Top 10 Activities near Simon’s Town

Cape Town’s naval suburb, Simon’s Town, is one of the city’s best places for young and old to explore.

With fascinating, beautifully preserved history, gorgeous beaches (inhabited by adorable African penguins) and its location within driving distance of tourist attractions like Cape Point – it must be said, Simon’s Town has some pretty choice experiences to enjoy in and around it.

Here are the best activities near Simon’s Town to whet your adventurer’s spirit:

#1 Visit the penguins at Boulders Beach

This is pretty much a no-brainer – after all, Boulders Beach is probably the biggest attraction in Simon’s Town!

Not only is it child-friendly and safe but it’s great year-round. So it’s no wonder this beach draws tourists and locals back again and again.

This gorgeous, protected beach – blessed with sheltered coves, marvellous granite boulders and adorable African penguins who live around and swim near the beach – is one of the city’s most special experiences.

If you’re keen to splash in its beautiful waters, swim with the penguins or relax on its smooth, sandy shores or boulders, simply head there today!

Note: Boulders Beach is a paid beach and costs R76 per adult and R41 per child; prices valid until 31 October 2018.

Contact: +27 (021) 786 2329

Website: www.sanparks.org

Address: Boulders Beach, Kleintuin Road, Simon’s Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

#2 Make a trip to Cape Point

After Boulders, Cape Point – situated within the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, in Table Mountain National Park – is probably the best place to visit around Simon’s Town.

This spectacular, wild place has it all: rich flora and fauna (particularly its ostriches and baboons!), dual lighthouses, glorious,’ocean-meets-cliff’ scenery, a classy restaurant – and wonderful picnic sites, hiking trails and accommodation, too!

If you do any one thing while you’re in the Deep South, head to Cape Point. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the whole family.

Contact: +27 (021) 780 9010, info@capepoint.co.za

Website: capepoint.co.za

Address: Cape Point, Cape Peninsula, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

#3 Lunch at Seaforth

This outstanding seafood restaurant is one of the best picks in Simon’s Town. Not only does it overlook Seaforth Beach (another local attraction) but it’s within close distance to Boulders Beach too.

But it holds more allure than just that, as it offers some of the best service, interiors and fresh, delectable food you will find anywhere in the Mother City.

When you’re feeling peckish, make a stop at Seaforth and, while you dine, soak up the natural beauty!

Contact: +27 (021) 786 4810

Website: www.seaforthrestaurant.co.za

Address: Seaforth Restaurant, Seaforth Beach, Seaforth Road, Simon’s Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

www.restaurants.co.za
www.restaurants.co.za

#4 Dig around in Scratch Patch

Found in the V&A, Ostrich Farm and Simon’s Town, Scratch Patch is an incredibly fun and educational centre for both parents and kiddies alike.

Discover the magic of minerals, as you dig about among gorgeous gem stones, trying to find the most beautifully coloured, unique or cool ones to take home with you. Yes, that’s right – because you pay for them, you get to keep them!

This space is pretty vast – and the stones are endless! It’s great fun for everyone, particularly for the little ones.

And when you’re done, why not grab a bite to eat or browse for more gemstone-orientated goodies?

Contact: +27 (021) 786 2020

Website: www.scratchpatch.co.za

Address: Scratch Patch, Dido Valley Road, Simon’s Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

#5 Explore the incredible Warrior Toy Museum

This wonderful toy museum is a delight for young and old. Within its cosy confines, you can find some 4000 model cars, 500 teddies and dolls, two fully operational railroads and so many more toys on display!

Revisit your best childhood memories, as you share in your child’s precious ones… And for those passionate about collecting toys, there is even a sales section.

Whatever tickles your toy fancy, no one will leave without a dash of stardust and childlike wonder back in their eyes…

Note: There is a small per person entry fee of R10 for adults and R5 for children.

Contact: +27 (021) 786 1395

Website: www.simonstown.org

Address: Warrior Toy Museum, St George’s Street, Simon’s Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

#6 Visit the SA Naval Museum

www.capepointroute.co.za
www.capepointroute.co.za

Whether you are fascinated by our naval history or not, this museum is an insightful, neat and wonderfully presented slice of local history.

The museum is wonderful – and so is the chapel. What’s more, the curatorship is excellent and really ensures a memorable visit.

The items on display are rich and plentiful, while the venue’s old-world charm enchants and allows you to really step back in time.

Contact: +27 (021) 787 4686

Website: www.simonstown.com

Address: SA Naval Museum, St George’s Street, Simon’s Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

#7 Hike to Just Nuisance

The grave of Just Nuisance, a charming dog enlisted into the Royal Navy, might not seem like a really exciting thing to visit – but he made up a unique part of Simon’s Town and forms part of its very real, raw history.

This lovable, clever pooch was a true local legend and was even laid to rest with full military colours and a dignified send off.

He held a special place in the heart of this naval place and it’s worth climbing the stairs up Red Hill to pay your respects – and enjoy the views.

Note: The hike is suitable for children some ten years and older, and makes for an easy hike/walk overall.

Contact: n/a

Website: www.simonstown.com/just-nuisance

Address: Simon’s Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

#8 Immerse yourself in The Heritage Museum

TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor

This unique museum highlights the widespread plight and segregation faced by so many during the Apartheid Era.

Here, you will learn the pain of the past, even as you marvel at its more beautiful side, which includes many special photos and memories.

Each room is filled to the brim with a sense of culture and remembered history, making the museum entirely worth the visit… if only to remember and learn from the terrible mistakes of South Africa’s past.

Contact: +27 (021) 786 2302, heritagest@eject.co.za

Website: www.muslim.co.za

Address: The Heritage Museum, Amlay House, King George’s Way, Simon’s Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

#9 Head to the Heather Auer Art & Sculpture Gallery

First established in 1989, this charming gallery is located at the home studio of Heather Auer. It is stocked with a wide array of original art, from some great South African artists.

You can also enjoying some of Heather’s best paintings and bronze works, as well as some special Township Art.

So, whether you’re an art expert or simply an art appreciator, add this to your list!

Note: Visits by appointment only.

Contact: +27 (082) 779 2695, info@heatherauer.com

Website: heatherauer.com

Address: Heather Auer Art & Sculpture Gallery, 10 Forrest Way , Glencairn, Simon’s Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

#10 Glencairn Tidal Pool

On its own, Glencairn forms a delightful part of Cape Town, and its beach is perfect for dog walking, swimming, snorkelling and long strolls by the sea…

What’s more, near Glencairn Beach, visitors can enjoy a lovely tidal pool. It is perfect for safe swimming – or even just a good time out in the open air.

For those looking for something fun and free to do outdoors, look no further than this pretty tidal pool.

Contact: n/a

Website: n/a

Address: Glencairn Beach, Glencairn, Simon’s Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

These are just some of the super experiences you can enjoy in Simon’s Town. Which is first on your bucket list of adventures?

Top Must-do Activities in Cape Town 2017.

Cape Town is a city that offers both indoor and outdoor activities to suit all tastes, senses of adventure and travel budgets… but some are just too iconic or unusual to miss out on!

So, here are our top 20 Mother City picks for 2017:

#1 Catch the Cable Car (and abseil down) Table Mountain

Table Mountain is one of the city’s crowning glories, and as such, it’s a must-visit for tourists and locals alike. If you’re not up for a hike up the Table, why not catch the cable car up and then abseil back down?

Abseil Africa is one of the best companies around. You’ll have to follow a rope 112 metres or so down, in what is a safe, guided abseil, which is, coincidentally, the world’s highest commercial abseil offering. It costs R995 per person (excluding Cable Car ticket).

Contact (Abseil Africa): (021) 424 4760

Website: http://abseilafrica.co.za

Address: 297 Long Street, Cape Town

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Abseil-Africa via Facebook

#2 Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium

No visit to Cape Town is complete without experiencing the world-renowned Two Oceans Aquarium. Adults and children alike will delight in the wonders of the sea. Find Nemo, see the penguins or go for a dive… either way, you’re in for a fun and educational underwater experience!

Tickets are R135 (adults), R100 (children 14-17 years, pensioners and students) and R65 (children 4-13 years).

Contact: (021) 418 3823

Website: http://www.aquarium.co.za

Location: Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

#3 Walk the Museum Mile

Located within and near to the city’s well-loved, historic Company’s Gardens, you will find the South African National Gallery, Houses of Parliament, Iziko South African Museum, Planetarium and Slave Lodge.

All are worth a visit and on certain days, such as Heritage Day (24 September), you can enjoy these wonderfully historic and engaging places for free.

Contact (Iziko Museums): (021) 481 3800

Website: http://www.iziko.org.za

#4 Experience Cape Town’s art scene

Woodstock is fast becoming the Mother City’s go-to art hub, as buildings are being restored, warehouses transformed and artists descend on the area like never before.

Here, why not visit the likes of the international-influenced Stevenson Gallery, among others, for some sophisticated and unique art appreciation?

Contact: (021) 462 1500

Website: http://www.stevenson.info

Address: Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, Cape Town

Photo credit: www.stevenson.info

#5 Helicopter flights with NAC Helicopters

Experience the Mother City from the air as you choose from several amazing flight options, including: Hopper, Atlantico, Two Oceans, Robben Island, Three Bays and Cape Point Tours.

Costs range from R3, 240–R25, 800.

Contact: (021) 425 3868

Website: http://www.nachelicopterscapetown.com

Address: East Pier Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

#6 Learn to surf in Muizenberg

Surfing (be it traditional surfing, or kite/wind surfing) is very much a popular Cape Town activity and surfers’ haven, Muizenberg, is considered the best spots to learn to surf in South Africa.

Although you will no doubt find a number of local surfing schools, Learn 2 Surf is a good bet, as they are ideally based at Muizenberg Beach. They offer small group or private lessons, weekly, and are open every day of the year, weather permitting.

All equipment is included in the fee. To enquire after Learn 2 Surf’s prices, please fill out the ‘Prices & Info’ form on their site and buy/book your lessons confidentially online.

Contact: (083) 414 0567

Website: http://www.learn2surf.co.za

Address: 165 Main Road, Muizenberg, Cape Town

#7 Kayak with seals and dolphins

Cape Town-based Kaskazi Kayaks offers wonderful kayaking experiences and close encounters with sea birds, seals, dolphins and during whale season (July to December usually), you can even see the whales too!

Their shop is based in Three Anchor Bay and from there, they embark on a 3-5 km journey towards either Clifton Beach or Granger Bay. Trips are approximately two hours long. If you have prior kayaking experience, you can arrange a half-day trip too.

Booking is essential and all trips are weather-reliant. To find out the cost per trip, please contact Kaskazi Kayaks directly.

Contact: (083) 346 1146

Website: http://kayak.co.za

Address: 179 Beach Road, Three Anchor Bay, Cape Town

#8 Enjoy whale watching in False Bay

Of course, the whale capital is Hermanus – but that’s not the only place in the Western Cape to see the wonderful whales.

Areas along the False Bay coastline are also prime whale watching spots and the best part is, you can view the whales from land or shore for free!

Recommended spots along the False Bay coastline include: Muizenberg, Kalk Bay, St James, Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town, as well as Cape Point.

#9 Ride a bicycle along the Promenade

This activity has certainly grown in popularity and is great for both children and adults alike.

Up Cycles is your recommended service provider; they charge R60 (per person) for one hour and R90 for two etc. You can cycle as far as the Waterfront, if desired – and helmets and locks are included.

Ride along the Sea Point Promenade at a leisurely pace and maybe even catch the sunset.

Contact: (076) 135 2223

Website: http://upcycles.co.za

Address: The Pavilion, Sea Point Promenade, Sea Point, Cape Town

Photo credit: Basil Parker, upcycles.co.za 

#10 Snorkel with the seals

Experience the fun and beauty of snorkelling with Cape Fur seals on the city’s Atlantic side, at Duiker Island, Hout Bay.

Join Animal Ocean (particularly during summer) for 1-5m depth snorkel. No experience is needed but participants must be competent swimmers. (Afterwards, you’ll even be treated to hot chocolate and biscuits!)

Cost is R550 (per person) to view and R800 (per person) to snorkel.

Contact: (072) 296 9132

Website: http://animalocean.co.za

Address: Hout Bay Harbour, outside NSRI Station 8 Building, Hout Bay, Cape Town

#11 Hop on, hop off the CitySightseeing Bus

CitySightseeing bus tours have grown in popularity and numbers in recent years and now offer an excellent array of tours.

These include (to name a few): Harbour Cruise Tour, Purple Wine Tour, Sunset Bus Tour and even a Cape Point Explorer Tour!

Cost varies depending on tour but can be anything between R40–R550 per person (adults).

Contact: (021) 511 6000

Website: http://www.citysightseeing.co.zaa

Address: 81 Long Street and The V&A Waterfront, near the Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town.

#12 Ride a Harley along Chappies

Photo credit: www.capebiketravel.com

Drive the world-famous Chapman’s Peak Drive on one of the world’s most iconic motorbikes: the Harley Davidson when you opt in for the Cape of Good Hope Tour. It covers approximately 180km, stretching from Hout Bay to Simon’s Town, and is weather dependent.

With Cape Bike Travel, you can rent and drive a Harley yourself, or enjoy a chauffeured ride. Cost for self-driven trip is R2500 per rider, while chauffeured rides cost either R1, 600 (half-day) or R2, 100 (full day).

Contact: (021) 424 5013

Website: http://www.capebiketravel.com

Address: 125 Buitengracht, City Centre, Cape Town

#13 Experience high tea in the city

The Mother City has a number of hotels, which offer “high tea” (more commonly referred to as afternoon tea these days). They are hugely popular and are great fun for adults (and teens).

Costs vary but you can generally expect to pay R200-300 per person as you feast on savouries, an assortment of tea (or coffee), macaroons, cakes and so much more in a luxury setting.

The Belmond Mount Nelson, The Taj Hotel, One&Only Cape Town, Cape Grace Hotel and 12 Apostles Hotel all offer excellent high/afternoon teas.

For more information, contact the above-mentioned hotels directly or visit their websites.

Cost: R95–295 (generally)

#14 Horse ride along Noordhoek Beach

Situated at the charming, historic Imhoff Farm, near Kommetjie, is the Imhoff Equestrian Centre, where you can enjoy beach horse rides.

These two-hour-long rides take you along the pristine Noordhoek Beach. They cater for those who have never ridden, as much as experienced riders. (Maximum age is 12 years and maximum weight is 100 kg.)

Booking is essential. To enquire after the cost per person, please contact them directly.

Contact: (082) 774 1191

Website: http://www.horseriding.co.za

Address: Imhoff Farm, M65, Kommetjie, Cape Town

Photo credit: www.imhofffarm.co.za 

#15 Visit the Boulders penguins

Simon’s Town is home to the beautiful Boulders Beach. Here, a colony of African penguins have taken up permanent residence.

Boulders is one of the few places in the world where you can walk among and swim with these tuxedoed dudes.

Boulders Beach is a protected SANParks beach so there’s an entry fee. Current costs (valid until 31 October 2017) are R70 (per adult) and R35 (per child).

Contact: (021) 428 9111

Website: http://www.sanparks.org

Address: Kleintuin Road, Simon’s Town, Cape Town

#16 Head to Cape Point

Lying at the southern section of the vast Table Mountain National Park (or TMNP), Cape Point is a truly life-changing destination. Visit the historic, old lighthouse, see the Chacma baboons, dine at the scenic Two Oceans Restaurant or explore the Cape of Good Hope.

Whatever you choose to do, you’re sure to enjoy a day of true Cape adventuring in one of the most beautiful spots on the globe.

Cost is R135 (per adult) and R70 (per child, ages 2-11).

Contact: (021) 780 9010

Website: www.capepoint.co.za

Address: Cape of Good Nature Reserve, near Simon’s Town, Cape Town

#17 Explore Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

The amazing Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is one of the city’s proudest and most well-loved public spaces. It’s a wonderful, vast place to explore with friends and loved ones alike.

Enjoy a picnic, Summer Concert or strolling among the plants in this 528-hectare reserve.

Entry fees are: R60 (adults), R30 (SA students) and R15 (children 5-17 years).  Free to pensioners (with ID), except on public holidays.

Contact: (021) 799 8783

Website: http://www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch

Address: Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town

#18 Hike up Lion’s Head

The (free) hike up Lion’s Head is one of the city’s most popular activities now.

Perfect any time of day (though it’s best at sunrise and sunset), even during full moon, this 1-2-hour-long hike is a must. Reach the summit or see if you can discover one of the mountain’s cave, particularly the well-loved Wally’s Cave.

There are two routes as you near the summit… so opt for the one without the staples and ladders if you’re afraid of heights.

Address: Lion’s Head, Cape Town

#19 Visit Robben Island

The former prison, where late, former president Nelson Mandela and so many others were held captive during the Apartheid Era, is one of the Mother City’s chief tourist destinations.

Boats leave daily from the Waterfront. The guides will provide you with an insightful tour, especially as so many of them are former prisoners themselves. Cost is R300 per person.

Contact: (021) 413 4200

Website: http://www.robben-island.org.za

Address: Robben Island, Cape Town

#20 Be part of First Thursdays

Photo credit: Laura September via Instagram

On the first Thursday evening of every month, the city’s art galleries in Bree and the CBD come alive, opening to the public, permitting free entry and fun exploration.

This highly popular event now sees many restaurants and cafes joining in on the fun, so you can enjoy a tasty meal with the art.

Each month brings exciting changes, new participating venues and fresh exhibitions – so save the date!

Galleries are open from 5pm – 9pm (if not later) and remember: entry is free!

Website: http://www.first-thursdays.co.za/cape-town

These are just some of the amazing activities you can enjoy in the Mother City, whether you’re a culture vulture, adrenalin junkie or nature lover… there’s something for everyone to enjoy experiencing, both indoors and out, in 2017.