Of Our South Africa Travel Adventure
As we were making our way to False Bay, we came from Cape Point. We decided to do this because we saw the entire False Bay from the Cape Point lighthouse, which made us curious to go there. It’s also a short drive over the M4 – around 30 minutes – mostly along a beautiful coastline.
What do you find along False Bay? Coming from Cape Point, you first reach quaint Simon’s Town with its famous Boulders (Penguin) Beach, then trendy Kalk Bay, the surfing town Muizenberg and finally Strand. However, False Bay also hosts Khayelitsha, one of the largest townships in the Western Cape.
Let us take you to a colorful and dazzling coast area, equally trendy and old-fashioned, touristy and laid-back.
Word of this Episode:
Mooi - Pretty
Simon’s Town & Boulders Beach
If you come from Cape Point, you enter False Bay on the little-traveled M4 coastal road. The first stop is Simon’s Town, a naval base and at the same time a tranquil, quaint village with heaps of scenic restaurants and cafés. But mainly, it is known for its resident colony of African penguins on Boulders Beach.
And clearly, everything is focused on the cute birds and their unique living environment. Because anyone who knows penguins from, e.g., Antarctica (like me ;-)) will be amazed to see how much fun they have on a sandy beach and in the warmth. In contrast, the rest of their relatives have to deal with inhospitable circumstances and temperatures of up to minus 60 °Celsius.
Since our trip is still taking place in an almost visitor-free South Africa, we were pretty much alone with the penguins. Usually, it is a bit touristy, but these days you can enjoy it without much hype. And it is worth seeing them – playful, noisy, and smelling strong. Still, you have to stay on a wooden walkway that leads through their “premises” and which you are not allowed to enter.
Boulders Beach is a South African National Park. The entrance fees are:
ZAR 40 for South African citizens and residents
ZAR 170 for International Visitors
False Bay: Kalk Bay
Go ahead and stop by Kalk Bay, further down the road past Simon’s Town and Fish Hoek. A lovely place in a small bay. Very trendy, even a bit hippie-ish with many sweet boutiques and cafes & restaurants along the coastal road.
Since we are fans of lounge bars, we love the atmosphere there 🙂
Interestingly, a train runs parallel to the road along the beach between Simons Town and Muizenberg and in Kalk Bay directly between the promenade and the beach. So if you are in town and aiming for the sea, you have to cross the rails.
Lekker Eating & Drinking Plek (Spots)
@Kalk Bay on the main road
Sirocco Café: Cozy outside lounge bar
Cape to Cuba Restaurant: Great antique style Cuba meets South Africa atmosphere
@Simon’s Town – Boulders Beach
If you are into sweets, taste the Penguino (carrot & chocolate) cake at Café Penguino
False Bay: Muizenberg
A stone’s throw from Kalk Bay and at the end of the mountain range lies Muizenberg. A wide beach opens up here, which stretches over about 40 km down to Strand.
The waves are perfect for surfers at Muizenberg, so it is a popular surf spot too. You have probably seen pictures of its fantastic beach area with a row of colorful wooden huts in the back. They actually date from the early 20th century (!), built from fishers to store goods, and are a national monument these days. It’s a great place to unwind.
What we noticed
False Bay also hosts Khayelitsha, one of the largest townships in the Western Cape. So be cautious if you take the coastal road from Muizenberg to Strand as it leads you past this township.
We chose to drive from Muizenberg north (M5) and over the N2 to Somerset West and from there to Strand – to play it safe.
False Bay: Strand
If you make your way to Strand via Somerset West, it is worth taking a short detour through this town and then turning south towards Strand. Because Somerset is a tranquil and green place, similar to the wine region around Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. To the south, the road leads you through industrial and shopping areas to the beach town of Strand.
Strand itself was founded as a resort in the 1970s, and many buildings still bear witness to its early flair. While modern quarters have been built, the greyish buildings of the past give it a slightly old-fashioned look and feel.
However, the fantastic sandy beach, the view over False Bay, and the promenade with many restaurants and cafes make up for it.
We hope you enjoyed this short excursion into Cape Town’s southern beach area.
In our next episode, we’ll give you an insight into the mountains of the Mother City, Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, and Signal Hill.
After that, we start the actual adventuring and take you to the wilderness of the Klein Karoo in Episode 5.
Next up: Episode 4 – Cape Town’s Great Peaks: Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, Signal Hill