5 of the Best Ways to See Whales around Cape Town_

When words like breaching, fluking, spouting and spyhopping, can be heard around Cape Town, it means it’s whale season. From June to November, Southern Right Whales enter Cape Town waters – their 60-ton, barnacle-covered bodies can be seen frolicking not far from the coastline where they come to breed and calf each year on their annual migration from Antarctica. Between May and November it’s the turn of Humpback whales who have for millennia made the journey from the polar region to the Cape of Storm where they court and give birth before setting out with their young to Mozambique and Madagascar. Whale season in Cape Town is as exciting for locals and tourists as it is for the whales, so we’ve picked five of the best ways to see whales around Cape Town.

  1. Simon’s Town Boat Company

Little more than a thirty minute drive from Cape Town’s city centre, historic Simon’s Town is one of the best places to whale-watch. Simon’s Town Boat Company is happy to help with a number of sea tours and boat charters – definitely the best way to experience the beautiful False Bay coast that stretches from Strandfontein all the way to Cape Point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. The area, tucked away from the open ocean and surrounded by sheltering mountains at the southern tip of Africa, is an ideal winter home for whales. You might be lucky enough to see them from the shoreline or you can get a closer view of these gentle giants in their natural habitat by setting out on one of four custom-designed vessels, skippered by highly qualified crew and your very own expert tour guide. Keep an eye out for other ocean visitors like Humpbacks, Orcas and dolphins.

boatcompany.co.za

Facebook: @boatcompany

Brooders Whale watching IN Cape Town Top 5 Ways To Watch Whales

  1. Ocean Wonder

Ocean Wonder offers boat-based ocean wildlife encounters, guided by Paul Lipschitz and his knowledge of the Table Bay area and the creatures who live in it, whether whales, dolphins, penguins, sun fish or seals. These guided trips take you wherever the ocean giants can be reached – and along the way, you’ll be enchanted by the facts and stories Paul can tell you, about the ocean’s wildlife and the breathtaking habitat they call home. The boat is a 7.2 meter Ballistic semi-rigid inflatable (SRI), certified by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) for use as a commercial charter boat. You can expect an exciting and comfortable ride that can accommodate 11 passengers.

oceanwonder.co.za

Facebook: @oceanwondercapetown

5 of the Best Ways to See Whales around Cape Town - Dyer Island -Cruises-01

  1. Dyer Island Cruises

Dyer Island Cruises is based in Gansbaai, a two-hour drive from Cape Town. The area surrounding Dyer Island and “Shark Alley” is the world renowned home of the Marine Big 5. Depending on the time of year, you can see whales, dolphins, seals, African Penguins and Great White Sharks – sometimes in a single trip! Peak season is July to December, and Southern Right Whales are prolific between August and November.

Dyer Island Cruises’ marine tour guides know this area like the back of their hand and are not only extremely knowledgeable about all things ocean, but are also keen to ensure that your trip is as enjoyable as it possibly can be onboard the Dreamcatcher – a 5-star, custom-built whale-watching vessel.

Whalewatchsa.com

Facebook: @WhaleWatchSA

5 of the Best Ways to See Whales around Cape Town - Dyer Island -Cruises - 03

  1. Southern Right Charters

Southern Right Charters’ purpose-built catamaran “Miroshca”, is a great way to experience the marine playground of Hermanus. This area hosts most of the Southern Right Whales that visit the South African coastline. Humpback and Brydes Whales are also a common sight, along with many other marine creatures. Tours leave from the Hermanus’s New Harbour – dubbed the “Capital of the Cape Whale Coast” – and head out to Walker Bay, one of the best whale-watching areas in the world.

Southern Right Charters describes itself as a “progressive, environmentally-sensitive company that operates according to the ‘Observing NOT Disturbing’ principle’, which puts the safety and conservation of whales and marine life first”.

The charter company also offers on-land facilities at New Harbour. The Whale Shack on the water’s edge has refreshments, WiFi and free internet access, a DVD pre-viewing area, local crafts and souvenirs, as well as regular whale sightings in peak season.

Southernrightcharters.co.za

Facebook: @HermanusWhaleWatching

5 of the Best Ways to See Whales around Cape Town - Hermanus Land Based Whale Watching

  1. Hermanus

Hermanus – rated one of the top 12 whale-watching locations in the world by the World Wildlife Fund – offers not only boat charters, but opportunities to view the whales from land, for those who’d prefer not to get their feet wet. Since the whales often come within metres of the shoreline, a number of viewing terraces have been set up at the Old Harbour and Gearings Point. One the unique experiences of whale season is the Whale Crier – who blows on a traditional kelp horn to alert locals and tourists to the presence of whales. If you’re able to visit in August, you can experience the Kalfiefees(the Calving Festival) or wait for the first week of October when the seaside town hosts its annual whale festival—a unique event to welcome the whales home, and celebration all things cetacean.

hermanustourism.info

Facebook: @hermanustourism

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Cape Point Vineyards Community Market

Farmers markets have had a resurgence of popularity thanks to the ‘from farm to plate’ movement, and we couldn’t be happier. What a way to unwind, turn off the smartphone and reconnect with all the things that are most important in life – friends, family and community, delicious fresh food and artisanal chocolate of course! We’ve been hard at play searching out some of the best farmers markets around. So slip on the flip-flops, grab an organic shopping bag or two, and come along for the ride as we discover 5 of Cape Town’s most delicious and vibey farmers market experiences.

  1. Bay Harbour Market – Hout Bay

Seaside chic neighbourhood and traditional fishing village rolled into one – Hout Bay has a flavour all its own. Nowhere is this more evident than at the Bay Harbour Market. The beautiful but fickle Cape Town weather has been taken in account which is why you’ll find stalls and displays packed into a repurposed fish factory like sardines in a tin. Fresh farm produce rubs shoulders with local jewellery designers, and homemade soup stalls flavour the wares of SA surfer-inspired apparel with the scents of aromatic herbs. Far from claustrophobic, you’ll feel like a kid in a candy store.

31 Harbour Road, Hout Bay

Friday 5pm – 9pm, Saturday & Sunday 9:30am – 4pm

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Friday night 3 weeks ago 🎉 At Hout Bay there’s this harbour market on Friday nights with arts & crafts, delicious food and live music. A must-do when you are in the area. When I was there, the wind was howling through the old building 🌬 #houtbay #houtbayharbour #houtbayharbourmarket #igerscapetown #igerssouthafrica #lovecapetown #instagramcapetown #citygrammers #woict #capetownmag #southafricatrip #secretcapetown #canonnederland #eosm50 #canonimages #kamera_express #travelgirls #exploretheworldaroundyou #womenwhotravel #womenwhotravelsolo #solofemaletraveler #instatraveler #adventureinyou #travelingthroughtheworld #discovertheworld #travelinspired #shetravels #bayharbourmarket #empirealight

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  1. Noordhoek Community Market – Cape Point Vineyards

Cape Point Vineyards Community Market

Cape Point Vineyards Community Market has become the weekly pop-up market for far-south locals, adventurers and tourists, and people fleeing the city for an hour or few. Make no mistake, farmers market this may be, but it’s also a community showpiece second to none. There are views to die for; of vineyards, a lake, mountains and sea. It’s where delicious food and beautiful landscape hold hands in the setting sun. Just make sure you arrive on an empty stomach! Food celeb, Peter Geoffe Wood’s Kitchen Cowboys, will set your taste buds a holler’n. Then there’s the Lamb Man, walking on Sunshine Food’s Vegan burgers, and Something Simple’s Vegan Sushi – and that’s just the tip of the ice cream cone. Definitely one for the bucket list – along with Cape Point Vineyards’ award winning wine collection and smorgasbord of craft beer.

Silvermine Road, Noordhoek

Thursdays 4:30pm – 8:30pm

  1. Chilled Market at The Range – Tokai

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Another Beautiful Market Night and the first one in October Beer Fest Month ______________________________________________ Join us on Friday evenings (16h30-21h30) for dinner and dance. . . Our traders offer a comprehensive range of mains, starters and desserts. . Enjoy a selected range of beers, wines, liqueurs and gins. . ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• . There is also a children's entertainment and play area and loads of parking. . ____________________________________________ . #therange #tokai #constantia #pizza #waffles #sushi #music #greek #fishandchips #bobotI #burgers #wine #beer #coffee #zacafe #chocolate #springrolls #dutchfoods #earthfirepizza #gyros #bhandaris #wickedwaffle

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Every Friday afternoon something magical springs up between Tokai Forest and the fancy-pansy Constantia Valley. Here you can whizz around the culinary world despite the depressing rand, without breaking a sweat (flights not included). You can kick back and enjoy vineyards and mountain views with the tastes of Greece, Mexico, Italy and China in your mouth and their exotic aromas on your plate. Kids have fun too, with wide open spaces for play, a jumping castle, play dough activity zone, and a few other things little people like to do. And you’re not short of atmosphere either – what’s cooler than taking in the sounds of live local music out in all that fresh air or, in the cooler weather, warming the cockles of your heart beside a log cabin fire.

The Range Function and Conference Centre, Orpen Road, Tokai

Friday 4.30pm – 9.30pm

  1. The Neighbourgoods Market – Woodstock

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Right here’s where it all began. Yes, The Neighbourgoods Market at The Old Biscuit Mill, is the pioneering market that in 2006 planted the first seeds of the farmers’ market movement that would soon bloom across the Cape Town landscape. This award-winning market is where Cape Town’s cool sophisticates and (sometimes crazy) creatives meet. And you’ll be spoilt for choice with trendy clothes and accessories for sale, the products and produce of fine-food purveyors, organic merchants, local chefs and artisanal producers on offer. Everybody doing their bit to further the aims of a retail revolution that’s all about cutting out the chain and the middleman, and bringing consumers face-to-face with the people who think up and create unique products for their health and for your enjoyment.

Old Biscuit Mill, 373 Albert Road, Woodstock

Saturday 9am – 3pm

  1. Oranjezicht City Farm Market Day – Granger Bay

A market on a mission! The local farmer’s market is the showcase of Oranjezicht City Farm – a non-profit organisation that’s all about giving Cape Town an education in all that’s delicious and good for you. They also provide communities with a way to come together to grow healthy, organic, rainbow foods for their very own tables through urban farming. It’s healthy, it’s fun, and it will save you a pretty penny. If you’re not into urban farming for your own family, you can savour and support at Market Day – held in the Granger Bay section of the V&A Waterfront. Here you’ll be able to buy and sample fresh produce and local fair (free-range, raw, vegan, grass-fed) while enjoying those magnificent Atlantic seaboard views.

Oranjezicht City Farm Market, Granger Bay, V&A Waterfront. Paid parking on site in Granger Bay Parking Garage or for free on Beach Road.

Saturday 9am – 2pm and Sunday 9am – 3pm

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Enjoying the perfect sundowner involves a lot more than simply what’s in your glass. You need a view that could melt the ice in your glass, smells of salt and sea to make your mouth water, and the feel of late afternoon on your shoulders as the sun slips slowly behind a mountain or slides into the sea in a show of mango, peach and juicy lemon. We’ve picked five of Cape Town’s best spots to get your sundowner juices flowing this summer.  Enjoy!

#1 Cape to Cuba (Kalk Bay)

Kalk Bay, recently named one of the vibiest neighbourhoods in the world, is where the best of sexy Cape Town and sultry Cuba meet. The restaurant’s Cuban cool is thanks to authentic Cuban décor, its Cuban cigars on sale, and delicious Latino-inspired menu. No need to head off to Havana for a Cuban cocktail. Pop in to the Hemingway Bar, sip a cocktail in the sandbar, looking out across colourful Kalk Bay Harbour.

The restaurant’s atmosphere is super laidback and the cocktail menu extensive, with the old familiars as well as a selection you’ve probably never tried, like the chocolate cake mojito. If you’re feeling peckish, you can order a sharing platter, tapas or a pizza prepared in the outside pizza oven.

Cape to Cuba  |  Kalk Bay  | Mon to Sun 11am – 11pm

 

#2 The Red Herring (Noordhoek)

Red Herring Restaurant Top 5 Sundowner Spots In Cape Town 2

The Red Herring is an institution amongst locals in Cape Town’s far-south peninsula. If you still have beach sand on your toes and you’re looking for a place to watch the sun go down, this is it.

The restaurant is famous for its homemade, thin-based pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven, and there is a selection of other dishes to choose from, from seafood and steak, to several vegetarian dishes and low carb options.

The courtyard area, decorated with mosaics and surrounded by indigenous milkwood trees, is the ideal place to wind down the day on a long couch, sipping locally brewed beer.

Head up to the sunset deck on the top floor. The deck has been constructed to give you a perfect view of the setting sun over Chapman’s Peak, across Noordhoek beach to Kommetjie lighthouse and on to Slangkop Mountain. If you’d planned to stop for a quick cocktail, now’s about the time you’ll want to reach for a menu.

The Red Herring  |  Noordhoek |  Mon to Sun 12 – 11:30pm

 

#3 The Lookout Deck (Hout Bay)

The Lookout Deck places you at the water’s edge overlooking Hout Bay’s harbour with views of local fisherman weighing in their catch of the day and Cape fur seals soaking up the last of the day’s rays. Watching the sun’s pyrotechnic display of tangerine and purple across Chapman’s Peak and the southern Atlantic Ocean is a truly unforgettable experience.

Unsurprisingly, the restaurant specialises in premier seafood, freshly caught line fish from Hout Bay’s local fisherman, live Cape rock lobster, succulent LM prawns, juicy black tiger prawns and fresh steamed black mussels. If you have a craving for sushi, then head to the deck where you’ll find the Sushi Bar to satisfy your carvings. Fancy chucked oysters and Champagne? Then the Oyster Bar has you covered. The drinks menu is extensive with everything from local and international beers, to a wine list honouring the Cape wine growing regions. And then there are sundowners and cocktails, of course.

The Lookout Deck  | Hout Bay  | Mon to Fri 10am – 10pm, Sat & Sun 9am – 10:30pm

 

#4  The Bungalow (Clifton)

The Bungalow Cape Town Top 5 Sundowner Spots In Cape Town 3

If you don’t think a day at the beach should compromise your quest for going five star all the way, then The Bungalow Restaurant & Lounge is the place to end off the day. You’re at the ocean’s edge – any closer and you’d be able to dip your toes in the cold Atlantic.

If you were to ask the restaurant to describe their décor, here’s what they’d say: “Imagine Donna Karan marooned on an island with nothing but a chandelier and an axe.”

At The Bungalow, how you sip your cocktail or where you choose to relax is up to you. You can curl up on a wide cushioned bench or get the best views from the sun drenched deck. It doesn’t matter which way you go, the vibe is cool and the view’s hot.

If you plan to pair your cocktail with some tasty cuisine, you can expect a selection of seafood and sushi, or beef Carpaccio, loads of vegetables, chunks of bread and piles of prawns. All prepared with a fresh chic spin.

The Bungalow  | Clifton  |  Mon to Fri 12 – 10pm

 

#5  The Grand Africa Café & Beach (Granger Bay)

The Grand Africa Top 5 Sundowner Spots In Cape Town

Does your idea of the ultimate sundowner experience include the sun on your shoulders, your bum on a plush seat and a waiter serving you thin-crust gourmet pizza and a tall cocktail? At The Grand Africa Café & Beach you get all this and then some.

This beach café, set on a private beach, extends all the way to the shoreline, and gives you magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean and Robben Island. You’ll completely forget you’re in the heart of Cape Town’s social mile.

In an effort to deliver the very best sundowner experience, the Grand offers its patrons a choice of five bars, ocean view decks and nine private function venue areas. On-beach dining with tables and chairs on the sand gives you uninterrupted views of the cobalt blue sea lapping at confectioner’s sugar sand.

Grand Africa Café & Beach  |  Granger Bay |  Mon to Fri 12 – 11pm

 

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