Did you know?
You can take surfing lessons at Muizenberg Beach.
There’s something ‘retro’ about Cape Town’s Muizenberg Beach, an echo of an era when seaside talent shows and parading along the promenade were all the vogue. No doubt it’s the old-style beach pavilion and those iconic, boldly-coloured Victorian bathing ‘boxes’ or huts which evoke the feeling of a step back in time.
Muizenberg Blue Flag Beach has been the summer holiday destination of hundreds of thousands of South Africans over the years; year after year families have journeyed from all areas of the interior to spend their Decembers on the warm sands of this resort town. Many will recount fond memories of ice-cream sellers with bicycles and bells, fruit vendors dispensing paper cups filled with bright red strawberries and, when the wind came up, sheltering between those ‘boxes’ in the ‘snake pit’, reluctant to leave this wide, 20km long Cape Town beach until they had no choice.
Then, the popularity of this Cape Town beach stemmed from the fact that this was one Mother City beach where swimmers could immerse more than a big toe in the surf. Positioned on the Indian Ocean, the waters were far more welcoming that the seas of the Atlantic. Time and again surfers will tell that Muizenberg was the place they first took to their boards; the beach’s Surfer’s Corner remains the place to experience a relatively gentle introduction to the sport. It is fitting then that this South African favourite should hold Blue Flag beach status.
The beachfront complex offers recreational facilities too, such as waterslides, a swimming pool and Putt-Putt for the kids. A popular seafront activity is an easy 30-minute walk from Muizenberg to the neighbouring suburb of St James. A little further away from the beach, steep cliffs offer challenging rock climbing. If you’re tired of hanging around the beach, there are fun tourist attractions in the village and a few fun places to stop off for a bite to eat.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
How to get here
From central Cape Town, take the M3, M4 or M5 freeway. Commuter trains are also operated by MetroRail on a frequent schedule. The journey takes about 45 minutes.
Best time to visit
During the summer months of December to March.
Around the area
Tourist attractions in the village-like Muizenberg include Rhodes’ Cottage where Cecil John Rhodes died in 1902, now a museum marking the man’s life. Another is Posthuys or The Post House, one of the country’s oldest buildings built by the Dutch East India Company around 1742.
Tours to do
Go bird-watching in the Greater Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve, a 2 000ha wetland close to Marina Da Gama; catch a dramatic performance at the Masque Theatre; take a stroll along the Muizenberg Catwalk to St James, bypassing historical buildings and monuments
Having your own car is an advantage. The MetroRail train is also a fun way to get around.
Where to stay
Numerous bed and breakfasts and guesthouses are located along this beach.
What to eat
Seafood from Kalky's in Kalk Bay. Or if you want to spend the entire afternoon feasting on prawns and a frosty, The Brass Bell restaurant in False Bay is legendary.