Price range, per nightmin R max R
Cape Town, Simon's Town, Durbanville, Green Point, Camps Bay, Bloubergstrand, Llandudno, Constantia, Claremont, Hout Bay, Fish Hoek, Sea Point, V&A Waterfront, Rondebosch, Milnerton, Bellville, Table View, Century City, De Waterkant, Cape Town City Centre / CBD
More a seaside fishing village than a suburb, Kalk Bay on Cape Town’s south peninsula has retained its old world feel. The suburb’s elevated homes have views of the active working harbour and small sheltered swimming beach. A number of exceptional restaurants are located in Kalk Bay and shopping here is a trip down memory lane; timeless classics, antique bargains, boho-chic boutiques, fine art and rare books will keep any shopaholic captivated.
Prior to the construction of the harbour, kilns were placed here to burn mussel shells and produce lime, hence the Dutch name Kalk (lime) Bay. The lime was used for whitewashing the exterior of buildings. In the 1850s many Filipinos arrived, adding to the melting pot of South Africa’s rainbow nation.
The mountains above Kalk Bay have numerous hiking trails and an exciting cave system to explore.
Kalk Bay is in close proximity to Fish Hoek’s swimming beach, also Cape Point, the Penguin colony at Boulder’s Beach, the naval base at Simon’s Town, and safe surfing on Muizenberg beach.
Things to do
Travel Boyes Drive, a mountainside road above Kalk Bay, for views across False Bay extending from Pringle Bay to Cape Point. Stop at the shark spotter’s hut as they watch for the presence of great white sharks in the bay.
Participate in a fish auction at Kalk Bay harbour and the chatty ladies will gladly descale and clean your fish. Ask your host to prepare the freshly caught prize.
St James beach with its colourful changing booths and warm rock pool and Fish Hoek’s inviting swimming beach lie on either end of Kalk Bay.
Learn to surf on Muizenberg beach, known for its uniform waves that move gently along this lengthy beach.
Cape Point is the most south-western corner of Africa, in a spectacular nature reserve with an old lighthouse. While at Cape Point, stand in the waters at Cape of Good Hope beach where some think the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet.
Where to Eat
The Brass Bell Grill is one of Cape Town's best known restaurants. Book well in advance for dining along the water’s edge.
Visit the Casa Labia Culture Centre Café to indulge in a lavish light meal surrounded by opulence. The residence belongs to family of Count Natale Labia, Italy’s first minister plenipotentiary (an ambassador with extraordinary powers).
A cute street café under palms, Sirocco is located alongside the Kalk Bay train station offering sumptuous breakfasts and exceptional light lunches. The wood fired pizzas are popular.
The dishes served at Harbour House Restaurant are not your average beachside meal, this is fine dining to the max in a bright, airy venue overlooking Kalk Bay.
Set in an 1876-built church, Kalk Bay Theatre and Restaurant is an intimate dinner-theatre venue offering dynamic and ever changing dishes served up by the creative chef.
The cocktail lounge at Polana Tapas Bar and Restaurant gets festive in the evenings and packs out the dance floor. Open 7 days a week.
Set in a beach hut with an assortment of contrasting and bizarre items making up the decor, Cape to Cuba is a popular hangout for night revelers looking for a good party. Fun place to meet the locals.
The Bikini Deck and Cocktail Bar regularly hosts some of South Africa’s top musical talent in this beachside venue with open deck reaching out to the rock pools.
Where to Stay
The smartly decorated Inns, Guest Houses and Cottages available for rental in Kalk Bay all have majestic sea views and are located within easy reach of the harbour and beaches.
Air The nearest airport is Cape Town International Airport, 35km from Kalk Bay.
Car There many car rental agencies in Cape Town city centre and at Cape Town international airport to hire a vehicle, or you could order a rental online.
Taxi Various shuttle service companies are based in Kalk Bay for trips to and from the airport or city centre. Uber and several metered taxi companies operate in the region for shorter trips.
Train The Southern Rail Line runs regularly from Simon’s Town to Cape Town city and is probably the closest train trip along the seashore you will ever take!
Did you know?
English speaking Capetonians pronounce Kalk Bay as Cork Bay, don’t ask…
The Kalk Bay Reef surfing spot alongside the Kalk Bay restaurants is well known for perfect barrels and a dangerous shallow reef. Surf here only if experienced, to avoid meeting the reef or possibly landing up in the Brass Bell restaurant!
For a more down to earth experience there are guest houses. Less expensive than hotels, they offer a more homey environment, as well as more privacy. Converted from a private house it’s a much gentler environment and for those with furry friends, there are also pet friendly options. They are usually well situated with shops and places of interest nearby. Being so small it offers a much more personal and intimate attention to it’s upkeep, leaving you with a more polished and homely experience.