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.
The Hantam botanical gardens are found just outside the extremely sleepy town of Nieuwoudtville. We visited the area in mid September in order to see the flowers. Unfortunately we did not get to see the flowers at their best although the flowers were still amazing.
The Botanical garden is 6500 hectares. The land was once the farm of the late Neil MacGregor, who took down all internal fences and opened the area to his livestock . The livestock pruned the plants, ate the dry residue and trampled the seeds. Niel was rewarded with the flowering of an extraordinary biodiversity, the sheep also flourished, botanists came to visit, and tourists started to arrive. Neil’s Flower Bus tours were world famous (karoospace.co.za).
Nieuwoudtville is known as the bulb capital of the world. The town is on the plateau above the Bokkeveld mountains of the Northern Cape. The town does not have much to offer and the petrol station is only open for certain hours in the day, as discussed in Striated Skies No.37.
One piece of advice I can give is know what you want to see and explore without a time limit. going up for a weekend is not enough time and makes the trip frustrating.
Porterville is a small town that lies approximately 155km North East of Cape Town. The town was established in 1863 on the farm Pomona. The NG Kerk depicted was the third to be erected in the town and was inaugurated on 18 November 1925. The church was designed by Wynand Louw. Louw designed a number of church buildings throughout South Africa. For more history of the town visit the Jan Danckaert Museum in the town.
22 Waterfalls is what drew us to visit Porterville, the holiday farm has a hiking trail that includes 22 waterfalls. You need an entire day to visit all the waterfalls and we only got to see 5.
A night in Porterville will allow you to spend a day hiking around the 22 waterfalls, this is something that I still want to do.
I came across this beautiful scene on a trip north of Cape Town,with Lauren, between the towns of Piketburg and Porterville. The Green fields and the yellow flowers both on the tree and the ground cover provide an amazing picture that made us stop. The drive up took place on a Sunday in order to discover more in our beautiful Country.
Piketburg and Porterville are about 1hour and 20 minutes from Cape Town and the day trip up to the towns was great. The fact that it was a Sunday did mean that there was not much open in terms of wine estates, restaurants etc. but we did happen to find a quaint restaurant, next to the Piketburg Spur to have lunch
On the drive up we also stopped at the Desert Rose Farm Stall, which was recommended by Dunn’s Castle (a Guest House I called asking about Sunday Lunch). The Farm Stall is great but it was quite busy and a little early for lunch.
The two towns are rather small and quaint. I will give more detail in terms of the towns with the Striated skies that are still to come depicting the two town churches…. so look out for those.
It seems to me that no matter where you go in South Africa you can find something of natural beauty and I therefore recommend that people go out there and explore.
Whilst climbing up Table Mountain on the India Venster Route I took the photo for Striated Skies No. 21. The cableway to the top of the mountain is over 85 years old and was most recently upgraded in 1997 when the round cars with revolving floors were introduced.
Table mountain is one of the new seven wonders of nature and the cableway takes approximately 800 000 people up to the top of the mountain annually. The mountain does have an aura about it and the two baskets that ferry visitors to and fro are a part of it. Whilst the cable car is convenient I would suggest getting fit and climbing the mountain. At the present moment the India Venster route is my favourite