Cape Point to Muizenberg
By Angus Begg
Determining which is the more attractive of the routes linking Cape
Point to Cape Town and the suburbs is not an easy call. The road
we follow leads from Cape Point to Muizenberg, from windblown nature
reserve to the less visited, more characterful False Bay mountainside
hugging the mountainside to the left, not once does one lose sight
of the turbulent ocean swell below. Driving is the best option
here as you will want to get out, whether for snapshots or appreciating
the view; unless it's personally guided, a bus-tour just isn’t
Turning right at the T-junction after leaving the Cape of Good
Hope Nature Reserve, soon enough, far down on your right, tucked
into a cove between the bushy slopes and rocky shore, Smitswinkel
Bay presents itself; as remote accommodation facilites go, this
does look ‘the business’.
road, the M4, continues to negotiate the bends, passing Miller’s
Point, and the turning for the Black Marlin restaurant on the right.
It is a good 20 minutes drive before slowly easing into the relative
suburbia (more like a collection of adjoining villages than suburbs)
towards the ocean-side. A little further on, on entering Simonstown,
is Boulders beach, made famous by the colony of Jackass penguins
that own the sands and said boulders. A protected area, entered for
a small fee, Boulders offers quite possibly unrivalled proximity
to these delightfully comical creatures, recorded in the latest bird
guides as African penguins. A few years ago it was possible to swim ‘with’ and
lie ‘among’ the penguins, but circumstances dictated
otherwise. No matter, the visit remains a Cape Town highlight, an
experience topped off with a drink and a bite at one of the many
establishments in town. For those who can’t get enough of the
winged wizards, Simon's Town offers many establishments to stay,
including B&B's, Self Catering accommodation and Hotels.
was the first colonial settlement on this side of the Cape peninsula,
a location of strategic significance when it was created in the
early 19th century, in contrast to today’s more
contemporary False Bay settlers, who, in keeping with global trends,
are interested primarily in leisure and investment value. The naval
dockyards should offer good views of the Navy’s new corvettes
and, depending on the time of day, loads of people dressed in white.
Look out for the craft market and the statue of Able Seaman Just
Nuisance, a Great Dane who won the affection of many in the last
century and about whom a television series was made.
the M4, in comparison to Simonstown Fish Hoek (fish corner) has
been said by some to be architecturally a bit tedious. A ‘dry
suburb’ until recently (liquor outlets were forbidden), Fish
Hoek does, however, have something going for it in that Cape Town
rarity - a warm water swim.
Soon after we come upon the delightfully egalitarian Kalk Bay (Chalk
Bay), home to the Brass Bell (under the railway, right on the ocean) – and
although not quite the institution it used to be, still recommended
for a fine dinner of fresh fish. Back on the other side of the road,
the Olympia Café is a decent lunch spot, likewise for coffee
and a book. If interested in the source of all things fishy on the
dinner-table, on the right as you enter Kalk Bay, in the small harbour
are the small boats that bring in the kabeljou, kinglklip, yellowtail
and all things similarly delightful. Spare a thought for these independent
fisherfolk who make their living out there in False Bay - the shadow
of big fisheries and quota restrictions makes life tough for them.
Continuing around the next headland is St James, another district
of lovely homes perched right up against the steep hillside and a
beautiful beach and tidal pool safe for children swimming. At the
end of the coastal road, just before the M4 makes for the southern
suburbs and the city, is the suburb of Muizenberg. Once the place
to be on this False Bay side of the city, with the growth of the
informal settlements on the Cape Flats, the increase in crime and
the dive in the property market in the mid 1990s, it hit the real
estate skids. Today however, it is apparently back on the track to
prosperity. Sharks? Yes, Great Whites do inhabit these waters, and
the odd attack on bathers / surfers has been recorded, but between
the coastal watch and the lifesavers, vigilance is high.
Drive yourself to these coastal parts and beautiful places. Stay
overnight and explore further. Look at our Accommodation on simonstown.com and come and enjoy your stay!
First published in The South African Magazine. For further enquiries,
please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 011 803 2040
Images – Courtesy of SA Tourism