification books or guides. The entire experience lasts about 3.5 hours, making for a fabulous morning or afternoon out.

Participants wanting to snorkel do not need any training, but need to be proficient swimmers and fairly comfortable in the water. But, SCUBA divers need to have at least an Open Water Diving qualification. Those who don’t, but would like to learn, can enquire about the PADI dive qualification courses, which can be organised through Cape RADD. You can also visit their website at Cape RADD for more information and to view all activities on offer.

Simon’s Town is known for its naval base and the rich history that characterises it. It is a fascinating little spot to explore, as are its waters.

Boat Cruise off Simon’s Bay

Join us aboard the Spirit of Just Nuisance as we take a slow cruise around Simon’s Bay to enjoy all the historic sites and splendid scenery that Simon’s Town has to offer.

Our expert guide will talk you through its rich maritime heritage, spanning both the Dutch and British occupations. Hear the story of Able Seaman Just Nuisance, the much loved Great Dane who befriended the Royal Navy sailors stationed at Simon’s Town during the Second World War.
Simon’s Town is also the main base for the South African Navy with its recently acquired modern fleet in clear view. If you’re lucky you may even see a Frigate or Strike-Craft leaving the harbour.

Along the way we’re sure to encounter birdlife, seals and on occasions even whales. This cruise is equally enjoyable for locals and tourists alike and a great education for children.

WHERE?Simon’s Town Boat Company, Town Pier, Wharf Street, Simon’s Town.

WHEN?Please contact us for departure time. We operate daily.

HOW?Call +27 (0)83 257-7760

Boulders Beach

Enjoy a day lazing at Boulders Beach and see the world famous penguin colony. Take a dip in the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean and find yourself swimming with the Penguins. Just remember this area is a sanctuary for them and they and their environment should be treated with respect.

Boulders Beach is home to the African penguin, which has been hanging out along the South African coast for years, in more recent times living shoulder to knee-cap with the local human population of Simon’s Town. Named “jackass” after their distinctive Eeyore impersonations, they occur in only 27 other sites, including Robben Island, and despite their large numbers at Boulder’s (some 3000), they are very much endangered …

Breakfast at The Meeting Place

Situated in Simon’s Town, The Meeting Place is a popular restaurant with comfortable couches centred around an old fashioned cast iron fireplace, with plenty of interesting reading material at your disposal.

The outside balcony furnished with attractive garden-style tables and chairs, is warm and sheltered in winter and cool and inviting in summer, and offers splendid views of the False Bay coastline as well as the harbour across the street.

Sit indoors or on the balcony overlooking the yacht club and False Bay, and enjoy the finest breakfast or lunch in the area – seven days a week.

Cape Peninsular Loop

The one great payoff, besides the incredible all-round sea views, of having a peninsular in the city of Cape Town is the non-stop drive on which you can embark, and which has to include some of the most epic views in the country, and arguably in the world. If you are a visitor to Cape Town, the best way to do this is to hire a car in Cape Town’s city bowl.

The Cape Peninsular is bounded by both the Atlantic and Indian Ocean, in the form of False Bay. A drive along the Atlantic Seaboard, starting in Sea Point and heading out to Hout Bay, via Llandudno beach, is a pre-requisite anyway, of any visitor to the Mother City. Make sure that you stop for fish and chips in Hout Bay and then push on along Chapman’s Peak, a spectacular drive, on to Kommetjie, Scarborough and Cape Point nature reserve, where you can spend more than a few hours.

Tea in Simon’s Town is a must, followed by a swim at Fish Hoek, one of the best swimming beaches in Cape Town (but keep an eye on the shark flags before heading into the water – there are scouts up above the bay to keep watch). Head into Kalk Bay for late afternoon browsing of antique and book shops, and either sup here, or back in the centre of Cape Town.

You can also choose to do the loop in reverse, for a different take entirely, beginning in Constantia and taking in the Constantia Wine Route, followed by a swim at Muizenberg, tea in Simon’s Town, a quick look-in at Boulders Beach to swim with penguins and then onto the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve where you can catch a funicular all the way to the crest of the peninsular.

From here you can take the coastal road through pretty Scarborough and continue on until you reach Kommetjie. Drive through the little seaside village, past Masiphumelele and left, past Sun Valley, where you look out for signs to Chapman’s Peak. Drive this through to Hout Bay and sundowners, after which you can drive along the Atlantic Seaboard back to Cape Town, via Llandudno and Camps Bay.

Enjoy a cold one at Dixies Pub

Dixies pub and restaurant has been an institution with locals, families, tourists, fishermen, bikers and appreciators of wholesome and hearty meals for decades.

With an endless view over the ocean, unpretentious yet delicious food and a jovial atmosphere constantly pouring out of the adjoining small pub, Dixies is a wonderful way to round off another perfect day spent in Glencairn, Simonstown.

Explore Simons Town

Situated on the Eastern side of the Cape Peninsula, and named after Simon van der Stel, the town was proclaimed as a safe winter harbour in 1741 and then grew rapidly when it became a Royal Navy base.

There is much to see in Simon’s Town; a visit to Admiralty house which was originally a private home and dates back to 1814 is well worth it. The town has fabulous museums; the Simon’s Town Museum and the South African Naval Museum displays models of ships and related maritime events. The Heritage Museum shows aspects of the Muslim community – and don’t forget to visit the beautiful mosque.

Finish off with a visit to the statue of Able Seaman Just Nuisance, RN. This Great Dane was a resident of the town and a firm favourite of the sailors. A request to have the dog enlisted into the Royal Navy was sent to the British parliament … and hence the legend of Able Seaman Just Nuisance was born.

Simon’s Town is a village rich in history and character – definitely well worth a visit.

Farmers Cliffs Trail

Start: Smitswinkel Viewpoint parking area
Finish: Buffels Bay beach
Duration: 8 km one way (leave another car at Buffals Bay beach)
Fitness: a fairly easy hike
Our tip: get there early! (best to enter the reserve when it opens – 7am)
Map: best done with the latest Peter Slingsby Cape Point (and Simon’s Town) map

To find Smitswinkel Viewpoint follow the main road roughly a kilometre from the main entrance to Cape Point Nature Reserve until you see a gravel parking area on your left on the curve of the road as it swings right towards Buffels Bay.

From the parking area there are excellent views over the little enclave of Smitswinkelbaai.

Continue on to Buffelsbaai (Buffalo Bay) beach to leave a car there, and then return to Smitswinkel Viewpoint with the second car. Buffalo Bay beach is a beautiful beach, but extremely popular during summer.

The stony path that leaves the view point is easy to follow and heads south towards Cape Point. The joy of this hike is that you are below the road and have access to scenery not possible from a car in the reserve.

The path heads up Judas Peak and then on to Die Boer, wending its way around the slopes of Paulsberg (the highest of Cape Point’s peaks) before finally climbing Kanonkop (and yes, there is a canon atop the hill that used to let Simon’s Town know of approaching ships).

From the top of Kanonkop are incredible views down over Buffelsbaai and Cape Point – taking a good camera along is imperative. The trail slowly heads down to sea level along a gully, reaching the sea at Booi se Skerm (there is a parking area here too, where you could alternatively leave a car).

From Booi se Skerm the views of Paul’s Rock and the coastline are superlative, and provide aspects of the coast seldom photographed. The scenery is beautiful, barren and devoid of human activity. Only the odd Chacma baboon’s call to disturb the quiet.

From Booi se Skerm follow the tarred road south looking out for an old lime kiln on your right. The path hugs the edge of the beach easily reaching Bordjiesdrif’s tidal pool and picnic area, where you could spend a while. Just around the headland is Buffels Bay beach. To reach it entails a bit of boulder hopping (look out for the Diaz and Da Gama monuments).

Buffalo Bay is picturesque, has its own tidal pool and ablution block, braai areas and shower, and the beach is swimmable.

Fishermans Beach

You will find the sandy shores of Fishermans Beach between the Simon’s Town Golf Course and the very well known Boulder’s Beach, which is home to many penguins and is extrememly popular with locals and tourists. If you’d prefer something a little quieter than Boulders, head down to Fishermans Beach.

Fishermans beach is enclosed by green lawns which are great if you’d like to play some games with friends, or if you prefer the sound of the ocean but the feel of grass instead of sand you can enjoy the best of both worlds here.

The water is slightly warmer than its opposing Atlantic Ocean beaches and this allows for a wide variety of water sports. Paddle out into the shallow waters and glide back in on a body board or explore the further reaches of the ocean on a kayak.

Glencairn Beach

If you’re heading out to Simons Town on the train why not stop off at Glencairn and spend a few hours at the beach? This fantastic little spot is popular with locals who enjoy taking their dogs for walks or basking in the sun for the afternoon.

If you prefer driving to the beach you’ll be happy to know that there is plenty of parking close by, however you will need to walk across the railway line, so take extra care when crossing.

Glencairn beach is also a great spot for whale watching in season and the resident shark spotters keep visitors up to date with the activity in the water. Enjoy a long stroll on the beach or simply enjoy the serenity the beach offers. Children will enjoy their time here to when they investigate the living creatures in the shallow tidal pool.

Heather Auer Art & Sculpture Gallery

The Heather Auer Art & Sculpture Gallery, established in 1998, is a charming gallery at the Simonstown Waterfront and stocked with orginal art by South African artists.

This beautifully positioned gallery represents a large body of Heather Auer’s paintings and bronzes as well as a selection of work by other top established South African artists and a colourful collection of Township Art by a variety of local artists.

Heather has exhibited widely in South Africa and recently in London, UK. Her sculptures and paintings are in private collections worldwide. Her figurative work is her passion, endeavoring to capture on canvas or in bronze, the spirit of her subject, mainly women of Africa. Heather has been working as a professional artist and sculptor since 1989 and her paintings are now also represented at Neville Fine Art, UK.

Hoerikwaggo Hike

Start: Cape Town
Finish: Cape Point
Duration: 87.9 km, 5 days
Fitness: difficult
Our tip: you can opt for shorter Hoerikwaggo trails if the full 5-day adventure is too long or heavy going

This organised, slackpack hike leaves Cape Town to head up Table Mountain along its many footpaths in the company of qualified mountain guides. All of the tented camps were built exclusively for the Hoerikwaggo trail, with an emphasis on ‘touching the earth lightly’.

DAY ONE:

Cape Town to Orange Kloof Forest – 18.4 km (roughly 8 hours) – head up Platteklip Gorge to the upper cable station. Then make your way across to the coastal town of Hout Bay, overnighting in the tented camp of Orange Kloof, built using alien wood.

DAY TWO:

Orange Kloof forest to Silvermine – 17.5 km (roughly 7 hours) – traverse the Constantiaberg and Vlakkeberg with views out over the Cape Peninsula, arriving at the Silvermine Tented Camp overlooking False Bay.

DAY THREE:

Silvermine to Kommetjie – 18 km (roughly 8 hours) – a hike up Chapmans Peak then heads down to Noordhoek beach, which connects to Kommetjie.

DAY FOUR:

Kommetjie to Simonstown – 17 km (roughly 7 hours) – head to the Old Wireless Station and hike up Slngkop via Grootkoop, arriving at Signal School and Simonstown in the afternoon. Overnight in the naval village of Simonstown.

DAY FIVE:

Simonstown to Cape Point – 17 km (roughly 7 hours) – drive to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve entrance gate from which you hike all the way to Cape Point, passing beaches like bordjiesdrif, Buffels bay and Rooikrans.

You are driven back to Cape Town.

Just Nuisance

Just Nuisance was a likable resident in Simons Town and a statue of him stands in Jubilee square in his memory. After birth he was sold to a man who ran the United Services Institute in Simons Town. Most of his customers were Royal Navy sailors and all dog lovers. Just Nuisance would follow his sailor buddies around the base and dockyard and even on board to the gang plank of HMS Neptune, which was his favourite spot.

After the railway authorities complained about the dog travelling on the train with the seamen when they were on shore leave, the seamen decided to promote Just Nuisance and officially make him an ‘Ordinary Seaman’ – paperwork was signed by his paw. He was then entitled by navy law to all the same benefits as the sailors, including free train travel. Sadly after a car accident, Just Nuisance got Thrombosis which slowly paralyzed him.

It was decided to put him down so that he did not suffer. He was a huge part of many of the sailor’s lives and is memory will always live on. Visit his statue, learn more about him and see the local museums for more stories and collections of his possessions.

Penguin Sea Kayak Trip

The African Penguin colony that inhabits the beaches and unique rock formations of the Western Cape coastline continues to lure tourists from all over the world to learn more about these marine birds and their delightful antics.

Kayaking these waters is a fantastic way to see the penguins (as well as many other marine species) without imposing on their territory or disturbing them from their natural behaviour. This means getting up close to them at a comfortable pace, and really experiencing the intricacies of their behaviour.

Paddling with the experienced guide in the secure, stable kayaks enables visitors to learn about the local ecology, tourist attractions and wildlife while enjoying the fresh sea air and the magnificent views of the land. To see the penguins, the trip leaves from the Simons Town Jetty and takes visitors past the Naval Harbour (which is, in itself, an impressive sight). Then, paddlers will go on to Boulders Beach, where the local colony of penguins can be seen in abundance.

Along the way, paddlers are sure to spot the Cape Fur Seal playing in the water or warming up in the sun.

Visitors are encouraged to take a dip in the waters, and snorkelling masks are provided in the summertime. Of course, time and weather conditions do influence the possibility of swimming and diving.

The double kayaks are stable, and paddlers require no previous experience.

Red Hill Footpath Hiking Trail

The Redhill Footpath Hiking Trail is a scenic trail in Scarborough, the small village that has almost become incorporated under the larger umbrella of Cape Town. The entire area is known for its quiet serenity and scenic beauty. This hiking trail begins in the Scarborough Conservation Village and then extends past Kleinplaas Dam and Slangkop to end at Blue Water Estate in Imhoff.

Permits are required for this hike, and can be obtained at Mickey’s Mousetrap in Scarborough itself. It is a trail requiring a moderate degree of fitness, and takes about five hours to complete. Therefore, it is not suitable for young children, the elderly or those that are physically compromised.

Roman Rock Lighthouse

Much like the primary residence of A-list celebrities, the Roman Rock Lighthouse has an adjoining feature of distinction; a private helipad. The only lighthouse in South Africa to be erected on a single rock in the middle of the ocean; helicopters ferried supplies to this nautical guardian when it underwent extensive cosmetic surgery (yet another mark of fame) in 1992.

From the shore the size of the supply helicopter appeared to be the same size as this little lighthouse which hovers on the False Bay horizon.

Standing seventeen metres above the high water mark, this circular cast iron tower is painted white and set against an azure sky. South Africa’s sole rock lighthouse exposes its natural stone foundation at low tide where it stands at the ocean entrance of Simon’s Town Harbour.

South Africa’s historic naval town owes the expensive erection of this lighthouse to Joseph Nourse Commodore of the Royal Navy. Hand penned letters from Commodore to the Secretary General of Admiralty in London, stressed the urgency of protecting Her Majesty’s ships who dropped anchor in Simon’s Town bay at night. After much deliberation over the lighthouse location the Roman Rock site declared victory. This lighthouse erection site was invisible, submerged at high tide and as a result took four years (1857 to 1861) to complete with gale-force winds and high sea-levels making construction impossible for three weeks of every month. The prefabricated tower was sent from England and shone it first light on the 16th of September 1861.

Originally lighthouse keepers and their assistant lived here in isolation surround by the rising water mark and inhospitable South Easter winds. Fully automated in 1919, acetylene gas flashes visible from thirteen nautical miles out to sea now brightens the Cape sky once every six seconds with a power of 5000 CD, to guide South African naval boats home. Watch the ‘swimming’ lighthouse shine from a safe spot on the shore.

 

Salty Sea Dog Restaurant

Simonstown has a lot to offer from stunning scenery, quirky shops, the naval museum and best of all it has the Salty Sea Dog Restaurant. If you love sea food then you will really appreciate this hot spot that is well known for its outstanding fish ‘n’ chips.

Originally a fish market built in 1925, this fabulous restaurant offers exquisite views over the harbour and is a great place to sit in and enjoy freshly prepared calamari, prawns, squid or catch of the day.

If you would rather eat in the comfort of your own home then why not take advantage of their take-away service. The staff are friendly, service is excellent and locals flock here for a feast, so don’t hesitate, get down to the Salty Sea Dog for a meal to remember.

Scenic Charter Cruise to Seal Island

On this charter, we follow the shoreline to Seal Island, passing Glencairn, The Clan Stuart shipwreck, Fish Hoek, onto the bohemian village of Kalk Bay which still has a traditional fishing harbour and then to Muizenberg.

Seal Island has approximately 75 000 Cape Fur seals, a variety of bird life and of course the Great White shark. In winter, these sharks are very active and one can view the natural predation from the surface, which is a unique encounter very seldom experienced.

From Seal Island, we head to Boulders Beach, home to the famous large colony of endangered African Penguins.

This cruise is approximately 2 ½ hours. This charter can be combined with our Cape Point Cruise, lasting approximately 4 ½ to 5 hours.

Scratch Patch at Simons Town

Southern Africa is often considered the “gemstone capital of the world” as almost half of the world’s gemstones are found in this part of the world. For this reason, experiencing the amazing beauty and variety of gemstones is a must for visitors to Cape Town. One of the most popular and convenient places to see and buy gemstones in Cape Town – and see an amazing variety of gemstone products – is at The Scratch Patch and Mineral World outlet at Simon’s Town. (Also see the Scratch Patch at the V&A Waterfront).

Our original – and now world-famous – Scratch Patch was started in Simon’s Town in 1970. Here you can have lots of fun “scratching” for your favourite tumble-polished gemstones from thousands of polished stones that quite literally cover the floor. There are a wide variety of tumble-polished gemstones in the Scratch Patch, mostly popular Southern African stones such as Tiger’s Eye, Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Jasper, Agates and Crystals. If you’re lucky, you might find virtually anything including Lapis Lazuli, Blue Lace Agate and some really exotic stones.

You can purchase a small plastic bag or container ranging in price from R17 for a small bag to R95 for a larger container. What stones you put in your bag or container is up to you!

Seaforth Beach

Seaforth is the ‘freebie’ version of Boulders beach – more than a few of the penguins venture across here from Boulders Beach, particularly early morning and evening. It lies closer to Fish Hoek than Boulders, and has only Waters Edge beach between it and the former.

Seaforth is a beautiful beach, set in amongst a series of boulders and with a serious parking area, where a few traders sell their wares, and there is a restaurant. But it’s a fairly popular beach too, particularly during summer, because it’s a great swimming beach for children, so families head down here to camp out for much of the day.

The grassy slopes that overlook the beach are, understandably, the first spots to go because they’re so great for picnicking; some of them under trees. Get there early.

Seaforth Restaurant

Set on the white sands of Seaforth Beach in Simon’s Town, with stunning views of mountains and sea, and penguins to entertain you, Seaforth Restaurant is a spectacular venue on the water’s edge. Seaforth offers you the opportunity to delight in the fruits of the sea, or a range of platters fit for the most discerning palate.

The restaurant was designed to maximize the unique position on the edge of the water, providing each patron with a stunning view. The layout of the facility consists of general seating, the gunroom enclosed deck area and an outside deck area just metres above the sea at high tide, the perfect place for a meal or a sundowner cocktail, which the restaurant is renowned for.

Self Drive the Cape Peninsula

Self Drive the Cape Peninsula – two oceans in one day and one of the most beautiful drives, and easiest way to truly orientate yourself to the mountain range and two oceans that dominate Cape Town.

Route: Cape Town, Fish Hoek, Simon’s Town, Cape Point, Chapman’s Peak, Clifton
Length: 160 km
Time: in a day
Overnight: our favourite villages – Scarborough, Kommetjie, Hout Bay or Simon’s Town

Cape Town to Kalk Bay 
Take the N2 from Cape Town’s city centre and, as you hit hospital bend, move into a right-hand lane so that you can take the M3 to Muizenberg. Pass Mostert’s Mill on your left, and the university on the slopes of Devil’s Peak on your right. Rhodes Memorial’s exit is roughly 1.5 km past Mostert’s Mill on your left.

From Rhodes Memorial return to the M3 and continue towards Muizenberg. The M3 ends in a t-junction at Westlake. Take a left on the M42 until you reach Main Road (M4), where you take a right. About 600 metres later, turn right off Main Road up Boyes Drive. The views from up here are beautiful, and if there are whales in the bay (August through November) this is a good way to spot them.

Drive on (but be careful of the speed trap in the dip as you head to Kalk Bay) until the road descends in a left curve, past Theresa’s restaurant (on your right) and Olympia Bakery (to your right just beyond the parking area at the set of lights; definitely worth a pit stop!).

Kalk Bay is to the left of the lights. If you can find parking (difficult at the best of times) take a leisurely stroll along Main Road and explore the antique shops, clothing boutiques, restaurants and book stores.

Kalk Bay to Boulders Beach
Head on towards Cape Point past Kalk Bay harbour, around the headland and into Fish Hoek. At the traffic circle, at the end of Fish Hoek, turn left and park where you can. Jager’s Walk is a lovely path along the rocks from Fish Hoek to Sunny Cove, and takes around 40 minutes.

Head back to the circle and take a left, in the direction of Glencairn. A little further on is Simon’s Town where there is plenty to do.

Not long after you leave Simon’s Town, take a left into Bellevue Road (it is the second penguins sign post, not the first, which takes you to Seaforth beach). Park in the parking area at the bottom of the road to visit Boulders Beach. During summer and over weekends this is a popular beach. Try to get there early.

Boulders to Cape Point
After your swim head back to the M4, the coastal road. At Smitswinkel Bay the road begins to climb the mountain and turns inland. Your first left is the entrance to the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve (there is an entrance fee). There are various hikes, beaches and picnic areas as well as a restaurant. And you might want to follow everyone else to the very tip of the peninsula.

Cape Point to Hout Bay
Leave Cape Point, and take a left back onto the Plateau Road. At the Cape Farmhouse, there is a left turn into Red Hill Road. Drive into the little village of Scarborough and on through Misty Cliffs to Kommetjie . This is a beautiful part of the drive, to the more remote villages of Cape Town.

At the intersection with the M6, take a left and then left again onto Noordhoek Main Road, following signs to Chapmans Peak, past the Noordhoek Farm Village. Enjoy some of the most magnificent views of the Atlantic and Hout Bay.

At the bottom of the drive, head into Hout Bay, turning left into Princess Street and then right into Victoria Avenue, to head up Suikerbossie Hill.

Hout Bay to Cape Town
Victoria Avenue climbs the side of Little Lion’s Head over Hout Bay Nek. This coast road, particularly at sundown, is indescribably beautiful. Follow the road past Llandudno, beneath the Twelve Apostles, through Bakoven, Camps Bay and Clifton, stopping where and when you want to.

Simon’s Town Heritage Museum

A visit to the Heritage Museum in Simon’s Town will give you an understanding of the rich Cape Malay cultural influence and history of the region. From 1743 there was an influx of people of Dutch Batavian descent into area due to Simon’s Town becoming an anchorage for the Dutch East India Company.

The museum is housed in the Amlay house which was the origin home of the Amlay family, who were forcibly removed in 1975 after Simon’s Town was declared a whites-only area under apartheid law. More than 7000 people from the region were removed from their homes following the Group Areas Act during the aparthied era. After the advent of democracy, the Amlay family returned to Simon’s Town, and family member Zainab Davidson established the museum and curates its exhibitions today.

Visitors can expect to learn more about the early residents of Simon’s Town and Cape Malay heritage and the intricacies of Muslim culture. Ceremonial artefacts, photographs and displays give you an insight into their religion and traditions. If you are interested there are also several walking tours on offer from the museum.

Smitswinkel Bay Beach

The Smitswinkel Bay Beach can be found, although not that easily as it isn’t very easy to access, just past Simons Town and next to the Cape Point Nature Reserve. You will only get to the beach on foot, so this is not suitable if you’re not fit as the walk is at least 15 minutes long.

The effort however, is well worth it! Because it is secluded this means it is quieter than many of the other Cape Town beaches and you’ll enjoy a peaceful day at the beach, should you choose. Take in the magnificent views of both the bay and the mountain. If you prefer to be a little more active on your beach day get involved in some of the activity as this bay is popular for diving, fishing and snorkeling. But remember since you’re walking to the beach you’ll need to carry all of your own gear!

The water is relatively gentle here so perfect for a mid afternoon dip to cool down. But please be aware that there are no lifeguards on duty here, so you will need to be extra careful when in the water.

Sophea Gallery

Sophea Gallery and Tibetan Teahouse is set in a beautiful old ivy covered house in Simons Town overlooking False Bay of the Western Cape, South Africa.

Sophea Gallery specialises in Spiritual Art. To ensure that the exhibition remains interesting and dynamic, the gallery runs its exhibitions according to a specific theme which changes every three months. The theme serves both as an inspiration and a creative challenge for artists to prepare specific works. In some instances they already have existing works that fit in with the specified theme. We may also at times feature the works of a specific artist in the main gallery.

The second component of Sophea Gallery is a Shop or artefact and craft section. Sourced from all over the world, from as far afield as the Himalayan regions of Tibet, Nepal, Kashmir and Bhutan with their rich and ancient handicraft traditions, to our own local South African arts and crafts. Items include singing bowls, prayer flags, silver jewellery, ceramics and rich textiles.

South African Naval Museum

Come and enjoy the maritime magnificence at the South African Naval Museum in Simons Town. Take a tour of the floating museum, enjoy the experience of a lifetime and discover how submariners live and work in these close quarters.

The SAS Assegaai submarine was attained in France in the 1970’s and was a Daphne’ Class submarine which was decommissioned in 2003 and became the star attraction of the South African Naval Museum. The land based museum has outstanding displays exhibiting weapons, charts, medals, uniforms, naval equipment and photographs used throughout history by the Natal Volunteer Reserves, Cape Colony Reserves and in the South African Navy.

Expect to learn a lot, be fascinated and in awe of the battles faced, the victories won, the defeats endured and gain an insight into what navy life was and is like for the sailors serving the country.

The Black Marlin Restaurant

The Black Marlin, located in Simon’s Town, has earned a reputation for it’s stunning seafood, award winning wine list, attentive service and incredible views. This historical building, nce a whaling station, ensures the perfect setting for an idyllic lunch or evening experience.

The Black Marlin offers an extensive menu with the main emphasis on seafood, complimented by other choices of fine contemporary cuisine. House specialities include Cape Rock lobster, Seafood platter, oysters and mussels.

Tibetan Teahouse

Situated in Seaforth, a suburb of a Simon’s Town on the Main road to Cape Point, the Tibetan Teahouse is only 500 m from Boulders Beach with its penguins and beautiful beaches.

The Tibetan Teahouse is the third component of Sophea Gallery. The teahouse leads onto a deep set and sheltered verandah and has fabulous views over False Bay, and is ideal for whale watching. The menu offers imaginative and tasty vegetarian and vegan food, styled on original Tibetan recipes, and is praised by vegans, vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. In winter a cosy fireplace and a hearty plate of Sherpa Stew takes care of the cold.

All meals and cakes are made on the premises from the finest ingredients. Join us for a cup of our homemade spice Chai or butter tea served in a wooden cup.

Warrior Toy Museum

The Warrior Toy Museum has been operating for a number of years and when visiting you’ll see a permanent display of model cars, dolls, dinky toys and more. The model car section houses 4000 cars and with over 500 dolls and teddy bears, you’ll have plenty to ooh and aah over.

The curator, Percy van Zyl, has created a wonderful sanctuary for collectors of toy airplanes, trucks, lead soldiers, cars and busses. If you’re interested in starting your own collection you’ll be pleased to know there is a sales section for both existing collectors and budding collectors.

Other exciting things to see are the two fully operations railroads, Meccano, a variety of other toys and models, ships and even a lead soldier display. Come and step back into your childhood and explore the wonderful world of toys in Simons Town.

Waters Edge Beach

This off the beaten track beach is one of the local secrets. Head off in a southerly direction from Southforth beach, Simonstown (i.e. veer right when the grassy verge behind the restaurant is in front of you), and you’ll find the path and sign for Water’s Edge beach.

It involves entering via what looks like a garden gate, which makes it appear to be a private beach, which it isn’t. The other way to reach it is along the sand and boulders via Seaforth. The beach may be regarded as part and parcel of Boulders beach but actually it lies between Seaforth Beach and Boulders, and most people know nothing about it.

The bay here is a wonderful haven for children, particularly the rock pools filled with star fish. It makes for wonderful swimming and snorkeling, and diving off the boulders adds a thrill’. But shhh, don’t tell anyone about it!

Whale Watching from Boulders to Smitswinkelbaai

Although Simon’s Town is small in size, one of its biggest attractions still remains a trip to Boulders Beach. Boulders Beach is situated at the end of Simon’s Town between Fish Hoek and Cape Point.

A small entrance fee helps towards the preservation of the penguins and as a result, you are able to come within hands reach of then (careful they do bite), and spend the day with them swimming and enjoying the sun.

Further down past Simon’s Town is Smitswinkelbaai, and within it a small little beach. A popular attraction for snorkelling and diving this beach can only be accessed via foot and is totally secluded. Other than a handful of houses it is surrounded by the mountain that leads into Cape Point Nature Reserve, and for those on a quest to sight whales, hiking trails up the nature reserve will give you the best viewing point so have your binoculars ready!

Whale Watching on the False Bay Coast

Simon’s Town Boat Company is the sole permit holder for boat based whale watching for the western half of False Bay – stretching from Strandfontein all the way to Cape Point.

This area is sheltered from the open ocean, surrounded by stunning views and provides an ideal winter home for the Southern Right Whales. They visit each year between June and November to mate, calve, or simply to get away from the icy Antarctic winter.

Interacting with these gigantic and magnificent mammals (the size of 12 elephants) alongside their boat is an experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Be ready to photograph one breaching or giving you a friendly wave with its tail. Sightings of Brydes whales, Humpback whales, Orcas and Dolphins are also common.

A Train Ride to Remember

Atlantic Rail offers you an exclusive trip back in time where you can enjoy a train ride around the peninsula in a steam locomotive that was built in 1949. Not only is the train old but the coaches are vintage and the wooden bodied interiors are from somewhere between 1922 and 1938.

This Class 24 train will take you on an amazing journey starting at Cape Town Train Lodge on Old Marine Drive. There is a comfy lounge and bar area on board to make your trip as enjoyable as possible.

Travel past Newlands cricket and rugby grounds then towards Muizenburg where the views of the waves smashing the rocks below are phenomenal. Looking out at sea you may be lucky enough to spot dolphins or whales depending on the season. The rocky mountains are a sight for sore eyes and the beaches along the way are stunning.

Choo choo through quirky Kalk Bay, around to Fish Hoek, past Glencairn and into Simons Townwhere you can get a sneak peak of the Naval Dockyard. Once here you can get off, explore Simons Towns fascinating shops, stop in at the museum, grab some lunch or laze on the beach before heading back to Cape Town.

Big Game Fishing

Big Blue Sport Fishing Charters, an owner operated business in the Cape Peninsula, offers its clients the ultimate experience in Big Game, Inshore Game and Bay fishing. We operate out of Simon’s Town harbour in False Bay, which is a 45 minute drive from Cape Town.

The Cape waters offer some of the richest fishing grounds in the world with an abundance of pelagic fish. Seasonal catches of yellowfin tuna, longfin tuna, skipjack, katonkel, dorado, yellowtail, cape snoek, kabeljou, cape salmon, reef fish, game shark such as the mako and blue shark, and the occasional marlin ensures that fishing is enjoyed all year round.

Our qualified and experienced skipper and crew will host your deep sea or bay fishing experience, catering to both seasoned anglers and novices. We use only the latest, top of the range fishing tackle and equipment for your maximum enjoyment and safety.

The vessel Big Blue is a 28 foot catamaran and is fitted with state- of- the art electronic equipment She is extremely stable and comfortable with a large cabin and a full walk around layout, providing a spacious deck for fishing.

A day out on Big Blue will be a fun filled, unforgettable day, whether you are fishing or just relaxing with a tailor made scenic tour.

Cape Camino Hike

The Cape Camino, like its counterpart in Spain, is a walking pilgrimage route around the Cape Peninsula. It is a way to explore this magnificent city and surrounds on foot instead of through the windscreen of a car, and allows one to really get to know Cape Town.

To join the pilgrimage and design your route you have two options: You can sign up on the website as a pilgrim (it’s a once-off payment of R380) to receive an infinity passport, which gives you access to the route and maps, information on the sacred sites, discounts and value-adds from service providers and participation in the growing Cape Camino community.

Which gives you the flexibility of designing a route for yourself. Or, conversely, Cape Camino can organise the pilgrimage for you, sorting out all the logistics so that you’re free to pilgrim.

CAMINO OPTIONS

• The half-day Mothers and Inmates package, 12 km
• The full day Wine to Water package, 17 km
• Two-day packages: including one night’s accommodation, breakfast and dinner and Cape Camino t-shirts, and your infinity passport.

PACKAGE ONE:

Cape Buchu to Lady Lighthouse (Simon’s Town to Hout Bay) is 36 km and preferable to pilgrims who like natural terrain, hills and beach. Sacred sites include Islam, Buddhist and Christian. Sleep in Scarborough.

PACKAGE TWO:

Lady Lighthouse to Atlantic Sunsets (Scarborough to Cape Town) is 46 km; ideal for those who enjoy beach walking, coastal views and the lively Atlantic seaboard strip. Sacred sites include Buddhist, Islam.

PACKAGE THREE:

Atlantic Sunsets to Mountain Shade (Hout Bay to Constantia Nek; sleep in the city) is 37 km and ideal for those who like to walk alongside the ocean, and explore the vibrancy of the Bo-Kaap and Table Mountain (contour path). Sacred sites include Islam and Catholic.

PACKAGE FOUR:

Mountain Shade to Wine to Water (Cape Town city to Muizenberg; sleep in Constantia) is 37 km and suitable for those who prefer a quieter walk along a gravel contour path, fields of vineyards and then the suburbs, ending at the seaside. Sacred sites en route are Catholic and Islam.

PACKAGE FIVE:

Wine to Water to Whales Tale (|Constantia to Simon’s Town; sleep in Muizenberg) is 34 km and suitable for those pilgrims who enjoy suburban life, love the sound of the sea at night and are excited by exploring bushman caves and artefacts. Sacred sites en route are Catholic, Islam, Jewish and Khoisan.

Crayfish Charter

This is seasonal charter available during the summer months between November and April. The Cape Crayfish or Rock Lobster is a world sought after delicacy and plentiful in our coastal waters.

We drop our baited rings nets against the spectacular cliffs off Cape Point. Catching Crayfish is great fun and excitement for the whole family and you are welcome to take your catch home with you.

Cruise from Simons Town to Cape Point

On this charter, we follow the shoreline to Cape Point, where the Two Oceans mix. Here you can view the beautiful high cliffs and caves along this rugged coastline with the fynbos meandering along the hills of the Cape Point nature reserve. Ostriches, buck species and baboons are often seen foraging along the coast line.

We pass Buffels Bay and Smitswinkels Bay before stopping at Boulders Beach which is home to the famous large endangered African Penguin colony.

This cruise is approximately 2 ½ hours. This charter can be combined with our Seal Island Cruise, lasting approximately 4 ½ to 5 hours.

Deep Sea Game Fish & Tuna Charter

The Cape waters have a world wide reputation for tuna fishing. Yellowfin tuna of over a 100kgs are landed but the average size of the fish is 50kg to 80kg.

We depart from Simon’s Town harbour and travel 12 nautical miles to Cape Point. From there we head out (up to 40 n.m) to the tuna grounds. We target Yellowfin tuna, one of the world’s toughest, fighting fish and a smaller member of its family, the Longfin tuna. Very often Skipjack, Katonkel and Dorado (Dolphin-fish) are also landed.

Hooking up with one of the rulers of the blue world, the Mako or Blue shark gives a great fight, but these are caught on a strict catch & release basis only. Although not common, Marlin and Swordfish can be caught at certain times of the year. It is often possible to catch yellowtail or snoek closer to Cape Point when the conditions are favourable.

Game and Reef Fishing

This can be a very diverse and exciting fishing trip as there are many good reefs and fishing areas to choose from. We could head up to Cape Point where large shoals of Yellowtail and Snoek arrive annually. These esteemed game-fish are a fast and powerful predator and give an excellent fight.

During our crayfish season, we often drop ring-nets in the kelp beds off Cape Point to catch a few of these tasty delicacies for the pot. Alternatively, we head into False Bay towards Seal Island which is inhabited by thousands of Cape fur seals,in turn, attracting a large number of Great White sharks (a protected species) and one can often see these phenomenal apex predators clear the water while hunting their furry prey

On this charter, we also target Cape Salmon, Kabeljou, Katonkel, Skipjack tuna, Red Roman, Hottentot and various other species, including different types of sharks. (sharks are caught on a catch and release basis only)

Source: SAvenues.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Boulders Beach

Enjoy a day lazing at Boulders Beach and see the world famous penguin colony. Take a dip in the warmer waters of the Indian Ocean and find yourself swimming with the Penguins. Just remember this area is a sanctuary for them and they and their environment should be treated with respect.

Boulders Beach is home to the African penguin, which has been hanging out along the South African coast for years, in more recent times living shoulder to knee-cap with the local human population of Simon’s Town. Named “jackass” after their distinctive Eeyore impersonations, they occur in only 27 other sites, including Robben Island, and despite their large numbers at Boulder’s (some 3000), they are very much endangered …

Fishermans Beach

You will find the sandy shores of Fishermans Beach between the Simon’s Town Golf Course and the very well known Boulder’s Beach, which is home to many penguins and is extrememly popular with locals and tourists. If you’d prefer something a little quieter than Boulders, head down to Fishermans Beach.

Fishermans beach is enclosed by green lawns which are great if you’d like to play some games with friends, or if you prefer the sound of the ocean but the feel of grass instead of sand you can enjoy the best of both worlds here.

The water is slightly warmer than its opposing Atlantic Ocean beaches and this allows for a wide variety of water sports. Paddle out into the shallow waters and glide back in on a body board or explore the further reaches of the ocean on a kayak.

Glencairn Beach

If you’re heading out to Simons Town on the train why not stop off at Glencairn and spend a few hours at the beach? This fantastic little spot is popular with locals who enjoy taking their dogs for walks or basking in the sun for the afternoon.

If you prefer driving to the beach you’ll be happy to know that there is plenty of parking close by, however you will need to walk across the railway line, so take extra care when crossing.

Glencairn beach is also a great spot for whale watching in season and the resident shark spotters keep visitors up to date with the activity in the water. Enjoy a long stroll on the beach or simply enjoy the serenity the beach offers. Children will enjoy their time here to when they investigate the living creatures in the shallow tidal pool.

Seaforth Beach

Seaforth is the ‘freebie’ version of Boulders beach – more than a few of the penguins venture across here from Boulders Beach, particularly early morning and evening. It lies closer to Fish Hoek than Boulders, and has only Waters Edge beach between it and the former.

Seaforth is a beautiful beach, set in amongst a series of boulders and with a serious parking area, where a few traders sell their wares, and there is a restaurant. But it’s a fairly popular beach too, particularly during summer, because it’s a great swimming beach for children, so families head down here to camp out for much of the day.

The grassy slopes that overlook the beach are, understandably, the first spots to go because they’re so great for picnicking; some of them under trees. Get there early.

Smitswinkel Bay Beach

The Smitswinkel Bay Beach can be found, although not that easily as it isn’t very easy to access, just past Simons Town and next to the Cape Point Nature Reserve. You will only get to the beach on foot, so this is not suitable if you’re not fit as the walk is at least 15 minutes long.

The effort however, is well worth it! Because it is secluded this means it is quieter than many of the other Cape Town beaches and you’ll enjoy a peaceful day at the beach, should you choose. Take in the magnificent views of both the bay and the mountain. If you prefer to be a little more active on your beach day get involved in some of the activity as this bay is popular for diving, fishing and snorkeling. But remember since you’re walking to the beach you’ll need to carry all of your own gear!

The water is relatively gentle here so perfect for a mid afternoon dip to cool down. But please be aware that there are no lifeguards on duty here, so you will need to be extra careful when in the water.

Waters Edge Beach

This off the beaten track beach is one of the local secrets. Head off in a southerly direction from Southforth beach, Simonstown (i.e. veer right when the grassy verge behind the restaurant is in front of you), and you’ll find the path and sign for Water’s Edge beach.

It involves entering via what looks like a garden gate, which makes it appear to be a private beach, which it isn’t. The other way to reach it is along the sand and boulders via Seaforth. The beach may be regarded as part and parcel of Boulders beach but actually it lies between Seaforth Beach and Boulders, and most people know nothing about it.

The bay here is a wonderful haven for children, particularly the rock pools filled with star fish. It makes for wonderful swimming and snorkeling, and diving off the boulders adds a thrill’. But shhh, don’t tell anyone about it!

 

 

Source: SAVenues.com

 

 

 

One of the most underrated gems on the False Bay coast is Simon’s Town. This fishing village lies at the very end of the peninsula, close to Cape Point. It’s the last stop on the Cape Town southern railway line. It’s home to the SA Navy, a small but bustling harbour, plenty of unusual shops, a long Main Road and many other interesting attractions.

simons-town-attractions-boulders

Simon’s Town Attractions You Won’t Want to Miss

Simon’s Town attractions offer something for everyone. From off-beat museums to fascinating historical landmarks, beaches and more, the following are just some of the reasons that we love this sleepy coastal destination.

Boulders Beach

1 Kleintuin Road, Simon’s Town | +27 (0)21 786 2329

Boulders is a penguin colony that is situated just outside of town. As a nature reserve, it is a protected area that charges a small entry fee. After entering, you walk along a wooden boardwalk to get to the different parts of the beach. Some areas are closed to the public (these are for breeding and nesting African penguins, who need their privacy) but most areas allow you to swim near the birds. The beach is unspoilt and truly lovely. As an added bonus, the water is on the Indian Ocean side so it is usually warm, too! Take as many photos as you like, but do not try to touch the birds or get too close to them. It’s for you own good as well as theirs… penguins have a rather nasty bite!

South African Naval Museum

St Georges Street, Simon’s Town | +27 (0)21 787 4686

Simon’s Town is the seat of the South African Navy. The SA Naval Museum gives a comprehensive history of the navy and its various accomplishments, battles and challenges. You will learn a lot about today’s navy as well. The building is beautiful and the exhibits are fascinating. If you have an interest in ships and submarines, this museum is sure to be especially fun to explore. Kids will enjoy the outing, as will adults. Afterwards, take a walk outside near the pier to see if you can watch navy soldiers going about their drills.

simons-town-attractions-harbour

Warrior Toy Museum

St Georges Street, Simon’s Town | +27 (0)21 786 1395

For just a few Rand, you can enter the magical world of Warrior Toy Museum. Privately owned and run, this toy shop and museum is always full of wonders to behold. Dolls, cars, a train set that goes through much of the shop, novelty items from various eras through history… you will find all of that and more. While kids will obviously love this place, adults can’t help but smile at the collection of weird and wonderful treasures. Be warned, though… a few of the dolls are somewhat on the creepy side.

Scratch Patch & Mineral World

Dido Valley Road, Simon’s Town | +27 (0)21 786 2020

The original Scratch Patch is not only one of the top attractions in Simon’s Town; it’s also the best scratch patch in the city. At this place, you can purchase a small, medium or large bag. You can then fill it with all the semi-precious stones you can fit into the bag. Prices are fairly good (bags start from R17), the process of scratching through millions of stones to find ones you like is oddly satisfying and if you want to buy beautiful hand-crafted items made from stones, there’s also a shop.

The Harbour

St Georges Street, Simon’s Town

The harbour is an attraction in itself, especially with the bustle of a working harbour. Fishermen, boat cruises, seals, seagulls, restaurants, shops and benches add to its charm. It is ideal for a leisurely stroll, bite to eat or a cup of coffee, or a beer while you look out onto the water. Whatever time of year you visit, the views here are always amazing. Gloomy days are just as lovely as clear days. While you’re there, look out for the statue of the famous navy dog, Just Nuisance!

 

Source: town.co.za

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