Picture a 30-km long stretch of scintillating beaches, small seaside villages, and buzzing resorts right on Cape Town’s doorstep … well, that’s False Bay for you! The destination is popular among divers, surfers, and simply anyone who loves the sun, sand and the surf. The diversity of the marine life here has earned it the epithet “Serengeti of the Seas”. A multitude of arts and craft shops, fabulous restaurants and bars, and a festive vibe at the beaches also add to its popularity as a must-visit tourist spot in South Africa. Here is a quick guide on some of the popular attractions of False Bay.
This well-known beach on the outskirts of Simon’s Town is famous for its penguin colonies and great views around the bay. Here, you can see huge gatherings of African penguins frolicking on the shore. At the onset of the breeding season, usually from March to May, nature buffs flock to Boulder’s Beach to observe the behaviour of the animals. Besides, there are plenty of natural pools amidst granite boulders. Visitors can swim in the waters or simply soak in the sun on the shore. The ones who are up for adventure can try surfing the furious waves or trek up the secluded peaks of the Hottentots-Holland Mountains.
This unpretentious fishing village, between the hills and the sea, makes for a great escape from the mad pace of city life. Take in the gorgeous views of the ocean while relishing fresh seafood at a waterfront cafe, amble around the historical British lanes, or try fishing with the local fishermen – there’s plenty to keep you happily occupied during the daytime. As the shadows lengthen, various pubs and clubs in the area turn vibrant with glittering lights and loud music. Locals as well as tourists can be seen dancing and drinking their blues away.
Good Hope Nursery
Just a short drive from the Redhill junction, Good Hope Nursery is a popular tourist spot, known for its unique vegetation as well as breathtaking vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and the Plateau RD Valley. Nowadays, a range of guided walks are offered here to help visitors know about the indigenous fynbos vegetation and various other edible and medicinal plants. Fynbos is natural headland vegetation that is found only in this small belt of the Western Cape. The nursery’s conservational attempts are critical for the survival of this botanical treasure. An outdoor tea garden and a play area for kids promise more fun to the visitors.
A quaint resort of Victorian vintage and colonnaded shops, Simon’s Town is another popular attraction on the bay. There are many spectacular beaches that offer wonderful opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and whale watching. Every year between June and November, plenty of southern right whales migrate to this part of South Africa to calve and nurture their newborns. Tourists can join the whale watching tours or hire private boats to see the creatures play in the waters. Sometimes, the whales can be seen from the shore too.