Nestled at the foot of a mountain that is part of the same formation as its much more famous cousin, Table Mountain, lies Muizenberg. This quiet seaside village is perhaps best known for its good surf, and the beachfront is indeed called Surfers Corner. This is where the Cape Peninsula meets the mainland, and the beginning of a 40km beach that stretches all the way to Strand on the eastern shore of False Bay.
It is a melting pot where beach-bums and businessmen alike gather to catch a few waves and in the parking-lot, VW vans from the 60ies mingle with shining BMW’s. I know more than one Capetonian businessman that believes “good surf” is a perfectly valid excuse for turning up late to meetings (and once actually there, barefoot with sand between their toes).
The water in False Bay is supposedly a little warmer than on the other side of the peninsula, but personally I suspect it is more of a myth. If the Atlantic Seabord is toes-falling-off-freezing, then False Bay is toes-turning-purple-cold. Add to that the fact that False Bay is literally teeming with Great White Sharks, and you’ll understand why you’d never catch me in those waters. Nevertheless, the beach is amazing and you can stroll along it for ages and on a clear day you can see all the way to Cape Point.
Muizenberg is a bit hard to sum up. It’s definitely surfer territory, but at the same time you’ll find posh cafes that serve artisan bread and wood fired pizza. It’s a seaside village, but you are within 20 minutes of downtown Cape Town. To the West lays upmarket St. James and arty, quirky Kalk Bay. To the North-West (ish) Constantia, one of the oldest wine-growing regions in the area, with its stately vineyards. To the North, Lavender Hill; one of the Cape Flat’s more notorious suburbs, riddled with gang violence and drugs. To the West, miles and miles of beaches mostly utilised by local fishermen.
Many Capetonians think that Muizenberg is on “the wrong side of the mountain” but I beg to differ. It’s like the younger sibling to a crown princess; not as grand and full of landmarks as Cape Town, but just as beautiful AND wilder and more relaxed!