Camps Bay, South Africa is the premier tourist destination in Cape Town, South Africa. It is wonderfully located on the Atlantic Ocean, at the foot of the Twelve Apostles mountain range and adjacent to Table Mountain. Beautiful Camps Bay beckons you with its white sand beaches, dozens of hiking trails, and beachfront restaurants serving seafood and local wines, best enjoyed while watching the colorful sunset.
Camps Bay is situated just a 15-minute drive from the city center or V&A Waterfront. Cafés, bars and restaurants line the main road and it’s almost impossible not to be tempted to stop off for lunch or, since Camps Bay faces the Atlantic Ocean sunset, an early evening cocktail.
Yet despite the glitz and glamour, Camps Bay remains a casual, unhurried destination and is as suitable for families with children as much as it is for honeymooners or groups of friends. There’s a wide range of Camps Bay holiday accommodation for all tastes as well as local shops and easy access to Table Mountain and the rest of the Peninsula. You’ll enjoy beautiful ocean and sunset views too. Camps Bay’s hotels, private villas and guesthouses sit on the slopes of the Twelve Apostles mountain range looking over the beach. Camps Bay Beach South Africa is rated as one of the top 25 beaches in the world, and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cape Town.
Weather (When to Go)
The best times to visit Camps Bay are from March to May and from September to November. These seasons boast great weather, fewer crowds, and lower prices. When planning your trip, it’s important to note that the seasons here are reversed: South Africa’s summer corresponds with America’s winter, and vice versa. Camps Bay summer is the most popular (and most expensive) time to visit. Hotels and attractions are usually overflowing with travelers. Meanwhile, it clears out between June and August when chilly weather and frequent rainfall puts a damper on tourist activities.
Getting to Camps Bay
Getting to South Africa is pretty simple with the large quantity of international daily flights and direct connections to Johannesburg and Cape Town. There are a number o airlines flying daily into South Africa’s international airports from all the corners of the globe. While some countries offer direct flights to Cape Town International, most fly to O.R. Tambo (Johannesburg) International. From there, a quick two hour flight takes you to Cape Town.
Travel to South Africa for vacation is straightforward and hassle-free. All visitors to South Africa must be in possession of a valid passport, but for many countries, visas are not required up to a maximum number of days. For the latest visa requirements, contact your nearest South African embassy or mission.
Safety & Security
While crime is a certainly problem, the vast majority of it occurs in South Africa’s poor townships, which are seldom frequented by tourists. It is true that visitors to South Africa face risks that those to the Caribbean or Europe might be less likely to encounter, but with the proper precautions, your trip to the beautiful country of South Africa will be safe and enjoyable. The South African authorities give high priority to protecting tourists and tourism police are deployed in several large towns. The risk of crime increases in urban areas across South Africa, particularly in central business districts in major cities, and townships on the outskirts of major cities. A higher state of awareness is required if travelling through these areas. Most cases of violent crime and murder tend to occur in townships remote and isolated areas. Consult a reliable tour guide if you visit a township.
Getting Around Camps Bay
You’ll get the most out of your trip if you have your own set of wheels. Because public trains and buses are unreliable and usually stop running fairly early in the evening, renting a car will allow for exploration without worrying about getting stranded across town. However, you will need to invest in a detailed road map as signs can be incredibly confusing, with many roads having more than one name or being labeled in more than one language. You’ll also have to keep some spare cash on hand to pay for parking and to tip parking attendants. You can rent a car at the Cape Town International Airport (CPT) or from one of the many agencies located downtown. If you’re looking to save money, opt for a daily mileage limit, which is usually too high for most travelers to exceed. U.S. driver’s licenses are accepted in South Africa.
Cape Town’s commuter rail system offers service from the city center to many of the outlying suburbs and the nearby wine districts. Trains run every day starting around 6 a.m., with the last train operating at 8 or 9 p.m., depending on the route. Fares depend on the distance traveled, and tickets can be purchased at Metrorail stations. Note: Beware of fraudulent ticket-sellers, who often pass off used tickets to unsuspecting travelers. You should only purchase tickets from the designated machines.
The Golden Arrow Bus is by far the cheapest way to get around, providing transportation for as little as 5 to 10 ZAR ($0.60 to $1.30 USD) depending on your destination. But you’ll end up paying in frustration. Buses operate on a timetable, but they’re often late. Plus, route maps are only available in major depots, which makes navigating fairly difficult. If you do decide to ride the bus, make sure to keep an eye on your belongings; pick-pocketing is a frequent occurrence.
For short distances, consider taking a combi, which are minibuses that offer speedy and affordable service along many of the city’s main streets. Unlike the buses, combis do not have set schedules or stops, making them somewhat difficult to track down; a small gathering on the side of the road usually indicates a pick-up point. Combi rides usually cost between 5 and 20 ZAR ($0.60 to $2.50 USD).
Taxis are an extremely efficient means of navigating, but their convenience will cost you. Rates are about 10 to 11 ZAR per kilometer (roughly $1.50 USD per mile) depending on the cab company. Also, don’t expect to hail a cab directly from the street. Because most people have their own cars, finding a cab in a pinch can be difficult; it’s best to call ahead. For information on reliable taxi companies, ask your hotel concierge.
To save money, opt for a Rikki over a regular taxi. These London-style black cabs offer 24-hour door-to-door service for a fraction of the cost. The reason they’re so cheap: Rikkis often pick up additional passengers en route. This fare-sharing means that passengers can go just about anywhere for around 20 to 25 ZAR (roughly $2 to $3 USD). You will need to schedule a pick-up in advance.
Undoubtedly South Africa’s most famous landmark, Table Mountain (1067 meters above sea level) offers outstanding views of the City of Cape Town. It takes 4 to 5 minutes to reach the summit by cable car. Adventurous travelers can hike to the summit along one of the mountains numerous trails, although the region’s fickle weather can turn an on-foot excursion into an unpleasant, muddy walk. Unlike other areas of the park, you do not have to pay a conservation fee to access Table Mountain. However, a ride on the Aerial Cableway will cost you 92 ZAR (around $12 USD) each way or 175 ZAR ($22.50 USD) round-trip. The cable cars run every day starting at 8 or 8:30 a.m., but closing times vary depending on the season.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site has acted as a military base, a home for a leper colony, a mental institution, and, most famously, a prison. It was on this fairly desolate land mass that Nelson Mandela, militant anti-apartheid activist and former president of South Africa, was held captive. Today, Robben Island houses a fascinating museum detailing the history of the island and offering tours led by former inmates of the former prison, including Mandela’s cell. The guides convey first-hand accounts of what the island used to be like.
On False Bay, this stunning beach earned its name from the massive boulders that lay scattered across the sands and separate the shoreline into peaceful, private coves. Swimming here is more inviting than it is at Clifton or Camps Bay: The waters of False Bay are enviably warmer than the Atlantic’s waves. But as great as the scenery and swimming may be, the main reason to visit Boulders Beach is to get to know the locals: This beach is home to an ever-expanding colony of African Penguins. You’ll see these tuxedoed sunbathers teetering around the sand. Although they have grown accustomed to human company, please do your best not to disturb them.
Located just a short walk from the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Greenmarket Square is one of South Africa’s oldest public squares. Originally a slave market, this cobblestone plaza now fills with local vendors selling everything from painted fabrics to hand-crafted trinkets. While you’re perusing the merchandise, various “buskers” will keep you entertained with music, dance, and even mime. Just be prepared: Greenmarket’s merchants are extremely friendly, but they can also be aggressive when it comes to selling their wares. If you’re not interested, do not approach the stall or say a polite but firm “No, thank you.”
The Victoria & Alfred (V&A) Waterfront buzzes with activity at all hours of the day. This bustling harbor—built in the late 19th century by Queen Victoria’s second son, Alfred—has acted as the stopover point for European ships for centuries. Today, the waterfront caters to tourists and residents alike, boasting beautiful views of Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean, a wide array of shopping venues, restaurants, and notable attractions, like the Two Oceans Aquarium. When the sun sets, the V&A Waterfront comes alive with music flowing out over the ships as steadily as cocktails are poured into glasses at the neighborhood’s many bars.
Things To Do
Skaris Touring specializes in private tours in the Western Cape and operates out of Camps Bay.Harley Davidson day tours, Harley Davidson Chauffeur rides, Jeep Chauffeur rides for large groups, Shark Cage diving, helicopter flips & Private day tours in my Mercedes Vito . For more information call +27 82 659 0316, or visit them on the web at Skaris Touring.
They offer day tours in and around Cape Town and the Cape Winelands, and made-for-you, personalized longer tours and safaris for discerning guests seeking to explore Africa. Their safari experts will build your tailor-made itinerary, saving you time & money! They work with only the best suppliers across South Africa, Southern Africa and East Africa to create tours and experiences that surpass guests’ expectations – every time. For more information call 1-888-854-3008, or visit them on the web at African Safari Group.
Jump on a Monster Downhill Scooter and Free Wheel from Table Mountain into the City Below! Scootours offer a Unique way to Experience Cape Town’s Table Mountain and it’s breath taking views in a fun and active way. For more information call +27 82 776 0557, or visit them on the web at Scootours.
Explore Sideways is the premiere luxury provider of wine experiences in the Western Cape. They specialize in highly curated, private tours, offering intimate access to the most amazing wines and estates Wineries know and love us which means they offer tastings and experiences exclusively for Sideways guests. All tastings and activities less lunch are included in the cost and are pre-arranged to perfection. For more information call +27 79 607 1978, or visit them on the web at Explore Sideways.
Cape Towns own 2.3Km Zipline tour is one of Africa’s longest and Highest tours based in the Mother City. They also have adventures in and around Cape Town from Sand boarding, Quad biking (ATV) White Water Rafting, Tubing. They believe in a personal touch and professional service. For more information call +27 21 795 0225, or visit them on the web at SA Forest Adventures.
Best Restaurants & Taverns
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$$ – $$$ The Hussar Grill
The Hussar Grill is famous for offering its customers an award winning experience built on excellent customer service, great food and smooth drinks since 1964. Now regarded as one of South Africa’s premier grill rooms, Hussar’s only serves the best, Class-A, grain-fed beef and game. To ensure you choose the meat that will be perfect for you, the grill even offers a ‘viewing session’ of your meat before you eat; their meat board displays the raw meat cuts while the knowledgeable staff explain how the process of preparation differs for each cut of meat. The house specialty is the Hussar Carpetbagger which is a dish combining stuffed fillet mignon with a combination of smoked oysters, Cheddar cheese and topped off with a brandy and wholegrain mustard sauce. For more information call +27 21 438 0151, or visit them on the web at The Hussar Grill.
$$ – $$$ Paranga
Eye level with the beach, Paranga offers amazing seaside views whether you sit outside in range of the ocean spray or in the cozy, intimate interior. With an enormous variety of food, all with a distinctly Capetonian feel, customers can choose from salad, sushi, seafood or selected meats. A particular favorite from the seafood section is the delectable grilled Kingklip with warm tartar and tomato sauce, fresh peas, diced potato, gem lettuce, boiled egg, fresh herbs and capers in lemon cream. For more information call +27 21 438 0404, or visit them on the web at Paranga.
$$ – $$$ Blues Restaurant & Bar
A landmark in the ultra-chic Camps Bay, Blues Restaurant & Bar serves some excellent Mediterranean cuisine in a restaurant with equally exceptional decor. The unique interior allows guests to feel as if they are stretched out on the beach as opposed to seated in a bar right next to it. From its opening in 1987 the restaurant and bar has hosted a number of TV celebrities, musicians, sports stars and politicians. However, with an energetic, informed and wonderfully friendly service at your beck and call, everyone feels like royalty here. For more information call +27 21 438 2040, or visit them on the web at Blues Restaurant & Bar.
$$ – $$$ Codfather Seafood & Sushi
With wood panelling and racks of wine on classically dusty shelves, the Codfather is a warm and open space with a roaring fire as its centerpiece and a sushi belt adorning one side. The menu is full of fresh and perfectly prepared seafood, making the restaurant a seafood lover’s dream. For more information call +27 21 438 0782, or visit them on the web at Codfather Seafood & Sushi.
$$$$ Azure Restaurant
Overlooking the sparkling Atlantic Ocean between Table Mountain National Park and the iconic mountain range of the Twelve Apostles, Azure is a multiple award-winning restaurant forming part of the 12 Apostles Hotel and Spa. With a menu that includes meat, seafood and vegetarian dishes, Azure restaurant brings to the table the best of African cuisine including the world renowned Cape Malay Curry which is an authentic Cape curry combining chicken and prawns in a sauce that is slightly sweet but also ferociously spicy. For more information call +27 21 437 9255, or visit them on the web at Azure Restaurant.
This long-standing, local hangout is the laidback, grounded member of the Camps Bay family. Set back from the beach and committed to shunning the tourist trade, the come-as-you-are pub is open all year round and welcomes casual types for incredible pizza specials, great drinks deals, vibey live music and a little bit of boogie on select nights. Aspiring singers with a little talent and a whole lot of Dutch courage can take to the mic on Tuesday karaoke nights, and Thursday nights pay homage to students on a budget – think R10 Black Label and Castle droughts. For more information call +27 21 438 2686, or visit them on the web at Dizzy’s.
Something of an institution in Cape Town, this ideally situated promenade café is the place to eat, drink and play in Camps Bay. Long associated with the trendy crowd, Café Caprice boasts well-stocked bars that keep thirsts quenched well into the evening with premium liquor and colorful cocktails made with fresh fruit and innovative infusions. Alongside drinks, the venue also dishes up a range of café-style eats, salads, platters and burgers, so guests can mix their tipple with some tuck. What’s more, a host of different DJs man the decks on weekend nights, playing a mix of house, lounge and commercial beats. For more information call +27 21 438 8315, or visit them on the web at Cafe Caprice.
Launched in February 2017, The District is one of the hottest spots in the city to party at. This Harrington Street haunt has become one of the premier spaces for events and live music. Managed by events management company, The Firm Cape Town, the venue has a large space which caters to a variety of music events, so you can expect a wide range of music from electronic, hip hop and live acts. For more information call +27 21 461 2276, or visit them on the web at The District.
The 31st floor of Cape Town’s iconic Absa Building is home to this chic nightclub. Cocoon is all about glamour – here sipping on delicious cocktails while enjoying breathtaking views of the city is simply the way they roll. Besides the spectacular lookout, Cocoon Cape Town’s interior is a melting pot of enchantment featuring chandeliers, glass casings, lavish lounge seating and state-of-the-art contemporary finishes throughout. Expect a selection of music genres like hip-hop, house and electronic dance music in a sophisticated setting. For more information call +27 21 421 0581, or visit them on the web at Cocoon Cape Town.
Stellar eatery by day and exquisite dance venue by night, Shimmy Beach Club is one of the most well-known entertainment spots in Cape Town. On summer nights, it’s hard to rival the atmosphere of a Shimmy Beach Club party as DJs spin their beats. Shimmy brings the beachfront to the dance floor! With two bars, an infinity pool, and private seating areas for VVIPs, there’s a little bit of magic to be found everywhere. Have a blast on the beach, lounge in the lap of luxury, or party until the sun comes up. For more information call +27 21 200 7778, or visit them on the web at Shimmy Beach Club.
A cocoon-like ambiance envelops guests in a warm embrace of tranquility and luxury. Whether it’s for business or pleasure, a weekend breakaway or a longer stay, we are completely in tune with the needs of our guests. At POD, they believe in striking the perfect balance between relaxation and refinement. The luxury and privacy offered at POD is unrivaled. The intimate nature of their boutique hotel means that they are dedicated to making your stay with them nothing short of remarkable. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit POD Camps Bay.
South Beach, a boutique hotel situated in Camps Bay, offers award winning 5-star luxury accommodation and is situated less than 50m to the world famous Camps Bay beach front and the internationally recognized Blue Flag beach. With its Miami inspired look and feel, South Beach offers the perfect blend of self-catering accommodation in a hotel, allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds. There is a private gym, a guest laundry, complimentary bicycles and many other services and facilities. Serviced daily, all suites include a fully equipped kitchen, mini bar and coffee machine. Your refrigerator is stocked daily with a selection of breakfast items whilst freshly baked croissants and baguettes are delivered to your door allowing you to uniquely enjoy breakfast in the privacy of your own suite. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit South Beach Camps Bay.
This property is a 6-minute walk from the beach. Boasting 2 solar heated infinity pools, the 5-star Atlanticview Cape Town Boutique Hotel is conveniently located nearby beaches, restaurants and local tourist attractions. It offers a fitness center, massage and steam rooms and an in-house luxury car service. Luxurious, air-conditioned rooms and suites at Atlanticview feature a furnished terrace with views of the sea and mountains. Each is complete with satellite flat-screen TV, a minibar, and a private bathroom with bathrobes and complimentary toiletries. Free WiFi is available throughout. Guests of this Cape Town Boutique Hotel can enjoy complimentary welcome refreshments, breakfasts and an excellent selection of wines and homemade canapés every evening at sunset. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit Atlanticview Cape Town Boutique Hotel.
The Glen Boutique Hotel & Spa offers luxurious rooms and free Wi-Fi. The hotel features an outdoor pool with sun loungers and spa facilities. This hotel offers stylish rooms with modern furniture and a satellite TV. All rooms have private bathrooms equipped with double volume showers. Some rooms overlook the pool or have a balcony with views of the mountains or the Atlantic Ocean. The Glen Boutique Hotel & Spa also offers apartment accommodations located within 1,150 feet of the hotel and guests of these apartments have access to the hotel facilities. Guests can enjoy continental or full English breakfast, and an á la carte menu for round-the-clock informal dining. They can dine at the terrace overlooking the swimming pool or at the restaurant. A good selection of fresh juices, teas and coffee’s is available throughout the day. The hotel’s spa offers a spacious steam room, a traditional Swedish sauna, and a hot tub. In-room massages are also available. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit The Glen Boutique Hotel & Spa.
The Marly, an 11-suite, five-star boutique hotel in Camps Bay, Cape Town, takes its name from Chateau de Marly, built in the 17th Century for the leisure activities of Louis XIV and his family, says it all. It’s a real five-star showpiece with a contemporary beach ambiance. Elaborate mirrors of varying shapes and sizes reflect the uninterrupted ocean and mountain views. It is Camps Bay luxury accommodation at its finest. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit The Marly.