8 Reasons to Visit False Bay, South Africa
If you're looking to get out of Cape Town and see more of what South Africa has to offer, then look no further than False Bay with it's surf-driven, eclectic suburbs. It will charm the pants off of you and make you wish you had longer to stay. I called the suburb of Muizenberg home for a month while I volunteered in South Africa with IVHQ so let me tell you about some of the reasons you need to visit, trust me there are MANY!
Ease of Access
Start in Muizenberg - it's only a 45 minute train ride (on a safe line) from the city to here means you can easily head out for a day trip, but you'll have plenty to do if you stay longer. Muizenberg is a short train ride from Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek and Simon's Town (where the Boulder Beach penguins are!).
Beaches and Tidal Pools
Muizenberg beach (the longest beach in Capetown) is perfect for anyone wanting to learn how to surf. The beginner waves from the warmer Indian Ocean and the numerous surf schools (to take lessons or just hire your gear) will have you standing up and riding a wave in no time. You can also see people stand up paddle boarding, and kite surfing near by.
Yes, there are sharks. There is nothing more thrilling than being out in the ocean surfing when the shark alarm comes on! Stay calm and head back to shore, you have nothing to worry about. As a Blue Flag beach it scores top-marks for safety, recreational facilities and eco-consciousness.
Try and catch the sunset here if you can too and get a picture of the iconic colourful bathing boxes. You can also check out a live webcam of Muizenberg beach here.
Don't forget the St James beach and tidal pool. To get there go through the tunnel under the railway line near St James Train Station. Going here is like walking straight into a postcard! The beach is sheltered from the Westerly Winds but make sure to bring your own food and drinks as there are no amenities to buy refreshments. The tidal pool is warmer than the ocean and a lot calmer so it's perfect for kids. There are bars, cafes and restaurants in the area for a post beach fill up or drinks while the sun sets.
Muizenberg Catwalk (30 minutes to 1 hour, 2km)
This scenic walk takes you from Muizenberg to St James alongside the ocean. Check the tide before you go or you could get sprayed. Start on the ocean side of Muizenberg Station and head up to St James and Danger Beach. If you don't feel like walking back catch the train!
If you want something a bit harder and higher, you can hike up
Muizenberg-St James Hillside (50 minutes, 1.5 km). While I hiked this myself it was a bit of a mission to find it so follow the more specific directions from here.
For the serious hikers there is Hoerikwaggo Hike (87.5km over 5 days) that starts at Cape Town and finishes near Cape Point.
175 Main Rd, Muizenberg, Cape Town, 7945, South Africa
Friendly staff, delicious food, amazing views. If you want to stay longer than just a day trip, book a few nights at Stoked Backpackers. It's right next to the beach and train station. The wifi is top notch and the service is delightful. While I haven't stayed here myself I pretty much ate breakfast here every week day and friends who have stayed there would recommend it to anyone. It has a 9.2/10 rating on Hostel World.
KARAOKE AT BRASS BELL
Main Rd, Fish Hoek, Cape Town, 7990, South Africa
If you're staying in the False Bay area and want to head out for a dance, a drink and some karaoke, there is no better place to be on a Wednesday night than Brass Bell in Kalk Bay. It's such a great atmosphere to get loose and have a good time, and it's a right near the train stop. During the day it has great views of the ocean as well so come for a late lunch/early dinner and stay for the karaoke!
Bluebird Garage Markets
39 Albertyn Road, Muizenberg
On a Friday afternoon head down to the Bluebird Garage Markets. They say it best on their website "We bring the butcher, the baker, the t shirt maker together under one eclectic, creative, vibey roof." Go and sample the food and craft beers or pick up a gorgeous souvenir (I recommend the Africa-shaped necklace pendants made from a coin).
Boulder Beach Penguins
Seaforth, Simons Town, False Bay Coast, Cape Town
Go and see the African Penguins just outside of Simons Town. The penguins are accessible by car, bus, taxi or train and you can enter via Bellvue Road or Seaforth Road. It's open daily so you have no excuse not to pop down and grab a penguin selfie. Just don't get too close, they do bite.
Cape Point and The Cape of Good Hope
Cape Point, Cape Town
Cape Point is the most South-Westerly tip of the African Continent and where you'll get some great ocean and mountain scenery. Take a ride on the Flying Dutchman Funicular or grab some lunch at the Two Oceans Restaurant. You can take a walk along the shipwreck trail to see a few of the 26 recorded ship wrecks around Cape Point, go sea kayaking or biking or try and spot zebras and elands. If you're lucky you might even get to see the whales migrating!
Chapman's Peak Drive
If you're going to be all the way over on this side exploring, you have to make the effort to see Chapman's Peak Drive around Hout Bay. It is by far the most beautiful drive I have ever been on. I can't put it into words but you can take a look at this video to see what I'm talking about. It is awesome.
Do you have any other recommendations for False Bay?
DIG IT? PIN IT!