Cape Town is experiencing a heatwave at the moment and for those people who are not working and don't have a swimming pool at home the beaches are the best option.
In my previous article I wrote about the blue flag beaches in and around the city but today I am going to highlight some of the other beautiful beaches around the Cape Peninsula.
Muizenberg corner with all its learner surfers
Muizenberg corner is a well known beach which is known for its waves for surfers to learn to surf on. When I visited this beach this week it was hot and being a week day I was surprised at the numbers of people on the beach and especially the numbers who were learning to surf
During the apartheid era Muizenberg beach was reserved for white people and any other race group had to use beaches such as Strandfontein and Mnandi or Kalk Bay if they wanted to swim in the sea.
Being reliant on the trains to get to a beach the only beach that people of colour were allowed to use was the small beach in the Kalk Bay harbour. On their train trip to Kalk Bay the trains passed Muizenberg beach and the St James swimming pool before arriving at Kalk Bay station and the crowds of people using the facilities there. I can only surmise what they were thinking as they passed the near empty beaches they were not allowed to use. Today however all that has changed and Muizenberg and all the other beaches mentioned in this article are open to anyone who wants to swim at them.
Muizenberg station is just a stones throw away from the Muizenberg beach as is the St James pool from the St James railway station.
Tidal pool at St James
St James beach is different from the others along the False Bay coastline. It is very rocky and has a tidal swimming pool which is filled by waves breaking over its walls at high tide. The pool itself is also very rocky so diving into the water is not an option but if you need to cool down it is ideal.
Beach huts at St James
Another unique feature of St James beach is the colourful beach huts lined up along the high water mark.. In the old days they were owned by the public but these days seem to be owned and controlled by the Cape Town City Council.
Inside of a beach hut
People who need to change into their bathing costumes can slip into a hut and change before taking a swim in the pool or lying tanning on the beach. The water on this coastline is normally quite warm.
Kalk Bay harbour beach seen from the harbour wall
The next beach we visited on our drive around the Peninsula was the small beach at the Kalk Bay Harbour. The beach was deserted probably because it was a work day.
Kalk Bay beach
In days gone by Kalk Bay was set aside for the use of people of colour and being close to the railway station was the only one they could use that they could reach by train. Consequently the beach was overcrowded over weekends and public holidays.
Long Beach Kommetjie
From Kalk Bay we travelled across the Peninsula to Kommetjie on the Atlantic coastline. Kommetjie has one of the most fantastic beaches you can find on the coastline of the Cape Peninsula. Long Beach is the main beach and runs all the way from Chapman's Peak to Kommetjie a distance of about 10 kilometres. During the whale season whales frolic in the bay but when summer comes the waves along this beach come into their own and the south east winds blow.
Chapman's Peak as seen from Long Beach Kommetjie
Long Beach is a surfers dream . It has long white pristine beaches, very few rocks and when the south east wind blows excellent waves. The locals use this beach to exercise their dogs and very rarely swim in the water as it is usually freezing cold. Because of the large kelp beds in the vicinity the beach after a storm is normally covered with dead and rotting kelp. The rotting kelp gives Kommetjie a unique smell when the wind changes to the north and blows the smell inland.
Long Beach with Hout Bay in the background
Another unique feature of Kommetjie's Long Beach is its beautiful view of Chapman's Peak across the bay. Many people have seen its potential and have bought property along the beach to capture the view.
If you have not yet visited these beaches its time you did as all Cape Town's beaches are special.