Price range, per nightmin R max R
Cape Town City Centre / CBD, De Waterkant, Constantia, Muizenberg, Claremont, Fish Hoek, Bloubergstrand, Durbanville, Hout Bay, Milnerton, Llandudno, Green Point, Simon's Town, Sea Point, Cape Town, V&A Waterfront, Camps Bay, Rondebosch, Bellville, Century City
Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Heart of Cape Town Museum, Long Street, Noon Gun, Lions Head, Holocaust Centre, District Six Museum, Castle of Good Hope, Rhodes Memorial, Chavonnes Battery Museum, Two Oceans Aquarium, Groot Constantia, Newlands Brewery, Langa Township, South African Museum and Planetarium, Greenmarket Square, South African National Gallery , Koopmans-de Wet House, Two Oceans Marathon, The Company's Garden, Orange Kloof, Mzoli's, Signal Hill, Long Street Baths, Newlands Stadium, Blue Train, Whisky Live Festival, St George's Cathedral
Mowbray is a suburb east of Cape Town city, extending from the slopes of Devil’s Peak to the Black and Elsie’s Rivers. Situated between the vibey Observatory suburb and Leafy Rosebank, it’s the perfect base for your Cape Town stay.
It is a bustling suburb filled primarily with students enrolled at the University of Cape Town and people from all parts of the continent plying their trade or selling unique crafts at the Mowbray Station.
Mowbray was identified as a possible crop-growing area by the first Dutch East India Company Commander, Jan van Riebeeck. He was under pressure to provide fresh produce for passing ships. The area was regarded as grazing lands by the Khoi and skirmishes took place between them and the Dutch over grazing rights in the late 1600s.
Today, the river is peacefully encompassed by the Two Rivers Urban Park and meanders alongside two golf courses before meeting up with the Salt River and spilling out to sea. Sections of the original wheat store, built in 1658, still exist.
In 1977, the City of Cape Town authorities earmarked Mowbray as an architecturally and historically significant suburb. The small fort Van Riebeeck built in 1658 is still there, Dovecot, in Dixon Road. Mowbray also has rows of double storey terraced houses built in the 1880’s with pretty Victorian filigree lace.
Things to do
iRide Africa in Mowbray hire out bicycles and deliver to your door. One of the more unusual tours on offer by iRide is the “Bike & Booze Day Tour”, good luck in making your way home.
In nearby Newlands are Stadiums hosting Cape Town’s two sports passions; rugby and cricket. Depending on the season, try and attend a game and get vocal with the crowds.
The SAB Newlands Brewery is in Newlands too. The tour of the bottling plant is best value, because the price is so reasonable (roughly the cost of three beers) and you are given a tasting and free drink as well! This tour will leave you astounded at the volumes of beer consumed daily in Cape Town.
The CityROCK Indoor Climbing Arena in Observatory is great way to learn free climbing. It’s a challenging workout of all muscle groups and if you have a fear of heights, you’ll quickly overcome it while having fun. CityROCK hosts Yoga classes too.
The Biscuit Mill opened in 2006 in Salt River and is a major tourist attraction. Locals flock to the weekend market. The Test Kitchen is here, one of South Africa’s top restaurants.
Cavendish Square , one of Cape Town’s major malls, is roughly 7 kilometres away from Mowbray. On-site parking, almost 200 stores open 7 days a week makes this a convenient shopping experience. The centre has close to 30 restaurants and cafés.
The 18-hole Mowbray Golf Course is a beautiful course along the river bank with stunning reflections and views of Table Mountain , one of South Africa’s finest courses. Mondays are open day for visitors.
Feel like being a kid again? The Cape Town Science Centre (CTSC) in Observatory has over 250 astounding interactive exhibits. Mmm, maybe you should take your young niece or nephew along…
Purchase a daily hop-on, hop-off Southern Line Rail ticket to stop at any station between Cape Town and Simonstown, even if it’s just to buy an ice cream. The service operates daily between 9h00 and 16h00.
Mowbray is at the centre of the public transport hub to visit the city centre, Table Mountain, local beaches and the V & A Waterfront, options are endless.
Mowbray is close to Devil’s Peak and there are many Hiking routes up Table Mountain from here.
Note: Never hike alone.
Where to Eat
Dressed up like a 1950s American Diner, On a Roll serves delicious gourmet Hot Dogs, Burgers and Rib dishes accompanied by old-school milkshakes. On a Roll is open 6 days a week, join them on Mondays for a fun Karaoke evening and the chance to win a free shot. Dogs are welcome.
The Fat Cactus in Mowbray is a Mexican-style cookery frequented by locals. Be sure to visit during happy hour to swig back margaritas and wolf down a few cheese-stuffed jalapeño poppers.
The laid back atmosphere and excellent menu on offer makes Obz Cafe a winner. Open until late 7 days a week, the place can get pretty full. Craft beers on sale. Look out for their Wednesday Specials normally under R100.
The Test Kitchen is the ultimate in culinary excellence, the long waiting list being proof thereof. Waitron staff are well-informed regarding the menu and the dishes perfectly match the paired wine.
If you enjoy pub grub and beer pong competitions, visit The Foreign Exchange (Forex to the locals) in neighbouring Observatory. The place gets really festive over the weekends, open 6 days a week until late.
The Wild Fig across the Black River is an institution in Cape Town. With an average 4 out of 5 star TripAdvisor rating, the general consensus is that their quality meals are generous and well-priced.
Hello Sailor is an easy-going Bistro with a simple menu consisting of flavoursome dishes, all accompanied by good music.
The man who founded the Cape Town World Music Festival, Ma’or Harris (aka DJ Maoriginal), is a Mowbray resident, follow him on Facebook to find out what local gigs are planned for the area.
Within a short distance of Mowbray is The Taproom, owned by the Devil’s Peak Brewing Company. Mainly craft beer on tap, however, if you prefer something stronger they sell handcrafted spirits too. A small but excellent menu with the standout dish being a mouth-watering pulled pork sandwich.
If you feel up for a party and want to sample traditional South African barbeques (called braais), then Obviouzly Armchair Backpackers & Pub is your destination. The venue hosts regular open mic/stand-up comedy evenings and on the premises is a beer garden and sports pub.<
Where to Stay
The Villa Garda B & B has spacious and well-equipped accommodation in peaceful surroundings.
Set in a private garden, the Malleson Garden Cottage has the necessary amenities to make your stay enjoyable.
If you crack the nod for a stayover at Genadendal in Rondebosch, you will have made it in life – this property is the official Cape Town residence of the President of South Africa.
Air Cape Town International is the nearest airport. There are shuttle services between the airport and Cape Town city. Traditional taxis at the airport are expensive. Consider renting a car.
Car Rental There are three car rental companies in neighbouring Observatory, however, you can order your rental online.
Buses The MyCiti Bus, Cape Town’s recently established public transport, operates as far as nearby Woodstock (soon to be extended across the entire peninsula). Purchase a ticket from any bus stop or select outlets.
Trains The main line between Cape Town and Simonstown conveniently travels through the centre of Mowbray suburb.
Taxis Uber operates in Cape Town, another option is the Rikkis taxi group.
Did you know?
The best preserved windmill in South Africa, Mostert’s Mill, built in 1796, is on the property Welgelegen on the Mowbray border.
A city official named Mowbray after his hometown in the UK.
Nearby Hospital of Groote Schuur is where the first heart transplant took place in 1953 by Professor Christiaan Barnard. The hospital has a museum depicting the events that occurred on that day.