Things to do in Simon’s Town


If you are after something a little different on your Cape Town holiday then why not take a trip to the nearby location of Simon’s Town, which is as well famed for its ghosts as it is its ancient history.

The Simon’s Town Museum may house many artifacts of life in Simon’s Town throughout the ages, but the building has more than enough history of its own. In the past, it has been used as a school, post office, jail and magistrates court amongst others.

On your Cape Town holiday make sure that you take a photograph of the oil painting in the Old Residency which when photographed always fails to develop. If the very idea of this frightens you, then you may not want to visit the basement of the museum during your tailor-made holiday to Cape Town. The basement used to be the old punishment cell where slaves and prisoners were dealt with. Even today whiplash marks can still be spotted on the ceiling, and it is said that if you walk the museum at night, then you can hear the echoes of their cries.

If you want a break from the horrors and the hauntings of Simon’s Town, then there are many different activities that you can enjoy in this region. Whale watching trips are exceptionally popular with tourists on their Cape Town holidays, and the nearby Boulder’s Beach is also the best place to spot penguins, with over 2500 birds.Take a respite from Simon’s Town and visit Boulders Beach, home to one of the world’s penguin breeding colonies or play nine holes and have lunch. The trip from Cape Town to Simon’s Town is stretched with fascinating landscapes and at the right time of the year a glimpse of the Southern Right whales visits.

As a seaside resort, Simon’s Town offers some of the excellent leisure services in the region. But one house that you probably won’t want to spend the night at is the Admiralty House which has been standing from 1740. The house was famously visited by Rudyard Kipling who noted that the then Admiral kept turtles bound up to the dock so as they could swim nearby the sea till the soup constituents were available for them.

The Royal family have since visited the house, and various members of aristocracy reported the rare instances that had happened to them while visiting the house on their Cape Town holidays. Lady Campbell spotted men in the naval outfit on the stairs, while the wife of a Vice-admiral reported an invisible man opening a doorway for her. The same woman in gray is regularly seen at Admiralty House, Ibeka and The Residency and these three buildings are said to be linked together by a network of tunnels.

With a prominent naval history, Simon’s Town is home to many maritime heroes, but the best recognized of these was Able Seaman, Just Nuisance, RN, the only dog to serve in the Royal Navy. A commemorative statue of the Great Dane stands in Jubilee Square and has become the symbol of the town, with vendors selling Just Nuisance keychains and fridge magnets for you to purchase as souvenirs on your Cape Town holidays.

Simon’s Town is also a major pilgrimage site for Muslim visitors. During the 18th Century, a Muslim grave was uncovered under trees, and while it is unknown exactly who was buried there, the site is said to have a strange physical aura surrounding it.It is a site that anyone would like to visit.

Table Mountain Park is unique in that visitors will not be able to find such a vibrant biodiversity or fabulous beauty anywhere else in the world, particularly in an area that is primarily metropolitan and includes the sophisticated city of Cape Town.

Visitors can enjoy gorgeous natural beauty during a variety of scenic drives throughout the park, including Chapman’s Peak Drive, Boyes Drive, Victoria Road, the path from Simon’s Town to Smitswinkel Bay and the drive that runs from Kommetjie to Scarborough. Be sure to bring a packed lunch along with you as you will find plenty of opportunities to stop and have a picnic.

Simon’s Town is the perfect place to spend a few days while on your tailor-made holiday to Cape Town and, like many of the former residents, who still haunt the city, you will be so taken with the destination that you won’t want to leave.

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A Brief History of Simon’s Town

Simon’s Town, South Africa was named after the Dutch governor of the Cape Colony, Simon van der Stel. He was the governor there between 1677 and 1699. It is known both as Simon’s Town and Simonstown. Simon’s Town became more populated after a Royal Naval Base was built there and home of the South Atlantic Squadron under the 2nd British occupation of the Cape in 1806. It is near Cape Town, South Africa. It has been a naval and harbor base for more than 200 years.

The town is on the False Bay shores, the eastern side of the Cape Peninsula. It became a free port in 1832. There is tourism in Simon’s Town, with a naval base, Victorian buildings, quaint walkways and streets, and Boulders. Boulders is the most famous beach in Simon’s Town. It is the home to three thousand African penguins. The beach has very large, rounded rocks and tons of coves and rock pools that have to be explored.

Interestingly, Simon’s Town has a couple of museums for people to learn about the town’s history. The first museum is Simon’s Town Museum, which is a must see. It has the Old Residency, which was built for the governor of the Dutch East India Company. There was a brothel and slave quarters in the early days. One of the museum’s most popular exhibits is a statue of Able Seaman Just Nuisance, a beer-drinking Dane that was adopted by the Royal Navy in World War ll.

Next, the other museum is the South African Naval Museum. It celebrates Simon’s Town’s naval history and has displays of the inside of a submarine and a ship’s bridge. The ship’s bridge moves with an ignited rocking motion. There is history about the ships and has a helicopter displays with some guns. The admission for the museum is free, but donations are accepted.


Boulders Beach famous for it’s Penguins

SANCCOB help protect these penquins.


There were around 1.5 million grown-up African Penguins along the southern African coast in the 1930’s. Human exercises decreased this number by a stunning 90% in under a century. The African Penguin, together with over twelve other ocean fledgling species found in South Africa, is thought to be debilitated and powerless against extinction.The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) was set up in 1968 in light of the expanded quantities of oiled ocean winged animals along the South African coast. All through the most recent 35 years, SANCCOB has reacted to each oil slick in South Africa and has treated more than 82 000 badly, harmed, stranded and oiled ocean flying creatures. Our inside treated 817 African penguins in 2001, 974 penguins in 2002, 1 050 penguins in 2003 and 655 penguins in 2004 – in spite of the way that there were no significant oil slicks in those years. Our endeavors in preservation proceed 365 days every year because of the way that expanding quantities of our defenseless ocean winged animal species require restoration year round.

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Simon’s Bay

Simon’s Bay owes its name and unique significance to Governor Simon van der Stel, who by and by overviewed False Bay in 1687. He prescribed Simon’s Bay as a protected safe winter jetty – yet it was just in 1741, after numerous wrecks in Table Bay, that the Dutch East India Company announced that their vessels grapple in Simon’s Bay from May to August.

The advancement of the little settlement, Simon’s Vlek, was moderate because of the practically inconceivable access overland to Cape Town. However stores were manufactured, ships repaired and new procurements supplied. A three-gabled clinic was worked and in addition a couple of more considerable houses.

Simon’s Town, as we probably am aware it today, developed all the more quickly with the foundation of the Royal Naval Base there not long after the second British occupation in 1806. Office of the chief naval officer House, beforehand a private abiding, dates from 1814.

Amid the nineteenth century the Simon’s Town Naval Base was in charge of the consideration of Napoleon Bonaparte, ousted to St Helena Island, until his passing in 1821. The Royal Navy was effectively included in fighting the slave exchange from African ports.

The railroad line in the long run achieved Simon’s Town in 1890 and assisted the improvement of the town and harbor. The Royal Navy was in charge of the consideration of the Boer detainees of-war in Bellevue Camp – now a fairway – . amid the Anglo-Boer War (1899 – 1902). Amid the First World War a Japanese Cruiser monitored Town. The Simon’s Town harbor and the Selborne dry-dock were finished in 1910 and more than 300 boats experienced repairs in Simon’s Town amid the Second World War.

In April 1957 the Naval Base was given over toward the South African Government. The harbor was broadened and a few new ships, including three submarines, were bought.

Then the residential community had extended along the shoreline and up the slope. Numerous organizations and a couple of inns were worked along St George’s Street, and a hefty portion of these memorable structures still exist today, constituting the Historic Mile with Jubilee Square, ignoring the yacht bowl, as its essential issue. Simon’s Town with its maritime harbor had a differing cosmopolitan group with numerous races and nationalities. Disastrously in 1967 the Group Area Act proclaimed Simon’s Town a “White Group Area”, and a vast and essential segment of the group was uprooted – leaving substantial parts of the town abandoned.

In the course of recent decades Simon’s Town has pulled in numerous new inhabitants with an ensuing building blast, which has luckily not obliterated the verifiable and social advance of the old town. The coming of popular government in 1994 and the late development of the, completely incorporated, South African Navy has given a further impulse to the development of Simon’s Town, which now pulls in a large number of guests consistently. While most come to see the penguins and the whales, numerous hesitate to welcome the one of a kind authentic vibe of Simon’s Town.

Photo by mikehoweely