Southern Suburbs at a glance
Newlands Village is a small pocket of Newlands, north of the M3 (Edinburgh Drive) between Newlands Avenue and the Liesbeek River. Properties in the area are predominantly semis, cottages and duplexes - some within gated villages. The price of property in “the Village” comes at a considerably high R/m2 value, because of the inability of the village to expand any further, the quaint charm of the beautiful heritage buildings located there, and the close proximity of the Village to amenities like Westerford High School, SACS Junior and High Schools, University of Cape Town, Newlands Rugby and Cricket Stadiums, Cavendish Square, Forester’s Arms Pub, and the eateries around the Kildare Road / Main Street intersection.
Newlands is a relatively large, upmarket residential area within the Southern Suburbs, located either side of the M3 highway, just south of the University of Cape Town. The area is renowned for its forest-like setting, mountain views, high rainfall, and close proximity to the city centre, Kirstenbosch Gardens, and excellent schools. Schools in the area include Westerford High School, SACS Junior and High Schools, and the University of Cape Town. The area is filled with dozens of trendy and traditional dining and entertainment options, including Basilico, Forester’s Arm Pub, Barristers Grill, Wijnhuis, Melissas, The Creamery, El Burro, and Myoga. The list of attractions in Newlands goes on to include Newlands Rugby and Cricket Stadiums, Newlands Brewery (SAB), Newlands Forest, The Vineyard Hotel, and Kelvin Grove Club.
FERNWOOD - NEWLANDS
The distinctive southern half of Newlands which sits above Rhodes Drive, and borders the Table Mountain Forest Reserve (adjacent to Kirstenbosch Gardens) is known as Fernwood. Fernwood is an upmarket, purely residential area towards the northern tip of the Southern Suburbs, and was named after a farm estate which used to occupy the area. The original manor house of this estate still exists, but is now used as a parliamentary sports club.
Individual land (erven) sizes in Fernwood are predominantly smaller (±500m2) than properties in other parts of Newlands, and so the majority of remodels and new builds in the area are multilevel homes – to capitalize on the elevated views over Bishopscourt, the Cape Flats and up towards Table Mountain and Devils Peak. Fernwood residents enjoy direct access onto the mountain’s hiking trails, quick access to the University of Cape Town and City Centre, as well as the close proximity to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, and the revitalized green belt along the upper parts of the Liesbeek River.
Rhodes Drive is the only way to access Fernwood by vehicle. A network of security cameras along Rhodes Drive (managed by the local neighbourhood watch and private security companies) has kept crime levels very low.
These factors, together with Fernwood’s access to excellent local schools (see Newlands), has made the area very popular for families wanting a secure, low-maintenance lifestyle.
Bishopscourt is a small, high-value, residential suburb to the east of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. It has approximately 350 properties most of which are on more than 4,000 m2 (1 acre) of land. The suburb is renowned for wide roads, large grounds, its forest-like setting, and elevated views of the back of Table Mountain and Devils Peak. Bishopscourt is on the doorstep of the Constantia Valley Wine Route, and is a mere 15 minute drive from the city centre, Cape Town International Airport, and Hout Bay.
The suburb includes the official residence of the Archbishop of Cape Town, which is known as Bishopscourt – from which the suburb derives its name.
In 2015, Bishopscourt was ranked the sixth wealthiest suburb in South Africa with an average property value of R11million.
Bishopscourt Village is a small pocket of Bishopscourt at the bottom (northern) tip of the main suburb. The Village comprises of only 143 residential properties, each with an average stand (erf) size of 500 m2. The dozen or so roads that make up the Village are relatively level, and residents enjoy much of the same amenities as their neighbours in the upper reaches of Bishopscourt, but with smaller properties to maintain. Village residents have direct access to the landscaped gardens, walkways, and picnic spots along the revitalized Liesbeek River which adjoins this tranquil suburb.
CLAREMONT / CLAREMONT UPPER
Claremont is a dense, mixed use suburb within the Southern Suburbs, approximately 12km south of Cape Town’s city centre. It is situated between Rondebosch, Newlands, Bishops Court, Kenilworth, and Lansdowne. It is an important commercial and residential area, which has been experiencing significant growth and development since the 1970s. There are currently around 4,400 freehold properties and 4,150 sectional title properties registered within the 5.21 km2 area of Claremont and Claremont Upper (above Main Road / M4).
Claremont has a long history record which dates back to 1657 when the first farms were established in the area by Dutch settlers. After the colony had been taken over by the British in 1814, the character of the area gradually changed from agricultural to residential. British settlers and officials bought the farms, renamed some of them, and turned them into country residences. The village grew during the 1840s and 1850s. Public transport consisted of horse-drawn omnibuses which plied along the Main Road from 1837 until the railway was opened in 1864. The opening of the railway from Cape Town to Wynberg in 1864 spurred subdivision and further development. The land along Lansdowne Road east of the railway line was subdivided and developed from 1882, creating a large residential area which is now known as "Harfield Village".
In 1913, Claremont and several other municipalities were incorporated into the city of Cape Town. Considerable residential growth took place in the 1920s and 1930s, when estates such as Palmyra, Keurboom, Ravensworth, Sanatorium Estate, The Vineyard, Wyndover, and Edinburgh Estate were subdivided and developed. An additional railway station, named "Harfield Road", was built in 1931. The government enforced its apartheid system on Claremont in the 1960s, forcing the Coloured residents to leave. As a result, large areas of the suburb stood derelict for several years. Claremont remained predominantly residential until the early 1970s, when commercial development began. A major shopping mall, named Cavendish Square, was opened in 1973, and other shopping centres followed.
The area has continued to receive large investment with several large apartment blocks, office parks, hotels and transport interchanges being built over the last half a century. The commercial developments along Claremont Main Road have sprouted what many see as a second CBD to the city centre.
Claremont (and specifically Claremont Upper) is home to dozens of schools and places of worship.
Claremont Village is a small, mixed use suburb situated between Harfield Village and Kenilworth Shopping Centre. The suburb has approximately 230 freehold properties and 260 sectional title apartments. There are many examples of heritage properties dotted around the village, however newer residences and townhouse complexes give the area a more modern feel, when compared to its neighbour Harfield Village.
A huge attraction to the area is the extremely popular Rosmead Avenue Shopping Centre, which houses a Super Spar, several take away establishments, a Medicross Clinic, pharmacy, liquor store, DVD shop, and small office park. Adjacent to this shopping centre, along Rosmead Avenue, is a Pick n Pay, fuel station, tyre fitment centre (Tonnesen Motors), a pub (Rascals), and several retail shops and take-away franchises. Primrose Rugby Club is located behind the Rosmead Avenue Shopping Centre.
Kenilworth is a central, densely-populated residential suburb in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. The suburb is bordered by Wynberg to the south and Claremont to the north. Kenilworth railway station is on the main line from Cape Town to Simon's Town, and Kenilworth is easily accessed from the M3, M4 (Main Road) and M5 highways. There are just over 1,000 registered freehold properties and approximately 2,150 apartments in the suburb.
The suburb is particularly popular amongst students, young professionals and families due to its smaller homes with entry-level prices, and close proximity to excellent private and public schools (e.g. Beau Soleil Music Centre, Cedar House, Greenfield Girls Primary, Michael Oak Waldorf School, Voortrekker High School and Auburn House Montessori School). There are also numerous public play parks dotted throughout the suburb.
The Kenilworth Racecourse is a large part of the economy of the suburb. Not only drawing in large crowds during the Sun Met and smaller crowds during the more common races but it is also the site of a commercial park that hosts numerous businesses including the headquarters of Pick 'n Pay Stores Limited. There is a conservation area (52 ha in size) within the confines of the racetrack. Access Park, a large factory outlet shopping complex, is also located in the suburb.
Kenilworth Park is an area which sits adjacent, and to the west of the M5 highway. The mixed use area encompasses the Kenilworth Racecourse and its internal Kenilworth Racecourse Conservation Area (52 ha) as well as an office park known as Greenford Office Estate. There is a collection of small, cluster-style townhouses and apartments to the south the office park, which run along a narrow stretch of land parallel to the M5.
The residential part of the area is particular popular with students and young families, which has made it sought-after amongst investors who are virtually guaranteed of a constant demand for rental properties.
WYNBERG / WYNBERG UPPER / WYNERG VILLAGE (CHELSEA)
Wynberg is a large, mixed use suburb within the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town. It is situated between Plumstead, Claremont Upper and Kenilworth. Due to its central location, it is a main transport hub for the Southern Suburbs. Properties within Wynberg range from student-size studio apartments, to Victorian manor homes on over 4,000 m2 of land.
In 1683 land along the Liesbeek River was granted to Herman Weeckens by Simon van der Stel. The farm was named De Oude Wijnbergh (Old Wine Mountain). A wagon route linking Cape Town to Simon's Town went over the hill adjacent to De Oude Wjinbergh estate, and was used extensively during the formal winter anchorage in 1743, when numerous ships were docked at Simons' Baai (present day Simon's Town).
When the British took control of the Cape settlement on 16 September 1795 the small farming area of Wynberg developed rapidly into a garrison town, as the British settled a large number of troops in the area. A notable settler was Alexander Tennant who built a house in the area which is still standing, named Sonnebloem.
Being a convenient half way point between Table Bay and False Bay led to Wynberg becoming a hub of commercial activity. The authorities set up allotted places where large teams of oxen could be unyoked and graze. The village provided farmers with an alternative to the market in Cape Town, and as more farms were subdivided, commercial and residential properties began to increase.
Wynberg Upper (above the M4 / Main Road) includes Wynberg Village (Chelsea) and is home to several revered schools including Wynberg Girls' Junior and High Schools, Wynberg Boys’ Junior and High Schools, Springfield Convent School, and Laerskool Simon van der Stel. Schools located in the lower parts of Wynberg (below the Main Road) include Dominican School for the Deaf, Muhammadeyah Primary School, Douglas Road Pimary School, Wittebome High School, and the College of Cape Town.
Wynberg Chelsea, which is a small area to the west of Maynardville Park, contains the largest surviving concentration of traditional Cape thatched vernacular cottages in Cape Town. It also boasts a fine collection of Cape Georgian and Victorian buildings.
Wynberg is home to numerous government facilities and services including the Wynberg Civic Centre, Fire Station, Recycling Yard, Sports Club, Western Cape Social Development, Home Affairs, and Magistrates Court. The Maynardville Park which is roughly 0.12 km² in size sits between the Main Road (M4) and Wynberg Chelsea. The park has numerous children’s play areas and ponds, and is the location of the Maynardville Open-Air Theatre, which is an outdoor theatre that seats 720 people and is renowned for its Shakespearean plays, and ballets.
The opening of the railway line from Cape Town to Wynberg in 1864 spurred subdivision and further development of Claremont. The land along Lansdowne Road east of the railway line was developed from 1882, creating a large residential area which is now known as "Harfield Village". Harfield Village is situated between Claremont and Kenilworth.
This central suburb is best described as a trendy, picturesque village of cottages, playparks, and quiet roads. There is popular string of restaurants, pubs and shops along Second Avenue. Second Avenue is closed off once a year to host the Harfield Village Carnival – a family-oriented day of stalls, live music, and an exciting selection of food, sweet treats, wine and craft beer.
Local favourites include the very popular café Caffeen (on the corner of Hampstead and Third Avenue), Fat Harry’s and Banana Jam Café on Second Avenue, and Bardelli’s Italian Restaurant on Kenilworth Road.
Harfield Village is served by schools in the neighbouring suburbs of Claremont and Kenilworth, namely Greenfield Girl’s Primary School, Barkly House Pre-Primary School, Claremont High School, Nasa Monterssori Preparatory, Livingstone High School, Cedar House, and Michael Oak Waldorf School. There is also a well-respected, 24 hour, private animal clinic (veterinarian) on Rosmead Avenue.
Rondebosch is one of the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, located between the slopes of Devil's Peak / M3 in the west and the M5 highway in the east. To the north are the suburbs of Rosebank and Mowbray, while to the south are Newlands and Claremont. The eastern border of Rondebosch is the M5 highway; beyond the M5 are the suburbs of Sybrand Park, Athlone and Rondebosch East.
Four years after the first Dutch settlement at the Cape in 1652, the first experimental crops were grown along the banks of the Liesbeek River (at that stage called the Amstel or Versse Rivier). In 1657, the first group of Dutch East India Company employees gained "free burgher" (free citizen) status and were granted land along the river in the area now known as Rondebosch.
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Rondebosch became a predominantly English-speaking area and was declared a whites-only area under the Group Areas Act. Since the end of Apartheid in the mid-1990s, the area has become increasingly integrated.
Rondebosch is primarily a residential suburb, with a medium-size commercial area along Main and Belmont Roads, as well as the main campus of the University of Cape Town on the slopes of Devil’s Peak (above the M3 highway).
Rondebosch Common, once a military campground, was declared a national monument and is also an important fynbos conservation area. Runners and dog-walkers alike make daily use of the paved walkway which encircles the common. Another local attraction is the Baxter Theatre, which is Cape Town's second biggest theatre complex.
Arguably Rondebosch’s biggest drawcard for families is the plethora of renowned schools in the area, including Diocesan College (Bishops), Rondebosch Boys' Preparatory and High Schools, St. Joseph's Marist College, South African College School (SACS), Mickelfield, Oakhurst Girls’ Primary, Rustenburg Girls’ Junior and High Schools, and Westerford High School.
As the name suggests, this suburb is located to the east of the neighbouring suburb of Rondebosch. As of 2001 it had a population of approximately 4,600 people in an area of just over 1 km2. Rondebosch East is bordered by Athlone to the north, Crawford to the east, Lansdowne to the south, and Rondebosch to the west.
The area is particularly popular amongst Muslim families due to its quiet suburban streets, proximity to several mosques, Islamia College (with Islamia Mosque Masjid-al-Furqaan), and good local schools.
Notable residents include Nizaam Caar (born 1991) – a South African rugby player who has played numerous games for the Stormers (Super Rugby), Western Province (Currie Cup), and for the national side. Nizaam was the first Muslim to be named in the Springboks squad, and the first Muslim to have captained a Super Rugby team.
Lansdowne is a former whites-only residential suburb in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town, situated roughly 10 kilometres southeast of Cape Town City Centre. The suburb is surrounded by the suburbs of Rondebosch East, Crawford, Wetton, Claremont, Kenwyn and Athlone. Lansdowne is served by a railway station of the same name, on the Cape Flats Line.
Since the end of apartheid the area has become increasingly integrated. The area is particularly popular amongst Muslim families due to its quiet suburban streets, proximity to several mosques, Islamia College (with Islamia Mosque Masjid-al-Furqaan), and good local schools. There is a commercial node with a string of businesses along Iman Haron Road – which runs through the centre of the suburb from southeast to northwest.
The relatively small residential suburb of Kenwyn is located opposite Kenilworth Racecourse - bordered on the West by the M5, Racecourse Road (North), railway line (East) and Wetton Road (South). Kenwyn is a family-orientated suburb, which is particularly popular amongst Muslim families, due to its proximity to several nearby mosques. The area is served by local schools - Kenwyn Primary School, Sunlands Primary School, and Oaklands High School.
The Chukker Road Sports Complex, in Kenwyn, is home to the Victoria Cricket Club, the Varsity Old Boys Baseball and Softball Club, the Lansdowne Eagles Baseball and Softball Club, and Violets Rugby Club.
Historically, Plumstead was first mentioned when, in 1762, a large portion of the land beyond Wynberg and the Constantia Valley was granted to the free burghers Hendrick Jergens and Johan Barrens, who were Dutch settlers. They called the land 'Rust' (Rest) and 'Werk' (Work). Twenty years later the land was granted to Hendrick Bouman Brigeraad. After the decline of the Dutch East India Company, the British occupied the Cape. An Englishman, Henry Batt, arrived in 1807 and bought 'Rust and Werk' and renamed it Plumstead, after a district of London. Henry Batt farmed the area for twenty six years, and died in 1833. The farm Plumstead was sub-divided and bought by Messrs. Higgs, Loubscher and Southey.
Today, Plumstead consists of a mix of houses built in the 1940s and 1950s and more modern residences. The suburb contains a number of educational institutions, including John Graham Primary School, Timour Hall Primary School, Plumstead Preparatory School, Plumstead High School, South Peninsula High School Norman Henshilwood High School as well as The Cape Town College of Fashion Design.
In addition, Plumstead has multiple small shopping centers within its boundaries and is adequately served by sports facilities for Cricket, Tennis, Hockey, and Bowls all located on Victoria Road. Plumstead is bordered to the East by the M5 expressway and to the West by the suburb of Constantia.
Diep River is named after the Diep River that runs through the area. The suburb is bordered by Heathfield to the south and Plumstead to the north. Diep River railway station is on the main line from Cape Town to Simon's Town.
Johann Georg Rathfelder, from Stuttgart (Germany), emigrated to the Cape in 1835. Following his marriage in the colony, he inherited a halfway-house near Wynberg. Rathfelder's Inn, as it soon became known, was famous for its hospitality and in the 1840's became the headquarters of the Cape Hunt. It also became a popular destination for Cape Town day-trippers. The site was also a mail-coach halt, and thus became the obvious location for a post office. Today the buildings house the Eaton Convalescent Home. In 1858 the name of the village was changed to Diep River. The Cape Town - Wynberg suburban railway was extended to Diep River on 15 December 1882.
Generally, the little suburb is not well known and, possibly because of this, there are properties in the area that still offer excellent value for money – solid homes on large properties. Diep River is served by two railway stations (Steurhof and Diep River), making the commute in and out of Cape Town a lot easier than in many other parts of the Southern Suburbs. There is an industrial node of Diep River which lies to the east of the railway line. Closer to the M5, you will find Rietvlei Reserve, with a sanctuary on one side and a recreational area on the other.
DIEP RIVER CHELSEA
Between the Main Road and Boundary Road (below Meadowridge) is an area of predominantly semi-detached, heritage cottages, which has proven to be popular amongst the more trendy “Village Life” set.
Businesses and shops, mainly along the Main Road, which cater to this set are today well established and reminds one of the earlier history of the suburb as a whole.
Westcott Primary School is located within this small pocket.
Southfield, although part of Plumstead, is really a suburb in its own right. With its own shopping / business precinct on Victoria Road and well established light industrial area on De Waal Rd, it is no surprise that Southfield has become a popular, family orientated area to live and work.
Like Plumstead, Southfield is valued for its central position with good access to the M5 and M3 freeways, False Bay beaches, Maynardville Theatre (Wynberg) and numerous shopping and entertainment facilities. The area is well served by all the facilities and schools of neighbouring areas of Plumstead and Diep River.
Ottery is a residential area located in the Southern Suburbs, close to Plumstead, Wynberg, Kenilworth, and the Cape Flats. Ottery is well serviced by public transport providers, and is close to major highways (M3, M5, N2) leading in and out of the city centre.
Ottery was established around 1904, when the railway line from Maitland reached Ottery. The line was originally built and operated as a private line. The line was then acquired by the Cape Government on 1 July 1908. Today Ottery is on the edge of the southern suburbs of Cape Town. The suburb is well known for its Ottery Centre, a major shopping precinct which recently underwent an extensive refurbishment to modernize it, and increase the center’s retail offering.
Ottery is also a place where Cape Flats culture, at its best, is experienced. The culture in Ottery is characterised by trendy lingo and fresh sneakers and amidst all of this is a social culture that is alive and well with local hotspots.
Ottery is well served by schools – most notably Ottery School of Industries, Christel House School, The Oracle Academy High School, Ferndale Primary, and Battswood Primary School.
This residential suburb was named for the many varieties of heath that grew, and still grow there. Heathfield is bordered by Retreat to the South and Diep River to the North. The main railway line (which runs from Central Cape Town to Simon's Town) runs along the west of Heathfield. The area is served by Heathfield High School.
Heathfield Railway Station was opened in 1913 to assist passengers on the interchange of the railway line to Ottery.
Nestled between Bergvliet and Constantia, Meadowridge borrows a little from all of its neighbouring suburbs and yet has managed to develop a personality all of its own - particularly noticeable when taking a drive down Edison Road (aptly named after Thomas Edison) over Christmas, where a group of homes have taken it upon themselves to set a new standard in Christmas light decoration.
Meadowridge is the second oldest “Garden City” in Cape Town and was officially opened on 23 March 1955. In years gone by the horse riding fraternity used to gallop all the way to the meadow just above the Ladies Mile circle, and then gallop all the way to the council depot at the top of the hill before crossing over to Kreuplebosch to finish their ride through the vineyards.
Today Meadowridge, as its name suggests, is a green suburb with a protected Common at its center. The streets are tree-lined; there are plenty of open spaces and parks and several wonderful views of the Constantiaberg Mountains and aspects of Table Mountain.
Meadowridge is typical of upmarket suburban living in the Mother City and the lifestyle here is sedate and easygoing. There is a very active neighbourhood watch called BKM which stands for Bergvliet, Kreupelbosch and Meadowridge which has grown to include other neighbourhoods over the years. The rate payers association BMRA is also very active and fights to protect and develop the area. The suburb is close to good hospitals and shopping centers.
A large shopping centre provides the suburb’s commercial requirements and the area is well served by Constantiaberg Pre-Primary School, Westcott Primary School, Bergvliet Primary School, Sweet Valley Primary School, and Bergvliet High School. Sports facilities include a football club, tennis courts and bowls. The Meadowridge Library, one of Cape Town's top circulating libraries, serves Meadowridge and surrounding neighborhoods.
Bergvliet, which means "Mountain Streamlet" in Afrikaans, is bordered by Retreat, Meadowridge, Tokai, and Heathfield. Lying in the Constantia Valley, it is a true example of suburban lifestyle in Cape Town with leafy streets lined with comfortable homes and beautifully established gardens, with a sedate lifestyle which is largely unaffected by tourism and the bustle of the City Centre (though only a mere 15 minutes’ drive away).
Bergvliet is home to three schools: Bergvliet High School, Bergvliet Primary School, and Sweet Valley Primary School which have existed since the late 1940s and early 1950s. There is a very active neighbourhood watch called BKM which covers Bergvliet, Kreupelbosch, Meadowridge and other neighbourhoods. A very active BMRA rate payers association keeps an eye on development in the area. The suburb is close to good hospitals and shopping centers.
Bergvliet was formerly a large farm owned by Simon van der Stel which was once a part of the original Constantia farm. The original farmhouse of Cape Dutch design still stands on a large property on the Western border of Bergvliet. The Dreyersdal (Bergvliet) Farm, as it is known, is a very lush space with a small natural pond and bird sanctuary (“Die Oog”) on its Northern border. The farm is also a favorite dog walking and running location. The original farm was made into a residential suburb for returning South African servicemen from World War II.
A little known fact is that the main artery running through the suburb, Ladies Mile Road, was named after Lady Eleanor Mary Colyn, who died in 1839. She famously rode over a neigbouring farm, Bergvliet, to get to her son's farm – a right of way hotly and expensively contested in the Cape law courts which led to the insolvency of the neighbour and immortalized in the name of the road known today, rather ungrammatically, as Ladies Mile.
The development of Dreyersdal is closely linked to the development of Bergvliet and incorporates certain parts of the Dreyersdal farm. Today, Dreyersdal is a mixed use suburb with its combination of large freestanding residential properties, several smaller housing clusters, retirement villages, and commercial properties.
It is home to the Blue Route Mall – one of the best supported shopping malls in greater Cape Town. The only school in the area is Zwaanswyk Junior and Senior school, although there are other several significant private schools in the neighbouring suburbs of Steenberg Estate and Constantia Hills.
Being conveniently located close to major access routes (M3 and M5), with the pleasures of the leafy Constantia Valley and the scenic Southern Peninsula, have made Dreyersdal a popular suburb for enjoying a relatively slower-paced, tranquil lifestyle.
Next door to Bergvliet, is the small, upmarket suburb of Kreupelbosch. Also once a part of the Groot Constantia farm of Simon Van der Stel. Kreupelbosch is conveniently situated close to the M3 highway, with great views of the Constantiaberg Mountains. The lifestyle here is sedate and easygoing.
Purely a residential area, Kreupelbosch has few facilities of its own, but rather “piggy-backs” off the excellent facilities of its neighbours – Constantia, Meadowridge, and Bergvliet. There is a NG Church in Walters Way, a green belt between the M3 and Purcell Way, and a popular play park in Van Der Poel Road.
The internal roads of the suburb are relatively wide with large verges, the properties are fairly big (generally between 800sqm – 1,500sqm), and there are only two entrances in or out of the area. These factors, together with the excellent neighbourhood watch (BKM) and regular, private security patrols, has made Kreupelbosch an extremely popular choice for families. At the time of publishing, the suburb fell within the catchment area of Sweet Valley Primary School in Bergvliet.
One of the oldest areas in Cape Town, and South Africa, Constantia is home to some of the oldest and most prestigious wine farms in the country, unrivalled natural beauty, relatively large homes, and some of Cape Town’s most renowned restaurants and hotels.
Constantia is well served with schools - Norman Henshilwood High School, American International School of Cape Town, Herzlia Constantia, Constantia Primary School, Constantia Waldorf School, Reddam House and The Cape Academy of Maths, Science and Technology.
In addition, Constantia Village Centre is one of Cape Town’s most loved shopping precincts and the neighbouring Constantia Sports Club provides a full range of sporting and recreational facilities.
Random History: In 1661, during the Dutch conquest of Sumatra, Sheik Abdurachman Matebe Shah and his companion Sheikh Mahmoud were exiled to Constantia by the Dutch. Sheik Abdurachman is regarded as one of the three people that first brought Islam to South Africa.
Although the area offers a predominantly rural setting of forests, hills, and green belts, residents still enjoy easy access to the city and South Peninsula via the M3, and the Atlantic Sea Board and Hout Bay via Constantia Nek. The large grounds of properties in Upper Constantia (up to 16,000 m²), has made the area a popular choice for corporate headquarters, and upmarket hotels.
LOWER CONSTATIA (BARBAROSSA / DEURDRIF / THE VINES)
The area between Constantia Valley and Plumstead, Diep River and Meadowridge was once made up of rather unproductive farms. Once townships were established on these farms and the area sorted under the City of Cape Town, they jointly became known as Lower Constantia, divided into three areas (Barbarossa on the North end of the area, Deurdrif in the centre, and The Vines to the South). The areas are considered entry-level into Constantia. However, some magnificent residences have been built in Lower Constantia over the years which price tags would rival many homes in Upper Constantia. Erven are generally between 700 m² and 2,000 m² in size.
Lower Constantia (versus Upper Constantia) enjoys easier access to the M5 highway, retail shops along Gabriel Road and Diep River/Wynberg Main Road, Stodels Garden Centre, and Constantiaberg Mediclinic (hospital). The Vines is also home to Herzlia Primary School.
Tucked up against the Constantiaberg and Steenberg Mountains and immediately adjacent to the Tokai Forest lies Zwaanswyk, providing the link between Upper Constantia and Tokai. This is one of the more affluent suburbs of Cape Town. Once part of the historically significant Steenberg Farm, today it incorporates the world renowned Steenberg Golf Course.
Zwaanswyk is a beautiful and tranquil area that provides a high standard of living, in an equestrian-style setting, with an active community watch.
Although Zwaanswk does not itself contain commercial and schooling facilities, it is well served by neighbours Constantia and Tokai for these requirements.
Tokai, a large residential suburb of Cape Town at the southern tip of the M3 highway, is situated on the foothills of the Constantiaberg, (a whaleback-shaped mountain in the Table Mountain range). The area is bordered by Westlake and Kirstenhof to the South, Bergvliet to the East, Constantia to the North and Zwaanswyk to the West. The area is particularly popular amongst cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts.
Tokai, named after “Tokaj”, a range of hills in Hungary, was originally an open area with various wine farms and smallholdings. Today, though most of the wine farms are no longer there, there are still a few original Cape Dutch houses like those found in Constantia. The suburb was built in the late 1940s, and was built quickly because of the urgent need for housing for predominantly white, English-speaking South African soldiers returning from World War II.
Nearby is the Pollsmoor Prison, where Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners were incarcerated during the Apartheid regime. Mandela was there for four years (1984 to 1988) after his transfer from Robben Island, before moving on to Victor Verster Prison until his release on 11 February 1990.
Quite a few of the roads in the Dennendal part of Tokai (bordering the forest to the North) are paved with red brick. Streams run through the suburb and the pine plantations, forming green belts where various bird, frog, and insect species make their home. These green belts also provide areas for recreation including walking, cycling and dog walking. Tokai has a similar “feel” to Constantia, although properties are generally smaller and more affordable. A quaint centre at the top of Tokai Road by the name of Forest Glade, houses several dining and cafe options, a bicycle shop, as well as the local pharmacy.
The area is served by schools in neighbouring suburbs (Reddam House in Westlake, American International School of Cape Town in Constantia, and Kirstenhof Primary School in Kirstenhof). The Blue Route Mall at the bottom of Tokai Road is a modern, large shopping centre with a wide retail offering. The area is well provided for, in terms of hospitals and clinics, namely Tokai Medicross, Melomed Private Hospital and numerous GP and specialist private practices.
Kirstenhof is conveniently situated for easy access to the city via the M3, and some of Cape Town’s best beaches along the South Peninsula. A neighbour to Tokai, Kirstenhof shares a similar family-orientated suburban feel, while being even closer to the shopping and restaurant precinct of Blue Route Mall and the main road that winds its way through the suburbs of Rondebosch, Wynberg, Plumstead, Bergvliet and eventually right the way to Muizenberg, Kalk Bay and Fish Hoek. Kirstenhof enjoys the convenience of numerous warehouse-size retail outlets, shopping centres, car dealerships, and specialty stores that line its vibrant pavements.
All of this convenience is set against the breath-taking backdrop of the Constantiaberg Mountains. A mere 5 minutes’ drive from Kirstenhof, Tokai Forest offers stunning cycling and hiking paths, as well as braai/barbeque and picnic sites.
Kirstenhof offers affordable family housing, superb convenience, and great education at the highly regarded Kirstenhof Primary School.
Lakeside runs along the Northern base of the Steenberg Mountain range between Kirstenhof and Muizenberg. This predominantly residential area caters for a range of income levels, and offers smaller semis and low maintenance townhouses alongside the railway line and picturesque Zandvlei Nature Reserve, right the way up the mountain side to larger formidable residences with breathtaking views. As you enter Lakeside from Steenberg Road, you will notice a pavement garden planted by the Zandvlei Trust, which indicates the edge of the wetlands. From there, a quiet pathway passes a pond and there is a bench that overlooks the Nature Reserve.
Below Lakeside, the Zandvlei Lake offers a number of water activities, including yachting, windsurfing and canoeing. The glorious beaches of Muizenberg are within moments of this suburb. The M3 is conveniently nearby, offering a direct route into the city. Lakeside Village shopping centre, which is located on the Main Road, offers an option for daily shopping necessities. Although there are no schools within Lakeside, the surrounding neighbouring suburbs of Muizenberg, Kirstenhof, Westlake and Bergvliet satisfy this need.
The Zandvlei area of Lakeside on the Western bank of the estuary offer reasonably priced properties where residents can enjoy the natural pleasures and recreational possibilities of the Zandvlei Nature Reserve.
Zandvlei Nature Reserve is an important wetland and estuary situated between Lakeside and parts of Muizenberg. It attracts bird watchers, walkers, picnickers, canoeists, and windsurfers (an excellent spot for beginners). It is one of the most accessible reserves in Cape Town, as it is next to Lakeside Station and close to Main Road. The Zandvlei Environmental Education Centre on the northern side is reached via Marina da Gama.
Zandvlei is the only functioning estuary on the False Bay coast, and supports a variety of indigenous fish. Southern mullet, leervis, the critically endangered white steenbras, white stumpnos and elf are among the 25 types of fish found in the estuary. Juvenile marine fish use the estuary as a nursery, where they can grow in safety. Local anglers are encouraged to remove alien invasive fish species, such as common carp and barbel.
Zandvlei provides an important habitat for birds, both those that live there year round and those that migrate from Europe, Asia and other parts of Africa About 150 species of bird and eighteen different reptiles have been recorded in the reserve, including the marsh terrapin, brown water snake and mole snake, as well as 210 different plant species.
Muizenberg is a mixed use sea-side suburb. It is situated where the shore of the Cape Peninsula curves round to the east of the False Bay coastline, astride the railway link between the city and Simonstown. It has long sandy beaches that stretch for kilometers between St James and Strandfontein. Muizenberg’s shallow, warm water makes it an ideal place to learn to surf. So it should come as no surprize that Muizenberg is considered to be the birthplace of surfing in South Africa and is home to a surfing community and several surfing schools, centered around the popular 'Surfer's Corner'. Agatha Christie, famous author and playwright, wrote that after nursing duty she would daily take the train to Muizenberg to go surfing. For many locals, the area is more than just a summer destination, and once you move away from the magnificent beach, you will discover a plethora of quirky shops and businesses in this distinctly bohemian seaside village.
Historically, the village has several special features, including Het Posthuys, Rhodes' Cottage, and the site of the Battle of Muizenberg. Muizenberg is home to many examples of the grand architecture of its Victorian times when Muizenberg was an exclusive seaside resort for the rich and famous.
Many of the buildings in Muizenberg date from the resort town's heyday and are built in the art deco style. At its peak the Muizenberg beachfront attracted masses of holiday-makers and the beach in front of the pavilion earned the name "The Snake Pit". It boasted a large Jewish population that attended the synagogue in Camp Rd. In 1911 Muizenberg became the site of the first official South African airmail which was flown from Kenilworth. Magnificent homes were built along Beach and Royal Roads in Muizenberg, among them many homes designed by Sir Herbert Baker. Muizenberg Railway station is a magnificent Edwardian building with an impressive clock tower and the amusements in Muizenberg, along with the glorious beach, were unparalleled along the South African coastline.
However, it wasn't long ago that Muizenberg's beachfront was virtually derelict, with more boarded-up buildings than visitors. However, residents refused to let the area go and today, thanks to plenty of hard work and private investment, Muizenberg is once again the place to be seen on the Cape Town coast.
Muizenberg houses one of the False Bay College campuses and is also home to the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences. Schooling is provided by the Muizenberg Primary and High Schools. Its book shops, bric-a-brac, and eateries all reflect a home- grown culture that makes ‘Muizies’ a one of a kind neighbourhood to enjoy all year round.
MARINA DA GAMA
Marina da Gama, built in the 1970s, is a residential area of approximately 1,500 properties (1,268 freehold and 234 sectional title units) grouped around a number of waterways which are an extension of the Zandvlei estuary. Reminiscent of a Greek village, with its white homes and perpetually blue days, Marina da Gama is built on the eastern banks and the waterways of the quiet Zandvlei Lake - an inland salt water lake, connected to the sea. Together with Park Island and the reserve on the north western side of the vlei, they form the Greater Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve.
Mountain and water views from Marina da Gama are beautiful and hours can be whiled away on the vlei’s banks, watching the bird life. Rather like a mini Venice, it’s not unknown for residents to drop in on one another by boat or canoe.
The commercial center of Tokai is only a short drive away for all one’s shopping requirements, while Capricorn Square Shopping Centre just across Price George Drive and Muizenberg are two local options for daily necessities. There are no schooling facilities within Marina Da Gama but plentiful options exist in the neighbouring areas.
COSTA DA GAMA
Considered a part of greater Muizenberg, Costa Da Gama is just across Prince George Drive and includes Capricorn and Capricorn beach. This is an area of affordable cluster housing and apartments, particularly popular amongst newly-weds and young families (as starter homes), retirees, and holiday makers. Costa Da Gama offers amazing value for money considering its proximity to the amenities of Muizenberg, major transport routes (road and railway), and the beaches of the Southern Peninsula.
The commercial center of Tokai is only a short Drive away for all shopping requirements, while Capricorn Square Shopping Centre and Muizenberg are two local options for daily necessities. There are no schooling facilities within Costa Da Gama but plentiful options exist in the neighbouring suburbs.
SILVERTREE ESTATE, TOKAI
Situated at the foot of Ou Kaapse Weg, Silvertree Estate is a prestigious, exceptionally well-run, and peaceful security estate in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. The major drawcard of the estate is its direct pedestrian access into Reddam House private school - a co-educational, non-denominational, independent school offering education for learners between 1–18 years of age. The estate has a building design code and very active Home Owners Association, which has ensured that the estate looks as good as it did when it was opened in 2000.
Silvertree Estate is conveniently located at the end of the M3 highway – which provides direct access to the city (a mere 25 minutes’ drive outside of peak traffic hours). With wine farms, golf courses, Steenberg Village shopping centre, and surfing hot spots within 5 minutes’ drive, this luxury, gated estate provides the tranquillity that goes hand in hand with Cape Town’s leafy suburbs.
STEENBERG GOLF ESTATE
Steenberg is the oldest wine farm in the Cape Peninsula, dating back to the days of Simon van der Stel. The original land grant for the farm was allocated to Catharina Ustings Ras by Governor van der Stel. Catharina was a controversial character of pioneering spirit, who as young widow had left her native Germany to undertake the perilous journey to the tip of Africa. Although she settled on the farm in 1682, an official mandate was only granted to her in 1688 "to cultivate, to plough, to sow and to possess" the land. She first named it Swaaneweide - the feeding place of swans. The main avenue of the Estate, Catharina Avenue, was named in memory of this colourful character.
Steenberg Golf Estate is renowned as a premier golf estate in South Africa and one of the finest golfing experiences in the world. In addition to the exceptional golfing, Steenberg also offers a range of other signature experiences including award-winning wines and fine dining.
Other attractions include a luxury spa, 5-star hotel, exclusive Club House and a collection of original artworks by the likes of Cecil Skotnes and Edoardo Villa, both highly respected South African artists.
There are few places in the world where you’ll get a round of golf as spectacular as that provided by the setting of Steenberg Golf Estate – set against a backdrop of the Constantiaberg Mountains between the fynbos and vineyards of South Africa’s oldest wine farm.
STONEHURST MOUNTAIN ESTATE
Stonehurst Mountain Estate is a modern, secure, residential eco-estate situated on the slopes of the Silvermine Mountains. The estate occupies a prime 100 hectare site, overlooking the Constantia Valley to the north-west and False Bay to the south-east.
Located in the heart of the Cape Fynbos kingdom, Stonehurst is home to a wide variety of indigenous fauna and flora, and offers discerning homeowners the opportunity of being close to nature in a contemporary, family-friendly, very secure environment. Striking a seamless balance between ecological sensitivity and meeting the modern-day lifestyle needs of residents, the estate is interspersed with footpaths, parks, streams, ponds and riverine areas, whilst a Lifestyle Centre provides residents with contemporary facilities, including a lounge, bar, games room and fully equipped gym.