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!