False Bay, Cape Town
Once you've booked your hotel or found False Bay accommodation to suit your needs, explore our destination pages below for info on attractions, events and what to do in the False Bay Coast.
For those who visit this effortless coast that stretches in a glorious arc all the way from Hangklip, close to Pringle Bay, through to Cape Point on the peninsula, there are unlimited opportunities for safe swimming and dramatic beauty that incorporates white, sandy beaches, beautiful valleys and sweeping vistas.
For many, the False Bay coastline is preferable to the trendier Atlantic Seaboard - the waters of the Indian Ocean are warmer for one, and less inundated by sun worshipping wannabees.
False Bay, named such because early navigators mistook Hangklip for Cape Point, is the largest true bay in South Africa and one of the great bays of the world. It is no surprise to learn that the distance across False Bay (33 kilometres from Rooiels to Miller’s Point) remains a rather daunting prospect for even the most primed marathon swimmers - it has eluded almost 90% of those who have tried - and has been attempted 20 times with only three successes.
The False Bay coast is a continuous collection of seaside villages and hamlets, their narrow avenues lined with quirky and quaint shops, hotels, restaurants and pubs. Implicit in the diversity is the promise of myriad picnic spots and lookout spots, particularly during the whale season when whales enter the bay to calve.
Some of the most popular of these in and around Cape Town include Muizenberg - popular amongst surfers and swimmers alike – Kalk Bay – a little character fishing village, with a vibrant day and night life – and Simon’s Town – the historical naval village. The wide stretches of beaches central to the bay - Monwabisi, Macassar and Mnandi - are favoured for fishing, whilst the villages of Rooiels, Hanglip and Pringle Bay all offer cosy getaways.
Destinations / Town & Suburbs of False Bay
Where to Stay: Accommodation in Castle Rock
Castle Rock is unsurprisingly one of the best dive sites in False Bay with an incredible fish life. You are almost guaranteed to spend most of the dive in the company of red roman fish and sight stump nose and hottentots ... castle rock information
Where to Stay: Accommodation in Fish Hoek
Frozen in time, Fish Hoek is one of the few villages in Cape Town that is little affected by the push for development that has altered most of the Cape’s coastline. Drive through the main road of Fish Hoek and shops still delight with original ... fish hoek information
Where to Stay: Accommodation in Marina da Gama
Reminiscent of a Greek village, with its white homes and perpetually blue days, Marina da Gama is built on the eastern banks and the waterways of the quiet Zandvlei Lake - an inland salt water lake, connected to the sea ... marina da gama information
Where to Stay: Accommodation in Muizenberg
This eclectic beach-side suburb is a colourful mix of history, architecture, fantastic beaches and culture. Set in the heart of the southern suburbs of Cape Town, Muizenberg lies up against the mountain of the same name ... muizenberg information
Where to Stay: Accommodation in Simons Town
Simon’s Town is one of the most delightful little villages in Cape Town. Situated about 40 km outside of the city, en route to the Cape Point Nature Reserve, this quaint town is the residence of the South African navy and steeped in ... simons town information
Where to Stay: Accommodation in St James
The little seaside village of St James lies just past Muizenberg en route to Kalk Bay, set against the mountain with incredible sea views and one of the prettiest little beaches. St James’ beach - of the colourful beach huts - also has a ... st james information
Featured and "Must See" Attractions in False Bay
Humpback and Byde's whales are commonly spotted away from the shore. You are more likely to see them out on one of the boat-based whale watching expeditions. But expert whale watchers say to look out for the three distinct notches on the dorsal fin that distinguishes the Bryde's whale ... more information
The east side of the peninsula - the False Bay coastline - is generally more laid back and not as frenetic as the Atlantic coastline, although in peak season these family oriented beaches can still become pretty busy. These beaches are favoured by locals who live in the southern suburbs of Cape Town who don’t ... more information
Part of the Table Mountain National Park that extends from Signal Hill in the north all the way to Cape Point in the south, the Cape of Good Hope is not the southern tip of Africa, despite lying at the south-west corner of the Cape Peninsula, just a little south of Cape Point on the south-east corner ... more information
Bartholomeu Dias, the Portuguese seafarer, was the first to sail around the Cape. This was in 1488. On his return voyage, which must have been particularly stormy, Dias stopped at the south-western tip of Africa, and named it Cabo Tormentoso, or Cape of Storms. King John of Portugal later gave it the name ... more information
Nestled in the pristine and tranquil Silvermine Valley close to Fish Hoek in Cape Town lies Clovelly Country Club. This relatively short layout, built among sand dunes, rewards accuracy off the tee and provides players with scenic views of the False Bay coastline. Known for its superb greens ... more information
It was only in 1998 that the new Cape Point Wine District was declared and the Cape Point Vineyards are still relatively new on the tourist itinerary. They were established in 1996 with the first vines on the Noordhoek wine estate, overlooking Noordhoek beach and the first Sauvignon Blanc vines were planted in ... more information
Boulders Beach, a National Park, is home to the ‘Jackass’ African Penguin. They occur in only 27 other sites, including Robben Island, and despite their large numbers at Boulder’s (some 3000), they are very much endangered. The site is made up of two interconnected beaches - Foxy Beach and Boulders Beach ... more information
False Bay Ecology Park, FBEP for short, lies in Cape Town and is 1200 hectares that includes Rondevlei Nature Reserve and Zeekoevlei Nature Reserves, a strip of the coast, the Cape Flats Waste Water Treatment Works, and the Coast Park landfill site. Aside from being a major green lung within the city, and ... more information
Everyone in Cape Town knows Red Hill up above Simon's Town. Actually, it begins its ascent just outside Simon's Town, but nonetheless, it is a popular and well known route, driven not least because of the grave of Nonsense, the famous Great Dane adopted as a navy mascot during WWII, lies just off the road, but also ... more information
Rondevlei Nature Reserve
One of the country’s oldest ornithological field stations, has some easy walks and fantastic bird hides that offers the bird lover hours of entertainment. Strandfontein’s Waste Water Treatment Works is yet another example of a significant wetland, supporting, for example, a greater bird life than St Lucia’s Estuary.
The park straddles the mountain, from the winding Ou Kaapse Weg (Old Cape Road) on the Tokai, Constantia and Westlake side of the mountain, over the peak of the mountain, and into Noordhoek, Sun Valley and Fishhoek, overlooking the ocean. Approaching the reserve from the City side of the ... more information
Against the amethyst slopes of the Silvermine mountains lies one of Cape Town's Premier Courses - Westlake. This easy to walk, 18 hole Par 72 golf course is characterised by the towering trees, which line many of its fairways. Westlake has a very interesting, yet user-friendly design and quite a few ... more information
It is not often that such a large nature reserve occurs amidst an area dense in residential suburbs. Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve, which borders Lakeside, Marina da Gama, Muizenberg and Steenberg is very much under threat from pollution, encroaching urbanisation and poaching ... more information
Featured Things To Do in False Bay