Things to do in and around Kalk Bay and St James
The small stretch of sand that is Danger’s Beach is loved by the locals for its privacy, as well as its great bodysurfing conditions. The adjacent rock pools, tidal pools and beach showers have also made it into a popular family beach over the summer months.
Kalk Bay was once a quaint fishing village, but in recent years it’s bohemian charm has seen it blossom into a buzzing tourist attraction. The harbour is still very much alive, and holds a fresh fish market over the weekends where locals barter over the day’s catch. Visitors can enjoy fresh seafood at one the many restaurants in the harbour area, or attempt to catch their own off the pier, which is actually a popular fishing spot itself!
Kalk Bay’s short stretch of main road buzzes over the weekend, and is packed with a variety of art galleries, a host of coffee shops and vibey restaurants, plenty of artsy and alternative curio shops and the Kalk Bay Theatre.
“Old Mule Path” (2 hours)
This trail offers the easiest ascent of the mountains surrounding Kalk Bay and Muizenberg. The path begins on Boyes Drive just above St James and winds its way up to Ou Kraal. At the summit you can expect fantastic views of the entire False Bay area! “Silvermine – the map” is endorsed by the Table Mountain National Park and can be purchased online from Slingsby Maps.
The Amphitheatre and the Spes Bona Forests (4 hours)
This walk is an extension of the “Old Mule Path”, and ascends to the fascinating natural Amphitheatre feature of trees and caves, before taking you down into the Spes Bona Valley to a beautiful picnic area within the Spes Bona Forests. This is one of the more challenging hikes in the area and it’s strongly recommended that you take a map with you. “Silvermine – the map” is endorsed by the Table Mountain National Park and can be purchased online from Slingsby Maps.
Whale watching is a favourite pastime in the False Bay area from late July through to mid-October each year. Enjoy whale spotting from the comfort of your balcony, or you can take a stroll along the coastline for more intimate views of these fascinating, gigantic mammals frolicking in the sunshine. The best whale watching locations can be found along the Cape Point Route and whale watching trips are offered from Simon’s Town harbour.
Scenic Train Rides
Convenient half-hourly train trips can be taken from Kalk Bay and St James railway stations, to Cape Town or Simon’s Town. The track hugs the False Bay coastline for much of the way and both trips can be fun family excursions if you include sight-seeing in Simon’s Town or Cape Town.
Penguin watching at Boulders Beach (just passed Simons Town) is a pay-for entry, protected beach adjoining a sanctuary for the jackass penguin. Bathers and penguins frolic together, though certain areas are cordoned off for the penguins alone. The high boulders and still waters make this a perfect spot for children.
Cape Point Nature Reserve
Cape Point is a wild and scenically spectacular area at the tip of the African continent, where the fearless Portuguese navigator Bartholomew Dias first rounded the Cape in 1488. It is a bird watcher’s paradise with at least 250 species of birds, and is home to approximately 1 100 indigenous plant species, some of which are found no where else on earth. It has one of the highest sea cliffs in the world at 249m above sea level, and over the years there has seen a total of 26 recorded shipwrecks.
Chapman’s Peak Drive
One of the most spectacular marine drives in the world, Chapman’s Peak Drive starts at the picturesque fishing harbour of Hout Bay and the climb winds steeply up to Chapman’s Point, revealing breathtaking views of the sandy bays down below, until the road reaches lower levels again at Noordhoek.
Constantia Wine Route
Constantia is the birthplace of the wine farming industry in South Africa. As you drive through the beautiful historical valley it is no wonder the first Governor of the Cape, Simon van der Stel, chose this situation for his farm, Groot Constantia. Four of the only five farms which remain in the Constantia Valley today, were part of that original portion of prime land which was granted to him. Visitors can taste the fine wines and experience a unique journey through each of the five farms, which also hold top class South African Restaurants, namely; Constantia Uitsig, La Colombe, Buitenverwachting and Steenberg.
The redeveloped Muizenberg Beachfront has an abundance of excellent restaurants, too many to review here, however up to date reviews and contact details are available on: TripAdvisor