Explore quirky, quaint & cool Kalk Bay in South Africa
The Dutch East India Company (DEIC) realised the importance of False Bay as a winter anchorage during May 1737 when 8 ships sank during a storm in Table Bay. Simon’s Town was therefore established in 1742. The road from Cape Town was however only in a reasonable state as far as Kalk Bay for the ox-wagons to deliver the goods required by the ships and the residents of Kalk Bay. Temporary warehouses were constructed at Kalk Bay and the goods were offloaded, stored and transported across the bay to Simon’s Town by barges. The return of the empty ox-wagons to Cape Town proved to be uneconomical and the DEIC encouraged the free burghers to establish lime-kilns at Kalk (lime) Bay, from which Kalk Bay obtained its name. It is currently regarded as one of the coolest destinations in the world!
(History: Kalk Bay Historical Association - please click on the link for more fascinating history of Kalk Bay)
Here are our 14 favourite experiences in Kalk Bay (in no particular order, they are all memorable!):
1. Swim in a tidal pool next to the ocean
Take your pick from any of these 3 beautiful tidal pools for your refreshing dip:
Brass Bell tidal pool
Dalebrook tidal pool
Woolley's tidal pool
2. Time for a delicious breakfast
After your delightful dip, it is time to relax even more and enjoy a delicious breakfast at the Kalk Bay institution, Olympia Cafe & Deli, or Dalebrook Cafe (right opposite Dalebrook tidal pool). Alternatively, buy a designer coffee & warm bacon & egg roll from Olympia, stroll across the road and enjoy it in the harbour whilst watching the beautiful views.
3. Explore the working harbour
The railway line was extended from Kalk Bay to Simonstown in 1889 and the fishermen could no longer drag their boats up the shore to avoid the winter storms. After many petitions, the Government finally decided to proceed with the construction of a breakwater to protect the fishing boats and the first stone was laid in 1913. Buy the freshest fish in Cape Town or just enjoy the magnificent views - watch our for the seals, they are not pets!
4. Browse & shop until you drop
You will struggle to find a greater variety of interesting shops with beautiful wares packed into the Main Road of just 500 metres anywhere in the world - do not miss a number of them that are situated in the side-streets and alleys just off the Main Road!
5. Visit Kalk Bay Park
Kalk Bay Park is situated just off the Main Road and well worth a visit for a delicious breakfast at Bob’ s Bagel Cafe and/or to buy stunning ceramics next door.
6. Mingle with the locals at the Kalk Bay Village Market
On Saturday & Sunday, pop in at the Kalk Bay Village Market whilst you are browsing your way down the Main Road.
7. Be educated at the Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Education Centre
The SOSF Shark Education Centre is an attraction not to be missed. It boasts a carefully selected collection of state-of-the-art exhibits that ensures that children and adults are able to learn through play and exploration, with each of their different senses engaged. This facilitates a truly immersive and stimulating educational experience while they are having fun.
8. Time for fresh seafood right next to the ocean
After a busy morning or afternoon of strolling, browsing and shopping it’s time for lunch or dinner - Kalk Bay is home to a number of excellent restaurants and you can take your pick from local, Italian, Portuguese, Cuban, Indian and more. For the freshest seafood around, you cannot eat much closer to the sea than Harbour House, Live Bait, Lucky Fish or other Kalk Bay institutions, Kalky’s in the harbour or Brass Bell behind the station - any closer and you will get wet (a number of these restaurants have occassionally been damaged by waves during severe winter storms!)
9. Enjoy some cocktails & live music at Cape to Cuba
Cape to Cuba is renowned for its legendary cocktails and views & on Sunday afternoons you can usually also tap your feet (and anything else!) to live music from famous South African musicians and bands.
10. Go fishing on the Lexi
Leave the harbour at 6:00 for the experience of a lifetime - bring your own food & beverages, they supply the line & bait and you take home what you catch at just R450 per person!
11. Go surfing or bodyboarding
Once you have honed your skills at nearby Muizenberg, head off to Kalk Bay for more advanced surfing/bodyboarding
12. Walk from Kalk Bay to Muizenberg via the Main Road & the Historical Route/St James Coastal Path
Follow the main road until you reach the stunning St James beach - then either continue along the historical route or the St James coastal path to Muizenberg.
13. View Kalk Bay from Boyes Drive
Head up to Boyes Drive to view Kalk Bay from above. If you are feeling energetic you can walk all the way to Muizenberg.
14. Experience nature & magnificent views on the Echo Valley hike
Park your car in Boyes Drive above Kalk Bay and head up the mountain for a 4.8 km moderate hike with glorious views of False Bay & much more!
WHEN TO GO: Kalk Bay is truly a year round-destination - each season has its own unique beauty. If you want to avoid traffic / crowds - explore Kalk Bay on any weekday, over weekends it is a hive of activity!
HOW TO GET THERE: Drive / Uber. We have not personally used the train lately & would appreciate your comments!
(ALL IMAGES EXCEPT BREAKFAST & VILLAGE MARKET - S MOUTON/TWISHT)