Southern Peninsula at a glance
Imhoff’s Gift is an access-controlled suburb on the Wildevoelvlei Lake, which sits adjacent to Imhoff Farm. The area is accessed by Kommetjie Road, which due to recent upgrades, has seen a radical increase in the desirability of this quiet, laid-back village.
From this position, residents can enjoy stunning views of Chapman’s Peak, the vlei, and sun swept Long Beach. The area is considered to be relatively safe with a strong sense of community. The suburb’s proximity to the beach, great local restaurants and markets, Long Beach Mall, and several options for schools, has made it a popular choice for families that enjoy the outdoors.
Scarborough is a small hamlet on the West coast of the Southern Peninsula, just north of Cape Point. The suburb consists of a few hundred houses of varying building designs, either above or below the single road used to enter or exit the village. Over the last two decades, many low impact, eco-friendly homes have been constructed in the village which advocate the environmentally-conscious nature of many of the village’s residents. Many of the properties in Scarborough are used as weekend or summer holiday homes.
For many years, only one small shop served the residents and visitors. In recent years, new businesses have opened along the Main Road, which provide patrons with a fine selection of organic produce, fresh bread, pastries, and great coffee. A massive appeal of the area is its location between a mountain reserve and beach reserve.
The award-winning Lake Michelle eco estate lies around a lake covering an area of 22 hectares, where extensive wooden walkways criss-cross reedbeds and ponds. The estate offers an upmarket, extremely secure lifestyle within an established community of residents of varying ages. The estate is home to over 120 species of birdlife, many types of fish, otters and the rare Leopard Toad. The shallow waters around the islands also attract wading birds and water fowl to this idyllic corner of the Cape.
The estate is close to Noordhoek Farm Village, Longbeach Mall, Noordhoek Beach, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Cape Point Vineyards, dozens of horse paddocks, and several hiking trails.
Noordhoek is a laid-back coastal suburb at the southern base of Chapman’s Peak Mountain. The suburb runs from the lower part of the valley, where one will find equestrian-sized properties, right up the mountainside to homes that overlook the long, sandy Noordhoek Beach. The area is particularly popular with hikers, horseback riders, and cyclists. Tours, tastings and rustic-chic dining are the draw to Cape Point Vineyards, while Noordhoek Farm Village offers artisan bakeries, coffee roasters, gifts shops, pubs and juice bars. Chapman's Peak Drive, which snakes northward along the rugged coastline to Hout Bay, offers striking mountain and ocean vistas.
Glencairn Heights is a residential area of 470 properties (some not yet developed) set against the beautiful Glencairn mountainside in the Southern Peninsula. The suburb offers a relaxed environment, with spectacular views over the Elserivier wetland, and across False Bay towards Simon’s Town.
Basic necessities are available from the local Kwikspar, as well as some dining options and fuel from the recently revamped Total Service Station.
GLENCAIRN / CAIRNSIDE / WELCOME GLEN
Glencairn, together with the small residential node of Cairnside and lesser-known Welcome Glen are sea-side suburbs in the Southern Peninsula of Cape Town. These adjacent suburbs are situated about 4 km north of Simon’ Town, on the False Bay shoreline. Lying between Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town, in the bend of the road where the M4 meets the M6, Glencairn and the beach of the same name are often overlooked for the better known destinations of Simon’s Town and Cape Point Nature Reserve.
The mountainous village of Glencairn, with its fantastic sea views, is actually a wetland conservation area with hiking trails, 2250 indigenous plant species, resident clawless otters, birds, mongooses and buck – all within 2 km of Long Beach Mall.
Glencairn’s railway station includes a subway that leads right on to the beach and as such is popular for morning and evening walks. The sheltered Glencairn Beach, with its gentle seas and accompanying tidal pool, is perfect for swimming, snorkelling, surfing and sunbathing.
Glencairn is also a good spot for whale watching in season and the locals will tell you tales of Great White sightings too. The wreck of the Glencairn barge lies about 450 metres off the Glencairn quarry and serves as a diving haunt for local divers who love it for the swim-throughs and the stunning reef that surrounds the wreck.
Glencairn’s homes are set right against the mountain, overlooking False Bay, and close to local shops and restaurants. Simon’s Town is around the corner, and Boulders Beach (one of the few land-based resident penguin colonies) is a mere 10 minutes’ away.
Simon's Town, sometimes spelled Simonstown, is the southern-most village of the Southern Peninsula. The town was named after Simon van der Stel. The bay was made the official winter anchorage for the Dutch East India Company’s ships in 1743. Baron G. W. van Imhoff, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, who touched at the Cape in the same year, chose a site for a magazine, hospital and barracks at Simon’s Town. A small garrison was stationed there, and when a stone pier was constructed in 1768, a bakery, a slaughter-house, a carpenter’s shop and a smithy were simultaneously erected, as well as a residence for the Governor.
In 1814, Simon’s Town was turned into a naval establishment, and a harbour was constructed, which became the base of the South Atlantic squadron of the Royal Navy (now the South African Navy). During the First World War, the Suez Canal closed, and Simon’s Town rendered important services as a British naval base. During the Second World War, it again became a key point. The dockyard staff then rose to 5000, and some 170 warships and 60 damaged merchant vessels were repaired there. Admiralty House in Simon’s Town is the official residence of the Chief of the South African Navy. The naval base was adapted continually during the 1960’s and early 1970’s to meet the requirements of South Africa’s growing maritime defences. The developments included accommodation for the country’s submarines.
Simon’s Town has had its own municipality since 1883, and after Cape Town, it is the oldest independent municipality in the Cape Peninsula. Simon’s Town is the terminus of the suburban railway from Cape Town. The town has many excellent bathing beaches, the best-known being Seaforth and the Boulders – which is one of the few land-based resident penguin colonies in South Africa.
St James is a residential suburb of Cape Town, situated on the False Bay coast between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay. The suburb sits between the rocky shore and a steep mountain, and measures about 200m by 2 km.
The local beach is well known for its colourful Victorian bathing boxes, tidal pool and rock pools, which are popular with children. Most of the suburb was built between 1910 and 1950, after the railway line was constructed to connect Cape Town to Simon’s Town.
Kalk Bay is a fishing village located on the coast of False Bay, between St James and Clovelly, in the Southern Peninsula of Cape Town. The suburb runs along a relatively narrow stretch of accessible mountain slope at the bottom of Boyes Drive, between the ocean and the steep southeast end of the Steenberg Mountain range.
Kalk Bay is relatively quiet during winter, but overflows with visitors and tourists between November and January each year. The little village is best known for its beautiful harbour, art galleries, bohemian shops, and a vast selection of restaurants and cafés. Kalk Bay is also home to the tiny but locally famous surf spot called "Kalk Bay Reef", which delivers heavy barrels due to the associated shallow reef.
Fish Hoek is a large, predominantly residential suburb situated in a bay at the end of a broad, low valley (2-3 km wide), which runs from east to west across the Cape Peninsula - from Fish Hoek on the False Bay side to Noordhoek and Kommetjie on the Atlantic Ocean side.
Fish Hoek beach was first used on an informal basis for whaling and fishing. It was not until 1918 that it was laid out as a township. Initially people only built holiday cottages in the village, but the good train service to Cape Town soon attracted a more permanent community. By 1940 it was big enough to be declared a municipality and was administered by the Town Council until 1996. After being part of the transitional South Peninsula Municipality from 1996 to 2000, Fish Hoek now falls under the City of Cape Town. Most of the commercial activity in Fish Hoek is located along Main Road (close to the beach).
The suburb is surrounded by rugged mountains and boasts one of the safest swimming beaches in Cape Town. The glorious bay with white sandy beach, great value for money in terms of real estate prices, and low levels of crime has made Fish Hoek an incredibly popular choice for families and retirees. Local schools include Fish Hoek Primary and High Schools, Laerskool Paul Greyling, False Bay College and several playschools. The suburb also boasts an Athletic Club, Baseball Club, hospital and a museum. There are approximately 3,000 freehold properties and 1,000 apartments registered within Fish Hoek.
Clovelly is a small, residential suburb located between Fish Hoek and Kalk Bay, on the south western slopes of the Silvermine Nature Reserve. Part of the suburb is situated above Main Road on the bend to Kalk Bay. This section has spectacular views across Fish Hoek beach and False Bay. The larger part of the suburb can only be accessed by one road (Clovelly Road) which runs right the way through the suburb and ends at the Clovelly Country Club. The lower roads tend to be more popular with younger families because of the relatively level grounds, whereas the majority of the properties located higher up have been constructed on steep mountainous inclines. The elevated position of the higher roads grants these residents magnificent views across Fish Hoek and for some, views of Long Beach out towards Kommetjie.
Founded in 1932, the Clovelly Country Club is home to an 18 hole golf course which is ranked 55 out of 450 courses in South Africa. Approximately 55,000 rounds of golf are played on the course every year.
Clovelly is particular popular amongst wealthy retirees and foreign holiday makers. Clovelly does not have any shops or schools, and so residents make use of the amenities available in Fish Hoek.
Sunnydale is a residential suburb in the South Peninsula, situated between Capri, Lake Michelle, and Sun Valley. Many of the homes enjoy slight north-elevated positions with views towards either the Capri mountainside or Chapman’s Peak. The suburb offers varying accommodation from studio apartments in security complexes to large residences on stands of roughly 700m2. There is a lovely green belt below Jefferson Road, which is popular in the evenings with dog walkers and families.
The recently revamped Long Beach Mall (including a Virgin Active Gym) is located within Sunnydale. The mall is the largest of its kind in the Fish Hoek valley, and houses numerous supermarkets, retail brands, restaurants and businesses.
Sun Valley is a family-orientated residential suburb in the South Peninsula, located at the centre of the Fish Hoek valley between Sunnydale, Capri and Fish Hoek. The area is relatively flat, and most of the freestanding houses occupy stands that are between 400 - 700m2 in size.
There are no shops in Sun Valley, so residents make use of the amenities at the nearby Long Beach Mall in Sunnydale. Sun Valley however boasts a fantastic primary school (Sun Valley Primary) which continues to attract families to the area. The school has built an excellent reputation in the Fish Hoek valley. For this reason, it receives hundreds of new applications every year.
Sun Valley is a particularly popular choice for hikers, dog walkers, and families that are looking for great valley for money.
Capri is a family-orientated residential suburb in the South Peninsula, situated on the gentle, north facing slopes above Kommetjie Road. The residents of this quiet suburb enjoy a laid-back lifestyle, with mountain and distant sea views. Most of the properties are on relatively large grounds at an average of 800 m2.
There are no shops in Capri, so residents make use of the amenities at the nearby Long Beach Mall in Sunnydale, and many local children attend one of the schools in Sun Valley or Fish Hoek.
KOMMETJIE / KLEIN SLANGKOP
Kommetjie (Afrikaans for "small basin") is a residential seaside village in the South Peninsula of Cape Town, at the southern end of the white sand beach (Long Beach) that runs northwards towards Chapman's Peak and Noordhoek. Within Kommetjie, adjacent to the start of Long Beach, is the private, access-controlled estate of Klein Slangkop.
The village offers a quiet, relaxed lifestyle. It is particularly renowned for its great camping, holiday homes, Milkwood groves, birdwatching, and baboon troops. Local amenities include a several basic shops, a Shell garage, café, selection of restaurants, and Kommetjie Primary School. There is also a shipwreck (The Kakapo) which ran aground in 1900, and now rests on Long Beach north of the village.
Kommetjie is home to the Slangkop Lighthouse, situated on the beach, which stands about 33 metres tall. The lighthouse can be seen from the mountain pass "Ou Kaapse Weg" and has been around since 1919. The famous Pick 'n Pay Argus Cycle Tour passes each year through this small town which is also popular for local and international surfing. The cold currents in this region provide for great fishing, including crayfishing.
Kommetjie is the hometown of the South African singer-songwriter Jeremy Loops.
IMHOFF’S GIFT / BLUEWATER ESTATE
Imhoff’s Gift is a residential community of roughly 270 houses, situated on the banks of the Wildevoelvlei (managed by SANParks). Residents enjoy a tranquil lifestyle of quiet roads, amazing sunsets, good birdwatching, and beautiful pockets of fynbos. Most of the properties have views across the wetland towards Chapman’s Peak and Long Beach.
Bluewater Estate is situated within Imhoff’s Gift, to the west of Atlantic Drive. The estate is an access-controlled security village with a Cape Vernacular building style, and makes up approximately forty percent of Imhoff’s Gift.