Hotels in and around the Camps Bay suburb
The exclusive suburb of Camps Bay in Cape Town, South Africa, is a destination in its own right. Its palm tree-lined beaches, white sand and abundance of eateries, shops and boutiques set it apart somewhat. In addition to its abundance of things to do and see, Camps Bay is less than 10km from Cape Town’s city centre, Table Mountain and the cable car, the international convention centre and the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront. Despite its cosmopolitan residents, Camps Bay maintains somewhat of a ‘small town’ ambience.
Camps Bay is situated right at the foot, and up the slopes, of the Twelve Apostles mountain range, adjacent to the impressive Table Mountain. Such close proximity to many world-acclaimed tourist attractions and an unrivalled beauty tends to lure visitors back to this exclusive hotspot year after year.
The Khoi and San were the first residents of the gorgeous Camps Bay. The forested mountains (which now accommodate mansions and estates) were home to wild animals, including lions and leopards, as well as many of the local tribes. However, smallpox and measles wiped the Khoi community of Camps Bay out. The name of this suburb comes from a wily sailor, who managed to marry into money and gain much wealth and esteem in the area. When Anna Koekemoer’s husband (Johan Wernich) died in 1778, he left her with all of the land his father had left to him. The sailor, Frederik Ernst Von Kamptz, married Anna and the area became known as “Die Baai van von Kamptz” or “The Bay of von Kamptz”. Most of the 1800’s saw Camps Bay being used as Lord Charles Somerset’s personal hunting grounds. Kloof Road, which is a major thoroughfare today, was constructed in 1848 and the road between Sea Point and Camps Bay (Victoria Road) was built by Sir Thomas Bain in 1888. At the turn of the century, more and more people began to recognise Camps Bay for its beauty and holiday appeal. Picnic sites, tidal pools and other activities began to be established in this area, some of which remain to this day.
Camps Bay is only 7km from the CBD of Cape Town and 28km from the international airport. As such, it is central and convenient for visitors wishing to explore some of the Cape’s finest tourist attractions and natural beauties without having to travel excessive distances. Stunning beaches define the suburb, and are a matter of a few minutes’ walk from most of the guesthouses and hotels in the area.
From the city bowl, a cab or taxi is required to reach Camps Bay, if visitors do not have their own or hired transport. It is not recommended that you use the minibus taxis in South Africa, particularly if you are 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.
Camps Bay enjoys prime positioning. Table Mountain and the cableway are minutes away, and promise travellers a most rewarding trip up the famous flat-topped berg, only to be finished with spectacular views of the entire city and its surrounds.
The Victoria & Alfred Waterfront is another must-see as it is jam-packed with restaurants, galleries, shops, boutiques, salons and entertainment options. It is also from here that ferries depart daily to transport visitors to former-President Nelson Mandela’s prison cell on Robben Island. This cell and the museum that has been constructed around it are fascinating glimpses into the complex history that has formed South Africa.
Camps Bay alone boasts over 20 restaurants, ranging from world-acclaimed establishments to convenient family takeaway outlets. Together with its many accommodation options, this creates the perfect base from which to explore South Africa.
The Western Cape and South Africa have achieved much esteem in the winemaking industry. Tourists are urged to visit the winelands within Cape Town (Constantia, for example) as well as those in Somerset West, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl. Not only do these farms promise stunning scenery, but also tastes of a few of the world’s finest reds, whites, champagnes, ports, Grappas, sherries and rosés.
An hour’s drive will take visitors to Cape Point, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet in a dramatic rocky tip. The nature reserve offers gorgeous flora and fauna, and the luxurious restaurant at the tip of Africa is impressive in its cuisine, service and awe-inspiring views.
Summer in South Africa is between December and March, winter from June to August. Winters in Cape Town are rather cold and wet, with days starting at about 10 to 13 degrees Celsius and warming up to around 18. Summers are hot, and boast temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius at noon. Summer evenings drop to a pleasant 19 or 20 degrees, perfect for sundowners along the Camps Bay coastline. The seawater in the Camps Bay is chilly, and wetsuits may be required. Camps Bay enjoys the crisp sea air blowing off the water.
The Western Cape and Cape Town are not malaria-affected areas. However, visitors that are planning to visit the northern provinces of South Africa and / or surrounding countries are advised to take precautions against contracting malaria. Insect repellent and sunscreen are necessities in South Africa, 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.