Simon's Town Things to Do

  • View from Boulders Beach at sunset
    View from Boulders Beach at sunset
    by CatherineReichardt
  • Things to Do
    by globetrott
  • Things to Do
    by globetrott

Most Recent Things to Do in Simon's Town

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    Scenic places around the Cape of Good Hope

    by globetrott Written Sep 5, 2014

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    These are some more pictures of scenic places around the Cape of Good Hope, that I saw on my tour through the National Park.
    That area is about 60km south of Capetown and you need a car in order to get there. There is an entrancefee to the National Park-area but once you are inside the only place to pay is at the funicular.
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    The Main entrance of the Cape of Good Hope
    is open daily October - March 06am -06.00pm
    and April till September : 07.00am - 05.00pm
    exit always by sunset !
    entrancefee is 90R (ca. 9 Euros) and 40R for children under 12

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Photography
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Spheniscus demersus: The jackass penguin

    by globetrott Updated Sep 5, 2014

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    Spheniscus demersus: The jackass penguin / Brillenpinguin

    The penguins that you will see in Boulder's Bay are called jackass penguins or Spheniscus demersus in Latin and in german: Brillenpinguin.
    This species is only living along the coast of southern Africa, Namibia & Angola and they will lay 2 eggs several time each year.
    They will be 60-70cm high, 2,5 - 3 kg and might live for about 20 years.
    In Boulder's Bay you will find the only place, where you will be able to get so close to these penguins, who are accostumed to swimming with human beeings.
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    entry times to Boulders Beach are:
    December - January: 07:00am - 07.30pm
    February - March: 08.00am - 06.30pm
    April - September: 08.00am - 05.00pm
    October - November: 08.00am - 06.30pm

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    • Photography
    • Birdwatching
    • Beaches

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    Boulders Beach

    by globetrott Updated Sep 5, 2014

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    The Penguins of Boulders Beach are the main reason for lots of tourists to make a stop in Simon's Town on their way to the National Park of the Cape of Good Hope.
    Something that is special here is the fact that these penguins are living on a great beach , where you can take a bath with them and will find also a sandy beach with scenic giant rocks on the beach.
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    entry times to the Beach-area are:
    December - January: 07:00am - 07.30pm
    February - March: 08.00am - 06.30pm
    April - September: 08.00am - 05.00pm
    October - November: 08.00am - 06.30pm

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    • Photography
    • Beaches
    • Family Travel

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    The Cape of Good Hope

    by globetrott Updated Sep 5, 2014

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    The Cape of Good Hope is the most South-Western Point of the African Continent and somewhere on the beach you will find this place to take a photo, quite far away from the real point.
    It was quite a rush there and it was impossible to take a picture without other tourists on it, so I gave up after a few minutes.
    There is an iscription in Africaans as well : Kaap die Goeie hoop, die mees suidwestelike punt van die vasteland van Afrika., a language that is quite easy to understand, when you speak german.

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    The old townhall of Simon's Town

    by globetrott Updated Sep 5, 2014

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    The old townhall of Simon's Town

    This is the old Town hall of Simonstown, an impressive building in Renaissance-style and you will find it in St. George Street, the main road running through Simon's Town. The inscription on the building is in english: Town Hall ,maybe some local language: IHolo leDolophu, and africaans: Stadsaal, a word that is very similar to the german "Stadtsaal" with the same meaning.
    In my 3 last Pictures: Not for from ithe townhall you will find in that same street an interesting iron fence dating back to the year 1836, as you can read in its great ornaments.
    It really makes sense to take a walk through town as well, when you make a stop for the penguines in Boulders Bay!
    30 minutes should be enough for the things that I show in my tips about Simon's Town.

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    • Photography
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

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    The National Park Cape of Good Hope

    by globetrott Written Sep 5, 2014

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    Simonstown is the closest place to the Cape of Good Hope National Park that I found on VT and in fact lots of tourists just drive that way as well through Simon's Town.
    Driving to the Cape is maybe 30-45 minutes, roads had mostly been totally empty although it was sunday and there are a lot of great spots for scenic landscapes on the way there.
    There is an entrancefee for the National Park and there are opening times as well:
    --------------------------------------------
    The Main entrance of the Cape of Good Hope
    is open daily October - March 06am -06.00pm
    and April till September : 07.00am - 05.00pm
    exit always by sunset !
    entrancefee is 90R (ca. 9 Euros) and 40R for children under 12

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Photography

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    Central Hotel & Whyte's Buildings

    by globetrott Updated Sep 4, 2014

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    The Central Hotel is another nice building on St. Georges Street, the so-called "Royal Mile". It is less fancy than the former British Hotel but I liked it anyway.
    Whyte's Buildings is in my last 3 Pictures here, another fine example of the British Colonial Style of architecture.

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    Some more houses of the Royal Mile

    by globetrott Updated Sep 4, 2014

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    Some more houses of the Royal Mile

    Royal Mile is the other name of the mainroad through Simon's Town, while the signposts say St George's Street.
    In that street you will see lots of scenic old buildings made in the Victorian style with nice balconies facing the ocean and most of them are quite in a good condition. So, even when most People just make a stop to see the penguins, I think it is worth to spend some time to take a walk as well though this lovely town on your way to the Cape of Good Hope.

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    Lovely architecture of the British Hotel

    by globetrott Updated Sep 2, 2014

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    Lovely architecture of the British Hotel

    The British Hotel was built in 1871 in the scenic Victorian Colonial-Style with some great balconies facing the seaside. Check out the great details in the facade in my extra pictures: The facade is a great combination of a steel-construction and some fine ornaments in Victorian style.
    The British Hotel is in a row with some other buildings of the same time, but it is certainly my favorite building in Simon's Town. It is not a real hotel anymore, there are shops in the groundfloor and the so-called Lighthouse Cafe and the upperfloors are partly rented as holiday appartments
    Read more about the 4 family-appartments to be rented in the former British Hotel in the link below !
    --------------------------------
    Contact Person:
    Tel: +27 (0) 21 786-2214
    Fax: +27 (0) 21 786-2215
    Mobile: 083 959 5912
    Prices start at SA R 200,-

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    The small Mosque of Simon's Town's

    by globetrott Updated Sep 2, 2014

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    The small Mosque of Simon's Town's

    Yes, there is a mosque in Simons Town as well. It is quite small and set back one block from the mainstreet. The building of the Mosque looks nice from outside and the interior is off limits for tourists, so I did not go inside. There is a great cactus as well next to the Mosque, see it in my last picture.
    The Islam is the 2nd largest confession in South Africa, right after the Christians.

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    • Arts and Culture

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    Saunter down the Historic Mile!

    by CatherineReichardt Updated May 20, 2012

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    The Royal Mile is the name given to the main street that runs through Simon's Town and is the most common route used by tourists travelling from Cape Town to see the penguins at The Boulders. Fuelled by their enthusiasm to visit these wonderful birds, unfortunately many tourists are in too much of a rush to appreciate Simon's Town's gorgeous architecture - myself included on my first few trips here - which is a great pity, as this is a stunning example of a Victorian street that has remained virtually unchanged for the last century.

    The charm of the Royal Mile is not so much in any one particular building - although there are buildings such as the British Hotel that are so gorgeous that they would be worth visiting here for in their own right - but rather the harmonious splendour of the street as a whole. The businesses in the buildings may have changed over the decades, but there has been thankfully little alteration to the structures themselves, and especially in the evening, when the day visitors have gone and the town quietens down, it's not hard to conjur up the spirits of yesteryear.

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    Stroll along Simon's Town's gorgeous backstreets

    by CatherineReichardt Updated May 20, 2012

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    Simon's Town - and indeed, most of the little towns along the False Bay coastline of the peninsula - is a narrow ribbon of development that clings to the eastern slope of the mountain, so as soon as you venture inland of the main road, you start to climb steeply.

    Your reward for this strenous exercise is the opportunity to stroll along the backstreets of the town, which are far removed from the bustle of the Royal Mile. The architecture is amazing, with one bijou Victorian building after another, all lovingly restored to their former glory. Although the gardens are very small, they inject unexpected splashes of colour into the densely built up streets, and the vibrant jewel tones of bougainevillea in particular are a spectacular counterpoint to the white buildings.

    If this is exercise, then bring it on!

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    The abominable architecture of Navy headquarters

    by CatherineReichardt Updated May 20, 2012

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    I'm all for functional buildings, but when functionality comes in such a downright ugly form in an otherwise beautiful town, it really makes my hackles rise.

    This architectural carbuncle is the Naval headquarters in Simon's Town, located on the southern fringe of town on the way to Seaforth and Boulders Beach. I can't quite decide whether it's more hideous in good or bad weather (the stark battleship greyness is at least in keeping with the stormy Cape weather, and, with any luck, the driving rain and mist will help to conceal it from view), but it doesn't really matter, as you'll have no option but to drive past it if you intend to travel this route.

    Utterly hideous and sady impossible to avoid.

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    Simon's Town's unexpected mosque

    by CatherineReichardt Updated May 20, 2012

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    Simon's Town has such a Victorian atmosphere, redolent of Empire and firm conviction that God is an Englishman (and probably an Anglican to boot) that it comes as a surprise to see a signpost for a mosque off the Historic Mile.

    Most people wouldn't associate South Africa with Muslim culture, but in fact Islam is the second most popular religion in South Africa after Christianity (well, third if you count those who declared themselves as having 'no religion' in the last census) and comprise a very visible 1.5% of the population. South African Muslims are usually Sunni and are drawn from the Cape Coloured community (the descendents of slaves imported from South East Asia) and a proportion of the Indian community.

    The picturesque little mosque is tucked away up one of the little staircases that characterise the towns of the False Bay coastline and is all but invisible from the Historic Mile. It is signposted from the main road if you are travelling south, but not if you're travelling north.

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    Set out to sea from Simon's Town quay

    by CatherineReichardt Updated May 20, 2012

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    There are a multitude of trips that you can do from Simon's Town harbour, from whale watching tours (in the whale season between April and November) to trips to Sea Island.

    This is also the point of departure for the water taxi to Kalk Bay.

    Other more energetic pursuits which depart from the harbour include sea kayaking.

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