Activities in the area, stuff to do and see in and around Cape Town
The Fairest Cape in all the world offers many interesting places to visit and activities to do. It doesn't matter what your age or your level of fitness is.....there is something for everyone.
Cape Town is never out of season, with a particularly good, long summer from November to March where you enjoy 11 or more hours of sunshine each day. The average summer temperature is 25 deg Celsius with the months of January and February being a little higher. Cape Town's winters (June to August) experience an average temperature of 18.5 degrees Celsius. It's not uncommon, however, to enjoy a week of sunshine temperatures ranging between 21 and 26 deg Celsius.
You are spoiled for choice without having to travel terribly far distances to hand pick your favourite things to see and do. Table Mountain is undoubtedly one of the city's biggest attractions but we are proud to offer you Nature and Adventure, Shopping, Wellness, Arts and Culture, Nightlife and a whole host of places to see and things to do.
In fact I have at least 80 things for you to do off the back of my hand. We would welcome the opportunity of helping you plan and book any activities or sightseeing or more than happy to put you in touch. Here are a few to whet your appetite....
Getting Your Bearings
The Cape Peninsula lies just to the south of Cape Town extending from Table Mountain to Cape Point, a distance of 40km.
The Peninsula is bounded in the west by the Atlantic Ocean and in the east by False Bay. Main towns in the Peninsula include Hout Bay, Noordhoek, Kommetjie and Scarborough on the Atlantic side. Muizenberg, Kalk Bay, Fish Hoek and Simon's Town are on the False Bay side.
Boulder's Beach Penguin Colony
One of the best places to see the African penguin up close and in its natural habitat. Well made viewing platforms and boardwalks enhance this experience.
Being one of the 7 Wonders of Nature this landmark needs no introduction. It simply is a must see for anyone visiting and offers spectacular views over the city of Cape Town and surrounds. A visit is not complete without a trip up the mountain on the Table Mountain Cableway where you can explore the nooks and crannies and enjoy a bite to eat in the stone cottage.
With the choice of at least four beaches within 10 minutes of the Lodge it's a difficult decision to make. Fish Hoek beach is considered one of the best family beaches in Cape Town. Its water is warmer than the Atlantic side with no dangerous sea currents and long stretches of shallow water for the younger members of your family. You can also take a walk along Jager's Walk where you can swim in rock pools, sit on grass lawns or benches along the way and enjoy the view.
Other recommended spots are Noordhoek beach, Long Beach, Boulder's beach, Seaforth beach and a bit further along is Clifton beach and Blouberg beach to mention a few.
Set in the stunning Constantia wine valley, you will find one of the first wine farms to be established in South Africa. Groot Constantia is the finest example of a Cape Dutch wine farm and simply must be visited. It offers a beautiful estate, lots of history, good food and of course the most incredible range of wines. You should try the chocolate and wine pairing.
10 Minutes from the Lodge in Noordhoek is Cape Point Vineyards with spectacular views and a lovely food market in the evening during the summer months. There are many more wine farms in the Stellenbosch area which make for a good day trip.
Officially known as the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, Cape Point is the most south-westerly point of Africa and also the most southerly point of the Peninsula.
It has ample parking, toilets, a restaurant, shops and a funicular which can transport visitors part way up to the lighthouse. For those that appreciate outstanding views, climbing the steps to the lighthouse is well worth the effort. There is a visitor information centre part way up explaining the history of the lighthouse as well the legend of 'The flying Dutchman'.
The V&A Waterfront is one of the most successful waterfronts in the world. More than 80 restaurants and an abundance of entertainment make for an excellent tourist attraction.
You can't visit the Waterfront without a visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium. It showcases over 3000 unique marine creatures of the Atlantic and and Indian Oceans.
Local Towns & Villages
Explore the local towns and villages all in close proximity to the Lodge. Each with its own history, quaint shops, restaurants, harbours, museums, art galleries and book shops.
Simon's Town, Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay, St James, Hout Bay, Noordhoek, Imhoff's Gift and Kommetjie
Chapman's Peak Drive
Driving, sightseeing, cycling, running, hiking or photographing.... Chappies, as it is affectionately known, has to be one of the most breathtaking drives in the world. Skirting the coast halfway up the steep cliffs of Champan's Peak situated between Noordhoek and Hout Bay.
Large areas of the Peninsula are either owned or managed by Table Mountain National Park. There are some 800km of footpaths in the Park, much of this is around Table Mountain itself. Many hikers take the cable way on their return journey from several routes to the top, some rated as 'easy' with an average time of about two hours.
Around Makapa Lodge there are many fine walks among some of the Cape's mountain fynbos vegetation. The Silvermine section of the park is always a good choice
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of the setting of Kirstenbosch against the easterly slopes of Cape Town's Table Mountain. It is unique as it showcases indigenous plant species and considering the Cape is a plant kingdom all on its own, it means thousands of plants to see nowhere else in the world.
The venue boasts a visitor information centre, guided tours, self walks and restaurants. Shops that include a garden centre, bookshop and Kirstenbosch shop. And my two favourites... the Canopy Walkway and a brilliant summer concerts lineup where you get to enjoy watching the likes of Bryan Adams and Ronan Keating, to name 2, whilst enjoying a picnic on the grassed slopes.
We are conveniently situated for guests who would like to go horse riding. Both novice and experienced riders are catered for and you are accompanied by knowledgeable and experienced trail guides.
These include beach trails and bush trails passing through wetlands and indigenous bird life, over sand dunes and on the long wide beach of Noordhoek.
There are many good birding sites within easy reach of Makapa Lodge but your bird watching can begin right here in our own beautiful indigenous garden. Bulbuls, Fiscal Shrikes, Speckled Pigeons, Bokmakierie, Cape White-eye and Red-winged Starlings are never far away. Fynbos specials such as Cape Sugarbirds and sunbirds (Double Collared, Malachite and Orangebreasted) are frequent visitors to our Proteas. Guineaflowl, Cape Fracolin, Spotted Dikkop, Cape Canaries, Cape Weavers, Speckled Mousebirds and raptors such as Rock Kestrels and Steppe Buzzards are common visitors and our Spotted Eagle owls perch on the rocks above the house or on the roof of the log cabin. In summer especially, various swallows, swifts and martins display their arial skills around the Lodge.
Rondevlei Nature Reserve with over 225 bird species being recorded. Cape Point has over 270 recorded bird species. Boulders Beach is famous for its colony of African (Jackass) penguins and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is also an excellent place for some bird spotting.
There is also the opportunity of Pelagic trips from Simon's Town harbour to see Albatrosses and Petrels.
Water Activities & Boat Trips
There are some wonderful Scuba dive sites around the Peninsula. Whether you are an experienced diver or would like to learn, there are diving companies close by that offer Padi introduction courses or Padi open water courses in addition to arranged daily boat and shore dives.
From Simon's Town and Hout Bay there are a variety of boat trips for activities such as whale watching, Great White shark viewing, both surface and cage diving, fishing trips or sightseeing trips to Seal Island, Duiker Island or Cape Point.
For a more active pursuit try sea kayaking the warm waters of False Bay. There are also many great surf or wind surfing spots.
Golf......so now we've come to Jimmy's specialty. Don't hesitate in calling him to organise your tours or bookings.
Cape Town is well served with a large number of world class golf courses. The city is a popular destination for golf tours and golf centered vacations and Makapa Lodge is well situated for easy access to a number of excellent golfing venues.
Clovelly Country Club has always been one of the most popular golf courses in the Western Cape. A robust membership profile ensures that the club thrives from sporting, competitive, social and financial perspectives.
Other popular golf courses in close proximity are Steenberg Golf Estate and Westlake Golf Club.
There are a number of additional top class golf courses in other parts of the Cape Peninsula including The Royal Cape Golf Club, Rondebosch Golf Club, Mowbray Golf Club, the Metropolitan in the city and the Milnerton Golf Club on the west coast. The wine route also has its share of quality golf venues such as Devonvale in Stellenbosh and Pearl Valley in the Val De Vie Estate.