Cape Town Secret Beaches
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Best Secret Beaches in the Cape

Cape Town boasts with ten Blue Flag beaches. But there are also other hidden gems that you can visit if you are in the mood for a quieter beach outing. We’ve searched high and low to find you a few for you. Some are located within the city borders, others a short drive out of the city.

Platboom

Location: Cape Point Nature Reserve

There are a few secret beach spots hidden in the reserve. This one, translated as Flat Tree, is by far the most unspoilt option.  You can access it just past Dias Cross or from the North-South side near Gifkommetjie.

You might even spot an ostrich or baboon in the lush vegetation hugging the side of the beach. It’s definitely a unique beach outing. Entrance fees to the reserve are R145 for adults and R75 for children. But it’s worth it. You can do some wildlife spotting as you drive through the reserve before heading to the beach.

The outstretched coastline with chalk-white sand offers you the opportunity to indulge in an undisturbed long stroll.  It’s also perfect for kite- and windsurfing. Swimming is at own risk, not recommended because it’s so secluded. It’s ideal for birdwatching, picnicking and provides epic photography opportunities.

Visit the Cape Point Nature Reserve website for more information.

Diaz Beach

Location: Cape Point Nature Reserve

Another one of Cape Point’s great beaches. It’s a bit more popular than Platboom, but you still only have to contend with visitors to the reserve. It is definitely one of the most beautiful Capetonian beaches.

Cape Town Secret Beaches Diaz Beach

Getting to this secluded spot is a bit of a challenge. From the parking lot, it’s a 20-minute walk down quite steep wooden stairs. But the views are worth the trouble. The towering cliffs behind the beach creates a stunningly dramatic effect. Surfers enjoy the hollow barrels, but swimming is risky with strong currents to contend with.

Preekstoel

Location: West Coast National Park, between Yzerfontein and Langebaan.

Translated as the Preacher’s Pulpit. The name comes from a rock formation jutting out of the sand near the water edge. It creates a bit of shelter while you relax in the shallows next to it. It’s a short drive along the West Coast road, perfect for a weekend outing. The beach offers you a 25km stretch of rugged coastline, situated close to the Langebaan Lagoon.

The West Coast offers you a completely different experience compared to the more “commercial” city beaches such as Camps Bay. Its calm waters make it a perfect spot for snorkelling, fishing, and swimming.  You can also braai at the picnic area next to the lagoon. And look out for the rusted shipwreck. Entrance fee to the park depends on the season. It is R54 to R76 for adults, and R27 to R38 for children.

#beautifulscenery_nature #beach #preekstoelbeach

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Visit the West Coast National Park website for more information.

Water’s Edge

Location: Between Seaforth and Boulders Beach, Simon’s Town.

Depending on where you stay in the city, this can also count as a mini road trip. It’s a secret spot all the locals know about, a bit off the beaten track. It is situated at the end of a little paved pathway. Park at Seaforth Beach and continue walking till you’ve passed the Seaforth Restaurant.

Even though Simon’s Town is one of the most popular seaside spots in Cape Town, this secluded bay with beautiful views is never as packed as the other Simon’s Town beaches. Nestled between the popular Seaforth and Boulders Beaches, this one remains a bit more undiscovered by the masses. It’s a great family-friendly option. Keep the kids busy for ours hunting for starfish in the rockpools. On the side of the beach you can also set up for the day under the trees or relax on the granite boulders. If you’re lucky, you might see penguins too. Perfect for swimming, snorkelling, diving, and picnicking.

Windmill Beach

Location: Simon’s Town, access via Bellevue Road.

Another quieter spot in Simon’s Town. It is similar to Boulders Beach, but more hidden. The granite boulders surrounding the beach creates a great sheltered swimming area. You can park at Links Crescent, the first right passing the golf course.

The rock pools team with fascinating sea life. And it’s close to the penguin colony, who sometimes visit the beach. The shallow water, sheltered by the boulders, creates a lovely safe kids-friendly swimming area. Also perfect for snorkelling, swimming, and picnicking. Plus, it is a dog-friendly beach. Caution must be taken when swimming because there are no shark spotters or lifeguards on duty.

Sunset Beach

Location: Blaauwberg

Perfect for long walks along the crashing waves, ending in picture-perfect sunsets. Keep your phone ready for a postcard moment, with Table Mountain being painted shades of red and pink by the setting sun. If you want something a bit different than Bloubergstrand or little bit closer to the city than Melkbosstrand, this one is a winner.

The beach was rewarded the status of third best windsurfing option in the world, at the top with Hawaii and New Zealand. You can swim here, sunbathe, picnic and bodyboard. Ideal secret spot, it’s never as crowded as the other beaches on this Atlantic Ocean stretch.

Scarborough beach

Location: Camel Rock Road, Scarborough

Another fun option for a small road trip. It’s situated between Noordhoek and Kommetjie. A lovely peaceful spot frequented only by a few surfers. A dog-friendly beach, so you can go for a long stroll with your four-footed friend. But you need a Level 1 My Activity Permit (R270), as the beach is part of the Table Mountain National Park.

The unspoiled beach and beautiful ocean views will whisk you away for a moment to an idyllic location. Take note, the wind gets really strong here. Great for flying a kite and windsurfing, not ideal for a picnic. Also, rather just dip your toe in the ocean and resist the urge to swim, the area has lots of strong rip currents. It is better to visit with a group of friends, as there are safety issues in the area.

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Table Mountain Cable Way Schedule 2 Cable Car

Table Mountain Cable Way Yearly Schedule

On the 2nd of December 2012, Table Mountain was declared one of the new Seven Wonders of Nature. Looking up at the magnificent mountain, it’s not hard to see why it was included. There are some brave people who ascend the mountain on foot, but if you’re not quite as enthusiastic about hiking, you can take the cable car.

The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company has been operating since October 4, 1929. The cableway travels 704m, from the bottom station at 363m above sea level to the top station at 1 067m above sea level.

Rates

Valid from 1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018
This excludes 15 December 2017 to 15 January 2018.

Ticket type Return One way
Adult Return
08h00 – 13h00 R293 R151
13h00 till close R277 R151
Child Return (4-17 years of age)
08h00 – 13h00 R141 R71
13h00 till close R136 R71
SA Senior Citizen (Fridays only at Ticket Office) R100 R53
Student (Fridays only at Ticket Office) R131 R71

 

Operating Times

The cable car always operates weather permitting.

Please note: The Cableway is closed each year from 23 July to 5 August for annual maintenance.

Date First car up Last car up Last car down
01 May 2018 – 31 August 2018 08h30 17h00 18h00
01 September – 31 October 2018 08h30 18h00 19h00
November 2018 08h00 19h00 20h00
01 – 15 December 2018 08h00 19h30 20h30
16 December 2018 – 15 January 2019 08h00 20h30 21h30

 

Book a ticket online

Table Mountain Cable Way Schedule

History of The Cableway

The idea for a rack railway to the top was suggested in the late 1870’s. Planning was started but the Anglo-Boer War in 1880 halted the process. HM Peter, an engineer, was officially commissioned in 1912 by the Cape Town City Council.

He started investigating options and it was decided that a funicular railway from Oranjezicht through Platteklip Gorge would be best. Cape Town’s residents excitedly voted for the project to commence, even though the budget was a whopping £100 000. Remember, this was the early 1900’s, so that was a lot of money!

But before the fancy funicular could be built, another war interrupted, the First World War. In 1926 A Norwegian engineer, Trygve Stromsoe, suggested to rather build a cableway. A group of influential businessmen were intrigued by his idea. Trygve had showed Sir Alfred Hennessy a model of his idea.

Hennessy approached two other investors, Sir Ernest Oppenheimer and Sir David Graaff, and they formed The Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC). Stromsoe took the fourth seat on the board of directors. Construction of the cableway took two years of hard and dangerous work. The official opening of the cableway was a historic moment in 1929 – during the entire construction process there was no accidents.

Related: Top 5 Hiking Routes Up Table Mountain

Cableway upgrades

As technology progressed over the years, the cableway was kept up to speed. Upgrades occurred in 1958, 1974, and 1997. The last one was the most exciting, with the introduction of Rotairs. These nifty cable cars offer an amazing 360ᴼ view with special revolving floors. The system is also used in the United States at Palm Springs and at the Titlis in Switzerland.

Fun facts

  • The Cableway has carried more than 27-million people to the mountain top
  • A cable car can transport 65 people at a time
  • This means over 800 people are taken up each hour
  • The circular shape of the cable cars creates stability and great aerodynamics
  • It’s estimated that about 909 000 worldwide visitors ascend the mountain every year
  • The cable cars travel at 10m per second, the trip up or down takes only five minutes
  • Each cable car cable is 1 200m long
  • These cables weigh 18 tons. They are hooked up to counter-weights of 134 tons each
  • The base of the cable car carries water up for visitors, with a capacity of 3 000 litres
  • This water base also serves as a stabilizer in windy conditions
  • Each cable car can carry a maximum of 5 200kgs
  • You can take a framed photo with Table Mountain in the background and share it on the website

Tourism Challenge: take a Table Mountain photo at all 7 N7W legacy project yellow frame locations

Table Mountain Cable Way Schedule Cable Car Laandscape

Shops on Table Mountain

You can take home a souvenir of the wonderful moment on the mountain. The shops sell a wide variety of products including gifts and clothing. And over 95% of the merchandise is sourced from proudly South African suppliers.

The products range from little budget goodies, to more exclusive luxury items. You can also purchase a photo of your moment on the magnificent mountain.

Shop at the Top

This is the main store. The building housing the souvenirs, is a National Heritage site. It is situated next to the Table Mountain Café. You can buy a year pass to enjoy the mountain whenever you feel like a change of scenery. The café has a Wi-Fi lounge, perfect for a unique out of the office work day.

Little Shop at the Top

Another little nook of great Table Mountain goodies. As you exit the cable car in the Upper Cable Station, turn to your left. Both shops at the top are open the whole day for trading.

Exit Shop

In case you impulsively decide you do need a souvenir, there’s one more last-minute purchase shop. As you exit the cable car in the Lower Cable Station, you will find the shop as you head towards your car. The shop opens a bit later than the other two at the top but stays open till end of day.

Visitor Centre

You are spoiled for choice at Table Mountain, some more unique merchandise is sold here. This is perfect if you want to buy a gift, without travelling up the mountain. You can also ask any Table Mountain related questions here and pick up your yearly free birthday ticket. (valid for South African citizens only)

Another fun thing to do, is to send someone a postcard from the top of Table Mountain. Grab your stamp and postcard at the visitor centre before you ascend the mountain. Once you’ve reached the summit, look out for the red post box. It will definitely be a unique letter, it is franked with a special Table Mountain stamp.

Follow the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Facebook page for upcoming specials.