Top 5 Secret Bars Cape Town
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Top 5 Secret Bars Cape Town

It’s well known that Cape Town has a bright and lively nightlife. There is somewhere to go and something to do every night. While the hot-spots are a fun go-to, these hidden gems have some of the best drinks, food, and views around. If you’re looking for somewhere to grab a drink after work or relax with a good drink in hand, these hidden bars are a must.

#1 The Gin Bar

Tucked away behind Honest Chocolate on Wale Street, this conceptual gin bar is one of the best, hidden spots in the Cape Town bar scene. Gin lovers will enjoy The Gin Bar, also called “The Secret Gin Bar,” which serves only gin and gin cocktails with some of the best local gins. Focusing on quality rather than quantity, The Gin Bar serves refreshing, tasty, and subtly delicious drinks. Sitting in the secret, Mediterranean-style courtyard makes you feel like you’re escaping the commotion of the outside world.

64A Wale Street | Monday to Thursday 5pm—12am, Friday & Saturday 3pm—1:30 am

#2 Jamaica Me Crazy

Warm Light, Cool Night 🍺🎇 #warm #night #cool #night

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Jamaica Me Crazy is an up-and-coming hot spot with delicious, Caribbean-inspired food and great drinks. This restaurant and bar is located in Woodstock at the top end of the vibrant Roodebloem Road. With a wide variety of cocktails, beers, shooters, wines, and drink specials every day, Jamaica Me Crazy is the perfect spot if you’re looking for great drinks, good food, and a fun atmosphere. The colourful hangout also has a rooftop terrace with beautiful views of the ocean and mountains in the distance.

74 Roodebloem Rd | Woodstock | Monday to Saturday 11am—11pm, Sunday 12am—10pm

#3 Lefty’s

🤟🏻🤟🏻🤟🏻 #lefties #capetown #harringtonstreet #bar #neonlights #beer

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With a simple menu and great drinks, Lefty’s has become a well-known hangout for students and locals. Their legendary chicken and waffles are a must-try when you visit. The easy-going, welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff make this a great spot for an after-work or evening drink.

105 Harrington St.| Zonnebloem | Monday to Saturday 4pm—1am

#4 Publik Wine Bar

Tuesday.

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Publik is a neighbourhood wine bar that is the perfect place to discover quality, lesser-known South African wines. With a focus on unusual and interesting wines, you’ll be sure to enjoy something new. With a passion for serving quality drinks, they serve wines made from sustainably farmed vineyards. Located in a small, intimate setting, Publik is the perfect, quiet spot for good wine, along with a few beers and craft spirits.

11D Kloof Nek Rd | Gardens | Monday to Friday 4pm—11pm, Saturday 12pm—6pm

#5 Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar

Located on the top of the Cloud 9 Boutique Hotel & Spa, the Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar offers the best 360-degree views of Cape Town. With a lively vibe and uninterrupted views of Table Mountain, Signal Hill, and the Mother City’s beautiful cityscape, the bar is a special spot for a night out. The bar is open to the public, which means everyone can enjoy the seemingly never-ending views and delicious cocktails.

Be sure to check out the bar for their drink specials every Wednesday with local beers and ciders 2-for-1 and R45 cocktails from 3pm—7pm.

12 Kloof Nek Road | Tamboerskloof | +27 (0) 21 424 1133

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19 Tidal Pools Cape Town
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Cape Town’s 19 Amazing Tidal Pools

Cape Town is home to some of the most beautiful and world-famous beaches. Whether you’re looking for a place to swim, surf, or simply relax—Cape Town has it all. For those looking for a safe spot, tidal pools are rocky pools built along the coastline and regularly filled by the tides to provide a safe, family-friendly place to swim and play. There are 19 tidal pools to visit along the coastline of Cape Town, and we’ve listed them for you here. So load up the kids, pack some snacks, and check out one of these natural swimming pools.

#1 St. James

#stjamestidalpool #beachtime

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St. James Tidal Pool is considered Cape Town’s most well-known and iconic tidal pool, and is easily recognized with its colourful beach huts that sit near the water’s edge. Situated between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay in the seaside suburb of St. James, this pool is a great spot for kids to swim and families to hang out for the day. Located near a railway and main road, St. James is an easily accessible and popular spot to explore.

Please note: There aren’t any food or drink amenities available on the beach, so be sure to pack a lunch and drinks for the day.

Where to find it: St James Beach, St James, Cape Town

 

#2 Milton

The Milton Tidal Pool, a natural seawater tidal pool located in the heart of Milton Beach, is a safe and family-friendly place to swim. With easily accessible, shallow, cool waters this tidal pool is the perfect swimming spot for kids and families.  Read more in our post about Milton Tidal Pool.

Where to find it: Beach Rd, Sea Point, Sea Point, Cape Town

#3 Miller’s Point

Loved by locals for its secret location, Miller’s Point Tidal Pool is about a 5-minute drive from Simon’s Town on the Southern side of the False Bay coastline. Located in Miller’s Point Bay, the tidal pool can be found in-between two boat launch sites. With incredible views across the bay, a water slide, changing rooms, and grassy spots perfect for a picnic – Miller’s Point Tidal Pool is the perfect, secluded spot for a relaxing day.

Where to find it: Miller’s Point, M4, Simon’s Town, Cape Town

#4 & 5 Maiden’s Cove 1 and 2

Boasting some of the best pool-side views in the Cape, these two tidal pools provide a safe and clean environment to swim. The first pool can be found between Glen Beach and Camps Bay Beach; the second is located between Glen Beach and Clifton Beach. Located close to restaurants, bars, and cafes along Victoria Road, Maiden’s Cove Tidal Pools are a convenient and safe place to relax and swim for the day.

Where to find it: Victoria Rd, Camps Bay, Cape Town

#6 Glencairn

Glencairn Tidal Pool: Before #glencairntidalpool #falsebay #capetown #lovecapetown

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Located on the Southern side of Glencairn Beach, this tidal pool is a family and dog friendly spot, perfect for safe swimming and sunbathing. The beach is easy to spot from the train that runs between Simon’s Town and Cape Town city center and is a popular spot for swimmers, snorkelers, and sunbathers.

Where to find it: Glencairn Beach, Glencairn, Cape Town

#7 Dalebrook

Located opposite the Kalk Bay Community Centre between St James and Kalk Bay, Dalebrook Tidal Pool is one of the most beautiful spots along the coast. With a low wall, there’s a constant flow of fresh, new water. The secret and often overlooked spot is located near an outdoor shower and a changing room, making it a great stop for a swim. Enjoy the shallow, warm water during the day before the sun sets behind the mountains.

Where to find it: Off Main Rd, Dalebrook, Cape Town

#8 Camp’s Bay

18 tidal pools in Cape Town and this one is my favorite!

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Located on Camps Bay beach, which is the most visited beach in the city, this tidal pool is easy to find and labelled as one of the most popular tidal pools along the Atlantic Seaboard. With many restaurants located nearby, this tidal pool is the perfect stop for a swim before grabbing a bite to eat. Although the waters are a bit chilly, the beautiful views of the Twelve Apostles are well worth it.

Where to find it: Camps Bay Beach, Camps Bay, Cape Town

#9 Buffel’s Bay

Making a trip to Cape Point Nature Reserve? Pack a swimsuit and visit the relatively sheltered and crowd-free Buffel’s Bay Tidal Pool. Take in the breathtaking white sand and abundant flora and fauna as you relax by the clear blue waters. The spot is perfect for picnics and braais, with safe waters for a post-hike swim. You’ll have to pay the Cape Point Nature Reserve entrance fee of R145 for adults and R75 for children to enjoy this spot.

Where to find it: Buffels Bay, Cape Point Nature Reserve, Cape Town

#10 Soetwater

This tidal pool can be found South of Kommetjie, next to a braai and picnic area that forms part of the Soetwater recreation area. Located just across the iconic Slangkop Lighthouse, it is a quiet spot to swim. Due to the vibrant animal life that surrounds this spot, it was named a conservancy in 2009. You might be able to spot the endangered African Black Oystercatcher. After swimming, you can go fishing in one of the various famous fishing spots located just next to the tidal pool.

Where to find it: South of the Slangkop Lighthouse, below the coastal road leading from Kommetjie to Scarborough

#11 Shelley Point

Shelley Point Tidal Pool is a small, quiet pool great for a quick swim. The pool is also a popular spot for whale watching.

Where to find it: M6, Glencairn

#12 Sparks

#sparkstidalpool #gb #CapeTown

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Sparks Tidal Pool is in Gordon’s Bay near Spark’s Bay Beach. It is one of the best and most tranquil braai and whale watching spots in the country, as named by the City of Cape Town. Make a little mini road trip out of Cape Town to enjoy this great little town. Visit gordonsbaytourism.com to find out more about this little seaside village, just over an hour drive from the city.

Where to find it: Clarence Drive, Spark’s Bay Beach, Cape Town

#13 Kommetjie

This tidal pool is located in Kommetjie, a popular destination for kite-surfers and campers, and lies on the edge of the catwalk along the Kom, within sight of the famous Slangkop lighthouse. The area is known as “De Kom,” which is Dutch for “bowl.” With concrete steps and a handrail, it’s an easy descent into the pool’s cool waters. Grassy areas are nearby shaded by milkwood trees, making it the perfect spot for picnics. Keep an eye out for the vibrant pink flamingos that frequent the spot, earning it the name Bird Island.

Where to find it:  Kommetjie, South of Long Beach at De Kom

#14 Saunders

Located on the rocky Saunders Beach, this tidal pool is situated between Clifton and Sea Point in the suburb of Bantry Bay. With white sand and blue waters, this beautiful spot is perfect for an afternoon swim. While the pool is a popular swimming destination on the weekends and holidays, it remains fairly empty during the week. So, put on a swimsuit, grab a towel, and head out for a swim at Saunders Tidal Pool. Afterwards, you can grab something to eat at one of the many restaurants located along the beach.

Where to find it: Saunders Beach, Bantry Bay, Cape Town

#15 Silwerstroom

Want to take a day trip up the West Coast? Enjoy a getaway and visit the Silwerstroom tidal pool. Located near the Silwerstroom Resort, this pool is a great spot to swim, braai, and relax. Its gradual slope makes the pool a great safe spot for kids. With a thriving plant life and the blue outstretched ocean, this tidal pool has beautiful views you won’t want to miss.

Where to find it: West Coast Road, Melkbosstrand

#16 Wooley’s

#wooleystidalpool #tidalpool #kalkbay

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Looking for a safe place to swim with spectacular views of Fish Hoek? Wooley’s Tidal Pool is the perfect spot. Located between Kalk Bay and Clovelly in the bend of the coastal road and a few steps off the ocean road, Wooley’s is divided into two pools. One is a small, splash pool great for the little ones. A bit further is a deeper pool, perfect for a relaxing swim.

Where to find it: Off Main Rd, Kalk Bay, Cape Town

#17 Monwabisi

Want to swim in the largest tidal pool in the Southern Hemisphere? Pack a picnic and head to the Monwabisi Tidal Pool. Located along an exposed stretch of False Bay, just off Baden Powell Drive in Khayelitsha on the Cape Flats, the tidal pool is the perfect spot to enjoy the sun, sea, and sand.

Where to find it: Off Baden Powell Dr, Khayelitsha, Cape Town

 

#18 Brass Bell

Want to let the kids swim after eating? This tidal pool is located right next to the Brass Bell Restaurant, making it an ideal spot for good food and fun. There are two separate tidal pools; one is shallow and perfect for splashing around while the other is deeper and best for swimming.

Where to find it: Main Road, M4,  Kalk Bay

#19 Harmony

Located in the seaside town of Strand, this tidal pool is a great spot for kids and families of all ages. With lifeguards on duty throughout the day, it’s a safe place to have some fun. You can even spot small marine life in the pool, and a kiosk is nearby where you can buy snacks and drinks.

Where to find it: Gordon’s Bay Drive, R44, Strand

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Cape Town Bucket List: 10 Things To Do When Visiting Cape Town

Cape Town is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with a melting pot of cultures, food, and landscapes. The city is full of must-sees and must-do’s for both tourists and locals alike. With such a diverse mix of people flocking to the city, there is something to do for everyone.

The UK Telegraph Travel Awards voted it Best City in the World five times in a row, from 2013 to 2017. According to us it should definitely win again this year. There are so many things to choose from, but here’s the top 10 things you have to do when visiting this wonderful city.

This list was inspired by the Bucket List Journey’s post.

Annette White Profile PicAnnette White is the author of The Bucket List Adventures, exploring 10 epic adventures to experience before you die. She is also the co-owner of Sugo Trattoria, a contemporary Italian Restaurant in California, and the creator of the amazing award-winning travel blog, Bucket List Journey. She is passionate about travel, an experience collector ticking off bucket list items from around the world.

Bucket List Adventures 10 Incredible Journeys to Experience Before You DieIn her book Bucket List Adventures , Annette takes you along for the ride, and shows you how to live your adventures, too.

It is not only a practical travel book – sharing detailed information on lodging, helpful resources. – but also an inspiration for people to step out of their comfort zones.

Buy her book on Amazon.

#1 Table Mountain

Table Mountain, flanked by both Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head, is always a spectacular sight to see from anywhere in Cape Town. Whether you’re exploring the V&A Waterfront or watching the sunset from the beach, the views of the mountain are always incredible. Table Mountain was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2011, and is a must-see for anyone visiting Cape Town.

There are several different ways to get up the mountain. One option is to take the cableway, which is a 5-minute trip to the top in a 360-degree rotating car. Cars depart every 10-15 minutes from the cable station on Tafelberg Road. Find more information about the cableway on our post.  If you’re more adventurous, you can hike up the mountain taking one of these top 5 hiking routes: Pipe Track, Platteklip George, Woodstock Caves, Skeleton Gorge, or Kasteelspoort. Read more about these routes in our post.

The Tranquility Cracks, one of the many hidden gems of Table Mountain, are considered one of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets and are definitely worth exploring. They are a series of interlinking deep and narrow slits and fractures between rocks. Read more about it on our post here.

#2 Signal Hill & Lion’s Head

 

Pack a bottle of wine, snacks, and a blanket when you make the short hike, or drive, up to Signal Hill to watch the sunset and enjoy what is arguably some of the best views of Cape Town. As the sun starts to set and the city lights twinkle, a visit to Cape Town is not complete without stopping at Signal Hill.

For a more adventurous hike, you can catch the sunset on Lion’s Head. Located between Table Mountain and Signal Hill, Lion’s Head is part of the Table Mountain National Park and is considered one of the most popular hiking destinations in Cape Town. Lion’s Head offers stunning views of Camps Bay, the Atlantic, Table Mountain, Twelve Apostles, Sea Point, Signal Hill and the City Bowl. Starting at the car park on Signal Hill Road, the hike to the top takes about an hour and a half. Read more about Lion’s Head in our  post.

#3 Cape Point National Reserve

With dramatic and beautiful scenery, great hiking trails, and some of the best, secret beaches (which you can find in our post here), Cape Point National Reserve is without a doubt one of South Africa’s most magnificent attractions. Located an hour’s drive outside of the city, the reserve is home to both Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope.

#4 Chapman’s Peak Drive

Chapman’s Peak Drive, also referred to as Chappie’s by locals, is one of Cape Town’s most infamous landmarks. With 114 seemingly never-ending curves and nine-kilometers of steep inclines, the drive takes you from Noordhoek to Hout Bay. There are several rest areas along the way to take pictures, have a picnic, or to simply take in the breath-taking views. Remember to have some cash ready for the tollgate, entrance to the drive will cost you R31 for a motor cycle and R47 for a motor car. Keep an eye on the annual increases on the official Chapman’s Peak Drive website.

#chapmanspeak #chapmanspeakcave #chapmanspeakdrive

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While driving along this iconic stretch, be sure to stay for sunset. Sunsets play a major role in the life of Capetonians, but it can be a challenge to find the best spot. Look no further—Chappie’s holds one of the best viewing points in the city. The Look-out Cave, located just below the designated viewing point, provides an unbeatable view of the ocean and the sunset.

#5 Victoria & Alfred Waterfront

Look at how we sparkle in the night time. 📷@wigglecapetown

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The V&A Waterfront is a hot spot for both tourists and Cape Town natives. With various restaurants and their unbeatable views, local and international shops, and an endless variety of entertainment—the Waterfront has a little bit of everything. If you’re looking for something to do, read our post on the Top 10 Things to Do at the Waterfront here.

If you’re looking for a different way to catch the infamous Cape Town sunset, hop on board a sunset champagne cruise. With the seemingly endless ocean stretched out in front of you, the sun slowly setting in the background painting the sky with the soft glow of sunset, and a glass of rosé champagne in hand—there’s simply no better day to end the day.

#6 Boulders Beach

Cape Town has some of the most beautiful beaches, with even more stunning views of Table Mountain and pink-painted sunset skies in the distance. Choosing one to visit can be difficult. However, Boulders Beach has some very adorable, unique reasons you must visit—it’s home to the South African penguins. Also known as jackass penguins because of their distinctive braying, Boulders Beach has some of the only penguins on the continent. While summer is the best time to visit the beach, you can still see the penguins all year round.

Located just outside of Simon’s Town on the False Bay coastline, Boulders Beach falls under the Table Mountain National Park Marine Protected Area, so the beach is always clean and safe. You can catch a few glimpses of the infamous inhabitants from afar, or you can choose to pay the small entry fee for access to the reserve and to enjoy the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. (R75 adults and R40 for children)

#7 Kalk Bay

 

This little seaside village made it into Forbes list of “12 coolest neighborhoods in the world“. The other South African neighbourhood that made the cut, is Johannesburg’s Maboneng. It’s roughly a 35 minute drive from the city center. Located on the False Bay coastline, the area has a constant holiday vibe hovering in the air. Restaurants range from five-star chic like Harbour House, to down to earth like Kalky’s Fish & Chips. Browse through the little shops and galleries, or watch a show at the Kalk Bay Theatre.

Fun mini roadtrip idea: take the train to Kalk Bay and continue on to Simon’s Town to go visit the penguins. Visit metrorail.co.za to plan your trip.

#8 Robben Island

The name means “seal island.” in Afrikaans. It’s situated in Table Bay, 6.9 kilometres from Bloubergstrand. During the previous political regime it was used as a prison, specifically for political prisoners. It’s most famous prisoner, was former president Nelson Mandela. Madiba was imprisoned on the island for 18 of his 27 years sentence. Other South African presidents that were imprisoned here are Kgalema Motlanthe, and Jacob Zuma.

The little oval island is 3.3 km long (North-South) and 1.9 km wide. In 1991 the maximum security section was closed, and the medium security closed down five years later. By 1999 it was declared a World Heritage Site and an official museum was created for visitors. Ferries depart from the Waterfront at the Nelson Mandela Gateway, close to the Clock Tower. Visit robben-island.org.za for more information.

Did you know? Robben Island was also a leper colony in the 1800’s and an animal quarantine station.

#9 Sipping and Exploring

Although a trip to the Cape Winelands is an amazing experience, you don’t have to drive that far to experience good wine. There is now a new special inner city wine route, hosted by Tuning the Vine. A great midweek wine tasting adventure to embark on with friends. It is hosted on the Wednesday after First Thursdays. The tour starts at 5.30pm and ends at 8.30pm. Visit tuningthevine.co.za for more information.

Not such a big wine fan? Not to fear, there’s also a gin tour or a craft beer tour for you to try. Both gin and craft beer brewing is becoming more and more popular. These tours will give you a chance to try out the special drinks, as well as find out more about the behind the scenes processes.

#10 Walking Tours

There is a variety of free walking tours throughout the city. Exploring a city by foot, is the best way to get a true feel for a place. Tour options include District Six, Historic Cape Town, and Bo-Kaap. The tours work on tips only. Average tour length is between 90 and 120 minutes. The starting point is Motherland Coffee Company, at Mandela Rhodes Place. Visit nielsentours.co.za for more information.

Another option is to use VoiceMap. The app offers you self-guided audio tours, with your own personal tour guide chatting to you in your ear. It uses your phone’s location services to guide you through the city. They offer both free and paid tours. Prices ranges from R26 to R80. Tours cover various regions including Cape Town City Center, Cape Point, and Constantia. Visit voicemap.me for more information.

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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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Secret Cape Town Top 5 Kayak Tours
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Top 5 Kayak Tour Operators in Cape Town

Kayaking dates back to the 1500’s. The Inuit, an artic people, were the first to use these handy little boats mostly for hunting. Originally a kayak was made from wood and sealskin. The design has remained consistent over the years, a small hole for the rower in the middle, and a streamlined design to glide through the water.

In 1845 John MacGregor built the Rob Roy. Thereafter more and more people became interested in kayaking for fun. He used Intuit drawings of kayaks and canoes to tweak his design. He created the Canoe Club in 1866 for kayaking and canoeing enthusiasts to gather. The first competitive regatta was hosted in 1873. And in 1936, kayaking was included in the Olympics as an official sport.

Experience A Unique View of The Mother City

Do you like commandeering your own kayak or prefer to be a backseat driver while someone else does the hard work? Either way, there are various kayaking Cape Town tours available. It’s a magical feeling to peacefully float on the water, admiring the city in its full glory from a distance.

Not only will you go home with epic Instagram pics, you will also feel closer to nature, surrounded by aquatic wildlife of all sorts. The beauty of a kayak is that it’s a non-threatening water craft. Chances of a sea creature approaching the funny looking floating thing out of curiosity is big. This interaction is a great bonus experience.

The birds and animals you might come across include sea gulls, penguins, cormorants, turns, cape fur seals, sunfish, brooders whales, southern right whales, humpbacked whales, dolphins, and more.

#1 Atlantic Outlook

A new company to the adventure tour scene, established in 2017 by Jordan Zeelie and Ben Brown. They are located in the V&A Waterfront, the perfect spot for a kayak tour starting point. Ben brings a lot of experience to the table. He’s a former World Champion Marathon Canoeist, as well as an internationally acclaimed photographer and videographer. He can offer you great tips to stay afloat, while taking amazing photos and videos of your experience. Jordan complements his partner perfectly, hosting fun tours. He is also a qualified Lifeguard, plus he represented South Africa at Marathon Canoeing.

The tours launch from the Oceana Power Boat Club, near the Grand Restaurant. This is a great protected kick-off spot. Find your groove in the safe waters between the boats before heading out to the open ocean. They use extremely stable kayaks, which means you are welcome to jump off for a dip in the ocean. If a pod of dolphins surrounds the kayak, it creates an amazingly memorable moment.

#2 Kaskazi Kayaks

This adventure company has been operating for more than 15 years. The name comes from the Swahili word meaning ‘North Wind’. Their offices are situated in Three Anchor Bay, Sea Point. Look out for their doggy mascots that might join you on your tour. Depending on the weather, the starting point is usually from the beach launchpad near the Sea Point putt-putt course. Firstly, you will go through basic safety procedures and orientation. You don’t need much experience to kayak, only good balance. Settle into a tandem kayak with your guide and enjoy the ride.

The panoramic views of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head will take your breath away. Relax with the gentle sound of the waves lapping and keep an eye out for the seals, dolphins, and sometimes even whales frequenting the stretch of ocean. Before heading back, you will be treated to a gourmet picnic lunch, on a little secluded cove.

#3 Kayak Cape Town

This kayak tour is hosted in False Bay with the route passing by Boulders Beach for penguin watching. In the winter months you might also spot a whale while out on the peaceful waters. Passing by the penguin colony is a very unique experience, definitely on the Cape Town bucket list.

The tour starts at the town jetty in Simon’s Town. Here you will first be briefed on safety and paddling techniques. Head out past the Naval Harbour, admiring the massive naval vessels from up close before heading towards Boulder’s Beach. Look out for the Cape Fur seals frolicking in the water. Depending on the weather and time of the tour, a stop on the beach for a quick swim can also be scheduled. You can also swim closer to the penguins.

#4 Downhill Adventures

Pick and choose your tour starting point with this company – Mouille Point, Simon’s Town, or Hermanus. They’ve been showing people the beauty of the city from the waters since 1995. Sightseeing from a small, yet safe kayak, should be on everyone’s to-do list when visiting the city.

There’s nothing quite like staring into the playful eyes of a seal, curious whiskers twitching at the sight of you on its turf. Or listening to the dolphins chat to each other while playing in the waves. And a truly magical experience is your heart jumping in surprise when a whale breaches close by.

Book a sunset tour for a magical view of Table Mountain, Signal Hill, and Lion’s Head. If you want to ensure that you are very likely to see a whale, book a tour from the Hermanus launch spot during whale watching season, June to December.

#5 Shark Warrior

This diverse adventure tour company offers a variety of exciting experiences. Founder Lesley Rochat is passionate about ocean and shark conservation. She is also a wildlife filmmaker, environmental writer, and underwater photographer.

The company serves as a self-funding initiative for AfriOceans Conservation Alliance, a non-profit organisation. Besides adventure tours, the company also has a great educational project, Swim Like A Shark, teaching disadvantaged kids to swim. So, while you are enjoying a fun kayaking experience, you will also be contributing to a worthy cause.

Based in the secluded Seaforth Beach bay, in Simon’s Town, they have a variety of kayaking experiences to choose from. These include a Penguin Paddle to Boulder’s Beach, a kayaking and snorkel safari, sunset kayaking, and a Full Moon Paddle.

Share the Ocean Love with Secret Cape Town

Remember to share your epic Instagram pics with us! Tag @secretcapetown or use #secretcapetown to be featured with our #guesswhere.

 

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Tranquility Cracks, Table Mountain

Table Mountain National Park

Photo Caption: Do you know where this is? This is one of the most secluded and difficult places to find on Table Mountain. Even if you are standing with a GPS right in front of it, you might still miss it. Any ideas?

Can you see the shape of Africa? Try flipping your phone upside down. To learn more about this location check out our website. Link in bio. 📷 @lisolette_d #tablemountainview #lionshead #lionsheadct #whereistablemountain #tablemountainnationalpark #hikingsouthafrica #campsbay #yogapose #secretcapetown #guesswhere #guesswherecapetown #travel #southafrica #travelgram #africa #hiking

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There are many hidden gems in Table Mountain. One of which is a series of interlinking deep and narrow slits and fractures between rocks called the Tranquility Cracks. The Tranquility Cracks are considered one of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets. This labyrinth of corridors filled with indigenous Yellowwood trees is not visible from the outside, making it more difficult to find. But once inside, you can have fun squeezing through the narrow corridors. There are several passages and interesting viewpoints to find.

The Tranquility Cracks is situated approximately halfway along the Twelve Apostles Spine route. There are a number of trails to reach this surprising hidden wonderland, but the easiest and safest is via Corridor Ravine. The trail begins on the Pipe Track above Camps Bay and ascends the Corridor Ravine. Once you reach the top, turn left toward the Tranquility Cracks.

The hike to Tranquility Cracks provides some of the most beautiful views of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and Camps Bay. In addition, the tranquility and serenity of this secret place makes it a perfect spot to relax on a warm sunny day and to enjoy a picnic while appreciating one of the best views in Cape Town.

The Tranquility Cracks are definitely worth exploring and it makes for an excellent destination for a hike on Table Mountain.

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Hiking Groups In Cape Town

Cape Town, Western Cape

Photo Caption: Can you #guesswhere this photo was taken from? You need to know #capetown pretty well, but the clue is in the distinctive mountain peak….

Looking for people to go hiking with or trying to get outdoors more often? Read our latest post on the top 5 hiking groups in Cape Town.  📷 by Dibert Theron from @unsplash. #mountain #hiking #capetownhiking #12appostles #secretcapetown #guesswherecapetown #mountainview

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top 5 hiking groups in cape town Llandudno Tim Johnson
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Top Five Hiking Groups in Cape Town

Some things are just more fun when you do it with a group of people. And when it comes to hiking, it is also much safer in a group. Joining a hiking group is also a great way to meet new people. Nature lovers in Cape Town unite almost every weekend to explore the many wonders found a mere stone’s throw away from central Cape Town.

Fun Hiking Groups in Cape Town

Whether you are looking for a challenging hike, or simply a leisurely stroll, one of these hiking groups in Cape Town will have the right partners that will want to explore with you. If none of the options below catch your fancy, there are some more niche hiking groups in Cape Town on meetup.com.

https://www.meetup.com/topics/hiking/za/cape_town/

#1 Meridian Hiking Group

meridian.org.za

This is a great option for a family-orientated hike. The Meridian Hiking Group was founded in 1989 and over the years it has remained an exclusive group of passionate hikers. At the moment, the group consists of just over 200 members. Although exclusive, they are always willing to welcome a new hiking enthusiast.

Based in Cape Town, they regularly arrange free hikes you can join, as well as scheduled weekends away and special conservation activities. Fill in the membership form to join and keep an eye on their calendar to stay in the loop with upcoming weekend trail hikes.

hiking-groups-12-apostels-cape-town

Photo by Christian Perner

#2 Cape Union Mart Hiking Club

cumhike.co.za

This group is great for all fitness levels. You can choose the hiking intensity level according to what you feel comfortable with. Joining the Cape Union Mart Hiking Club is a great way to systematically challenge yourself to attempt more advanced hikes. They schedule more than 120 hikes a year, each fascilitated by one of their 20 experienced hike leaders.

Founded in 1991 they have just over 300 dedicated members. They schedule both weekday and weekend hikes. From a simple stroll in the fresh air, to a challenging hike that will leave you huffing and puffing, you will find something to fit your mood. Bookings can be made via their website or a direct email.

hiking groups-cape-town-kloof-corner-steps-path-tim-johnson-unsplash

Photo by Tim Johnson

#3 Mountain Club of South Africa

mcsacapetown.co.za

This countrywide organisation caters for people passionate about all things outdoors. From hiking, to rock climbing and bouldering, to mountaineering. By joining the organisation, you will gain access to exclusive hiking opportunities. The Cape Town Section was founded in 1891. They host over 200 activities each year, ranging from basic to advance hiking trails.

The MCSA is a non-profit organisation, dedicated to offering nature lovers access to the best hiking opportunities across the country. The Cape Town Section is the oldest club. Visit their website for more information about the process to become a member.

#4 Table Mountain Treks and Tours

tablemountaintrekstours.com

Unfortunately, each year there are numerous hiking accidents on Table Mountain. With its convenient access, situated in the heart of the city, many people misjudge the intensity of the hikes. There are various trails leading up the mountain, ranging from beginner to advance routes.

If you are a hiking novice, it’s best to join a group of hikers with a professional guide. Table Mountain Treks and Tours offer tours up Table Mountain, as well as other nearby hiking spots. These include Hoerikwaggo Trail, Lion’s Head, Platteklip Gorge, India Venster, Maclear’s Beacon and Echo Valley, Kasteelspoort, Skeleton Gorge, Devil’s Peak, Chapman’s Peak, Shipwreck Trail, and Noordhoek Peak. You can also schedule a private tour with them to other Western Cape areas.

lionshead-dusy-hiking-cape-town

Photo by Crystal Mah

#5 Hiking Cape Town

Hiking Cape Town Facebook Group

This is by far one of the most popular hiking groups in Cape Town, with over 6 000 members. Hikers of all fitness levels are welcome to join. Explore the mountains and rivers of the amazing Mother City with fellow nature lovers.

Hiking Cape Town hosts regular planned hikes. But you can keep an eye on the Facebook group for more spontaneously organised hikes as well.

Tips for Hiking in Cape Town

Firstly, Cape Town is infamous for offering you four seasons in one day. So always make sure you are prepared for almost any type of weather. Even in high summer, there can suddenly be a chill in the air from the wind factor. Especially when you reach the top of Table Mountain, 1 085m above sea level.

  • Never hike alone. If possible, aim for at least a group of four people.
  • Make sure you pick a route that is suitable for the fitness level, experience, and ability of the whole group.
  • Inform someone of your hiking schedule for the day, including routes and the time you expect to return.
  • Be prepared for bad weather. Take weatherproof clothing along, torches, proper hiking shoes, enough water, flask with warm beverage, and a big rucksack to fit everything so that your hands and arms are free at all times.
  • It’s best if someone in the group is familiar with the route. Alternatively, take a paper map or guidebook along. Don’t assume you can rely on cell phone signal.
  • Stick to the straightforward and well-used paths. If possible, rather use the same route back down, especially on your first hike on a new route. Don’t ignore danger signs and resist the urge to take short cuts through unfamiliar ravines.
  • Before starting your hike, decide who is the leader for the day. This is crucial for bigger groups.
  • Stick together and strike a pace that everyone is comfortable with. Don’t split up, even if the pace is slower than you prefer.
  • Keep a close eye on the weather and the time. Rather turn back if the weather starts changing suddenly, or if the route becomes too tedious for someone in the group to complete.
  • When you safely arrive back home, remember to tell the person you informed of your hike.

 

hiking-table-mountain-groups-cape-town-dibert

Photo by Dibert Theron

 

Emergency Numbers:

Emergency Services: 021 480 7700

Table Mountain National Park Security: 0861 106 417

General Emergency Services Number: 10177.