Hotels in and around the Bloubergstrand suburb
Cape Town's suburb of Bloubergstrand (“blue mountain beach”) is situated along the stunning Western Cape coastline of South Africa. Although populated with local residents, Bloubergstrand remains popular amongst local and international visitors alike as it offers an idyllic coastal retreat with the convenience of close proximity to Cape Town's city centre (about 25km away). Blaauwberg is a mountain close by, and it is from here that the strand got its name.
The waters here are good for fishing, and fisherman can frequently be seen pulling their nets in with an impressive catch. Tourists and locals delight in the fresh mullet, ideally enjoyed on the fire with a glass of white Cape wine. The fishing industry permeates much of Bloubergstrand's homes, streets and décor, even today.
The Battle of Blaauwberg was fought on the shores of Bloubergstrand in 1806. This was the battle that secured British rule of the entire country. However, it was before this that the Goringhaikonas were recorded as residents on Bloubergstrand. This people was led by the famous “Harry die Strandloper”, or Harry the Beach-walker.
Although the Cape belonged to the French in the early 1800's, the English wanted control because of the important sea routes. The first ship despatched by the British arrived in December 1805 and began attacks on arrival. The significant battle that took place in January of 1806 was headed by Baird on the British side and Janssens on the French side. Baird's fleet arrived at Melkbosstrand and Janssens' responded by moving his troops forward towards the beach, with the intention of not allowing them beyond the shores until he could get backup. Janssens' 2049 troops were dangerously outweighed by Baird's 5399 and they both lost hundreds of soldiers in this battle. Eventually, the British went on to gain victory over Cape, a political state that lasted until 1910.
Bloubergstrand is situated 25km from the city centre of Cape Town in South Africa's Western Province. As such, it is easily accessed by road or air. From the city bowl, a cab or taxi is required to reach the strand, if visitors do not have their own transport. This drive takes approximately 20 minutes, depending on traffic. It is not wise to use the minibus taxis in South Africa, particularly if one is not au fait with the local languages and customs.
Cape Town International Airport is undergoing massive renovations in preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. As such, it is equipped to deal with an even larger number of flights from all over the world, making access easier and less costly. Alternatively, visitors that are coming from other areas in South Africa will enjoy the scenic routes and safe roads into Cape Town.
Bloubergstrand is popular for its idyllic water sports suitability. Summer winds and high temperatures make for the perfect surfing, kite-surfing, sailing, swimming, snorkelling and SCUBA diving conditions.
Whale- and dolphin-watchers are well rewarded during spring, as these mammals, including Southern Right Whales, Killer Whales and Humpback Dolphins, impress onlookers with their antics and natural rituals. Fishing licences are required for certain fish that populate these waters, so anglers and fishermen are advised to investigate these requirements.
Cape Town itself offers many things to do and see for visitors. The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is a great attraction, and is the site of the Two Oceans Aquarium, as well as many arts and crafts stalls, exclusive hotels, and stunning restaurants that specialise in food from all over the world. It is also the launching point of the ferries that take thousands of visitors to Robben Island, the place of former-President Nelson Mandela's incarceration, each year. The Western Cape is renowned for its world-class wines, and the wine farms that are nestled within the mountainous areas of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl are particularly beautiful. In addition, Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Hout Bay and the gorgeous Clifton Beaches are sure to keep the entire family occupied.
South African summers are between December and March. Winter is from June to August. Winters in Cape Town and Bloubergstrand are chilly and wet, and range from about 13 to 18 degrees Celsius during the course of an average day. Summer is hot as temperatures escalate to over 30 degrees Celsius at noon. Summer evenings drop to a pleasant 19 or 20 degrees. The seawater in the Western Cape is chilly, and wetsuits may be required. Bloubergstrand is susceptible to the chill factor as the air blows directly off the water.
The Western Cape is not a malaria-affected area. However, many tourists visiting Cape Town will also be visiting the northern areas of the country as well as game parks. These visitors are advised to take precautions against contracting malaria. Insect repellent and sunscreen are necessities in Bloubergstrand (as with the rest of the country), regardless of the time of year. Visitors are reminded to bring their prescriptions for spectacles and medication so that they can restock at a local pharmacy without having to consult with a doctor. It is wise to ensure that tetanus shots are up-to-date as some areas are fraught with litter, including broken glass, cans and metal.