Striated Skies No. 43 – Love Camps Bay

43. Love Camps Bay

Camps Bay is an approximately 165Ha suburb of Cape Town, on the Atlantic Seaboard. Since its establishment as a settlement in 1713 Camps Bay has always been a recreational area. Lord Charles Somerset used the area for hunting, while staying at the Roundhouse.

Camps Bay can be reached from Cape Town via Victoria Road which runs along the coast from Sea Point. Victoria Road was designed by Thomas Bain and completed in 1887, the road continues through Camps bay all the way to Hout Bay. The drive is beautiful and a ‘must drive’ when in Cape Town. (NOTE: be relaxed and ready for traffic if you travel this road during the December/January Holiday rush). Victoria road was not the first road to Camps Bay, Kloof Road was, it was built in 1848 and winds down from Table Mountain, past the Roundhouse towards Clifton. While Kloof Road is a twisting and turning road, Camps Bay Drive is a more direct road and the third road from the city.

I struggled to find history of Camps Bay online. I did find a book by Gwynne Schrire Robins and Hillel Turok titled Camps Bay: an illustrated history. It would be interesting to have a look at this book, the first few page can be read here. For this blog it would take too long to get here if I had to buy it and the last time I went into a library was years ago… :-).

Gwynne Schrire Robins has written ten books, published more than three dozen academic articles and chapters in books, and has edited magazines, theses and books. She is currently the deputy director of the Cape SA Jewish Board of Deputies. Hillel Turok (1921-2002) was a Camps Bay resident, Architect and part of the founding committee for the Camps Bay Shul.

The photo that provides the canvas for this striated sky was taken whilst walking back from sundowners at one of the restaurants on Victoria road overlooking the beach and the Atlantic Ocean. This is what Camps Bay is about – fun, partying and holidays. Many of the homes and apartments in Camps Bay are holiday accommodation and as a result Camps Bay is extremely busy during the Summer months. Camps Bay is flanked by Lions head and the Twelve Apostles of Table Mountain which provide residents with amazing mountain views

The photo below was taken by myself whilst climbing Table Mountain a few months ago via India Venster. It shows Camps Bay from the Back of Table Mountain


Come to Cape Town in February, soak up some sun on Camps Bay beach and have a few drinks. This is the best time in Cape Town and most visitors come during December/January therefore it is not crazy and busy.



Cape Town holiday 2011 – Day 5

Around the Cape Peninsula

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Day 5 started early with a drive from Pinelands into Cape Town and through Sea Point to Camps Bay. We stopped off in Camps bay for a bite to eat and a walk on the beach. To be totally honest it did not seem very impressive but then again it was early in the morning. The beach was totally empty and we had a short walk on the white sand as the wind was up and it was a little miserable. The property in Camps Bay/Clifton is insane. Huge houses all packed onto the side of the mountain all looking to the beautiful blue sea. Whilst driving in Camps Bay we did see Paraglider’s launching from Lions Head. This is something we will have to do next time.

From Camps Bay we continued on to Llandudno and took a drive around. Once again there are many houses that look out at the sea all packed on top of each other. The beach was protected from the wind and we had a quick walk. We drove past Sandy Bay but the parking was full and so we did not stop to see what all the fuss is about.

We continued on to Hout Bay where we went to the harbour which smelt of fish and was rather nasty. Lauren bought a hat which I am sure was made in China. Hout Bay is not what I remembered as a child. We did visit some galleries but I was not too impressed with the Rebublic of Hout Bay. Maybe we did not explore enough.

On the other side of Hout Bay we paid our toll fee and started the drive up Chapmans peak over to Noordhoek. The drive up and over the Peak is stunning, the view, the engineering and the huge rocks in the chain nets that tower over you as you drive along. As the pass comes to an end there is a beautiful beach which welcomes you into Noordhoek.  Noordhoek is a quaint little village full of artists and what you thing of when you think of Capetonians.

From Noordhoek we took the road on to Kommetjie which does not have that much to offer but has a large white lighthouse that towers over the beach. The guide books and the sign at the lighthouse say that you can take a tour up the lighthouse but unfortunately the the staff never came back from lunch and so we sat and waited for nothing.

We drove on to Cape Point which was the main attraction of the day, another one of the Cape Town big 6. Along the way we past the location for our first holiday home, Misty Cliffs.

Misty Cliffs is a Conservation Village located within a larger conservation area of incredible natural beauty, and is surrounded by pristine ocean and mountains. The beautiful blue sea  on one side and the mountain on the other with its fynbos and boulders makes you feel like stopping and staying forever, to sit on a stoep watching the sea by day, walk on the beach in the evening and sleep with the sound of the waves at night.

From Misty Cliffs we drove on through Scarborough to Cape Point, paid the entrance fee and drove into the park towards the actual point. We were stopped and asked to park in the secondary parking spot and a buss took up up to the top. This was actually quite nice as we did not have to walk too far, especially since we decided not to use the funicular but rather to walk up and down.

Travellers Tip: Give yourself an entire day just to see Cape point national park. There is more than just the point. We did not give ourselves enough time and it was up and down and then on our way to Simons Town.

Cape Point is a spectacular sight and shows off God’s creativity, we unfortunately did not see any Baboons which made Lauren very sad as there are signs all over the show telling you to watch out for Baboons and urging people not to feed them.

We drove on, with False bay out in froms of us, the blue sea extending out with the Hottentots-Holland mountains in the distance.

We stopped in Simons Town hoping to check out a few of the numerous attractions in this Naval Town but unfortunately the town pretty much shuts down at 4pm and so even though it was light enough to be 1pm we could not do very much. We took a drive down to Boulders beach but did not feel too excited to have to pay a whole lot of money to stand in a crowd with hundreds of Americans and Europeans facinated by the African penguins that call Boulders beach home. Instead we walked along the quiet board walk where you too could see the penguins.

From there we drove on to Kalk Bay, through Fish Hoek. We had supper at the Brass Bell with my Folks, Sister and Brother-in-Law.

Having been to Cape Town before I was disappointed that we arrived so late and thus could not see any of the attractions that False bay has to offer.

Traveller’s Tip: Spend time in False Bay it has lots to offer, go and find it and then tell the world about it.

The roads from Kalk Bay through to Muizenburg are lined with old settler buildings including Rhodes Cottage and other historical buildings. There were road works that made it a little difficult to navigate but when we are back in Cape Town we will definitely do some more exploring on that side of the mountain.

So we waited around for 7pm to meet every one for supper. We did sneak into a restaurant to use a bathroom and to get changed into our night time going to a restaurant clothes, and I had to use the ladies with Lauren standing guard as the guys loo was occupied for some time :-).

The supper at the Brass Bell was very good, the food there is amazing and they believe in a good portion size. We had to take a doggy bag home. The Resturant is right next to the harbour, on the tidal pool. We had a great evening and we spent the latter part of the evening watching the waves crash up against the wall.

Traveller’s Tip: If in Cape Town, go to one of                    Brass Bell’s 5 Restaurants