Western Cape DestinationsMatroosfontein, Northern Suburbs
Matroosfontein is a residential area that, while outside the city centre, is part of the Mother City and home to many of its locals. It is extremely close to the Cape Town International Airport (less than about four kilometres, in fact) and is fewer than 20 kilometres from the City Bowl. This makes it a convenient spot in which to live and to visit during your time in the beautiful Western Cape.
Matroosfontein is close to well-known suburbs like Bonteheuwel, Elsie’s River, Goodwood, Athlone, Belhar and Parow Industrial. In addition, it is neighbour to the informal settlement of Gugulethu, which is one of the original townships that was created during the Apartheid regime, when non-white folk were forcibly removed from the town’s hub and sent to the outlying, completely undeveloped, regions. Gugulethu is one of the prime destinations for formal township tours, which is a fabulous way of getting to know the history and culture of the local people, as well as the struggle of the South African people of yesteryear.
Many of the other surrounding suburbs share a similarly deep, poignant history, and are fascinating to explore and discover. These were, originally, home to larger segments of the coloured community and they showcase the food, music, beliefs and faces of these folk. However, Matroosfontein and its neighbours are now home to a full spectrum of the South African population.
Within only a short drive from Matroosfontein is the city centre of Cape Town. This includes the City Bowl, which is brimming with restaurants, markets, curio shops, antique stores, pavement cafés, cocktail bars and speciality boutiques. The main streets are also flanked by night clubs for the young and young-at-heart to party the night away. The V & A Waterfront is also within about 15 kilometres of Matroosfontein. This is one of the city’s most popular tourist hotspots and is a shopper’s delight. It is also the place to be for culinary pros, and is the home of the Robben Island Museum. Ferry tours to Robben Island are based at the Waterfront too.
Table Mountain has recently been made one of the Natural Wonders of the World and remains the icon for the Western Cape across the globe. This flat-topped mountain provides amazing views of the city and Indian Ocean from the top, which can be reached via the modern rotating cable car, or one of the many hiking trails.
On the other side of Matroosfontein are the winelands of Stellenbosch, Paarl, Pniel, Somerset West and Franschhoek. Tours of the many different farms allow visitors to taste the wines, learn their history and be part of the wine-making process.
Matroosfontein is just one more of the areas that define the character and charm of Cape Town and South Africa, and offers locals and visitors alike the opportunity to be part of this unique place.