All You Want To Know About Simonstown


Cape Town: Where would I rather be?

This post is all about Simonstown and is intended for those new to Simonstown and who wants to know more about Simonstown. Where to go and what to expect.

Above Simonstown is a road to Scarborough with the following view onto Simonstown’s harbour.

The road is called Red Hill road. At the top of Red Hill you can go for walks at the beautiful Kleinplaas Dam. Here are some photos of Kleinplaas Dam.

Views from most of the houses in Simonstown.

Looking towards the North and east. On quiet nights whales clearing their air pipes can be heard.

What about whales?

We know that Hermanus is the most popular whale watching spot. But Simonstown is the most convenient spot to watch whales as it is closer to Cape Town.

You should go on a whale watching trip with Dave Hurwitz’s Simonstown Boat Company.

What about the sunrises in Simonstown? We get great sun rises over False Bay and the Hottentots-Holland Mountain ranges. But our sunsets are just as specular. The sun sets behind Simonstown or to the left as most of Simonstown homes face north.

And when the sun sets, and the moon rises we get amazing changes in colour. This is one of the major difference between False Bay sunsets and the Atlantic. The Atlantic setting sun  is so bright that some days you cannot watch as it sets over the Atlantic.

Here you can download an ebook with many Simonstown sunrise photos.

Simonstown does not have the beaches you’ll find our neighbouring villages Kommetjie or Noordhoek but you will find small romantic beaches.

As you may know Simonstown is famous for it’s African Penguins. Thousands flock to see these amazing birds.

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Simonstown is a little village steeped in history.

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False Bay is a much more protected place from the prevailing winter wind, the North Western, than Table Bay or Cape Town harbour. The Brits were instrumental in establishing the Naval harbour at Simonstown. Today it’s the main SA Naval harbour. See the naval museum for submarine tours.

Trains:

Every second Sunday a steam train leaves Cape Town for a trip to Simonstown. This must be one of the most beautiful and scenic seashore trips in the world. Going to Cape Town or any of the small villages on the train is a cheap ride and the hop on hop off train pass is very popular among tourists.

Steam Train Cape Town Simonstown

Simonstown shopping and restaurants:

There are various restaurants in Simonstown. For coffee and sweets The Sweetest Thing is by far the best.

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The restaurant we recommend in Simonstown is The Lighthouse. For a plain and simple fish meal try Salty Seadog. If we want to go out for a meal or some fun we tend to go to Kalk Bay. It’s got lovely restaurants like Harbour House. The owner of this restaurant runs many others and they are well recommended.

A few convenience stores are scattered over Simonstown provides necessities. The Spar in Glencairn has a large range of groceries. Most shopping is done at Fish Hoek and Noordhoek. Both have Woolworths, Pick ‘n Pay and other.

False Bay Yacht Club

Sailing is an integral part of Simonstown with the False Bay Yacht Club the main focus. You may join the club and enjoy their pub, etc. There’s also a restaurant, called Neptunes Gallery, that’s worth a visit – even if you are not a member. This is the view from the restaurant on the harbour.

View on False Bay Yacht Club from Netunes Gallery What about wine farms? Many people associate South African wine with Stellenbosch. But on the Simonstown doorstep is Constantia. See what we did during our last wine tasting tour. Locally you can visit Cape Point Vines in Noordhoek.

The long day ended at a lovely bar, Cape To Cuba in Kalk Bay, with great cocktails.

What about safety and security?

Simonstown safety

 

Have a look at this article from the local newspaper, False Bay Echo, dated September 26 2013, with the headline above. (Download it here).

[pullquote position=”right”]”Simonstown remains one of the safest precincts to reside in South Africa” Ms Pelt Cominity Police Forum Chairman. [/pullquote]

We get so many questions on this. And it’s such a waste to justify all the time. Let me share a few quotes with you from people who have been afraid. Or should know fear:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. – Mark Twain

[pullquote position=”right”]A ship is safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for. – Gael Attal[/pullquote]

[pullquote position=”right”]Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. – Helen Keller[/pullquote]

[pullquote position=”right”]A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find that after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. – John Steinbeck[/pullquote]

New Zealand is safe. Would you agree? If I have to give you advice on safety then allow me to quote the New Zealand police. Their advice is relevant here and in most places around the world:

  • Don’t walk alone late at night and avoid unlit areas. (Why would you?)
  • Do not carry lots of cash, valuables or expensive jewellery with you.
  • Be aware of people around you when using ATMs (cash machines) and hide your PIN.
  • Hitchhiking or accepting rides from people you don’t know is not recommended. If you do decide to hitchhike, Police strongly advise you not to travel alone. (I don’t expect my clients or readers to hitchhike).
  • (read more here….)

Here’s my personal view on safety and security.

To summarize: Simonstown is a place with great views. Nature and history are central to everything. The ocean surrounds the village, it’s not in the city, but close to Cape Town, only 40 mins away. It’s very quiet. If you want a party go to Kalk Bay – 15 mins away. In one day you can see whales, dive with sharks watch penguins and enjoy great sunrises and sunsets. Peaceful.


September 20, 2013

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