The palm-tree lined beach frequented by jet-setting summer visitors has earned Camps Bay its reputation as the Saint Tropez of South Africa.
About the area
Certainly the trendy beach cafes are buzzing with the glitterati throughout the season, with fashion shoots an everyday sight on the white sandy beach. But all the glamour co-exists happily with a family-friendly community, modern architect-designed gems and luxury apartments sitting alongside comfortable family homes.
The beach is part of everyday life – surfing after work, walking and playing with kids – and secluded Glen Beach is the residents’ choice in the busy summer months, being less windy and away from the tourist bustle. Hiking trails on Table Mountain or up Lion’s Head behind Camps Bay are perfect for getting into nature on the weekends, and the sunset views are legendary whether you’re hiking, hanging out on the beach or relaxing over sundowners at the glamorous Leopard Bar terrace at Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa.
Camps Bay High School’s reputation attracts kids from all along the Atlantic Seaboard, Hout Bay International School is a short drive away, plus the whole of the City Bowl is within easy reach for more schooling options. “Camps Bay is heaven when it comes to children’s facilities,” says resident Verena Neumayr-Howes. “There is a lovely park behind The Bay Hotel, a local library that offers free reading sessions, playgroups and preschools such as Kidz Discovery Kids Club and Kids on the Bay, and Camps Bay Preparatory has a great reputation.”
For all the cafe society buzz, Camps Bay is still very much a village, and residents tend to head over Kloof Nek to the CBD or the V&A Waterfront for serious shopping, but they have entertainment on tap at Theatre on the Bay staging musicals, cabaret and both local and international plays. Altogether Camps Bay offers an enviable outdoor lifestyle amid stunning scenery and a naturally glamourous setting.
I love being surrounded by nature and having the beach on our doorstep. To be able to just ‘pop to the beach’ before bedtime is awesome! Camps Bay is a safe area, generally speaking, and there is a lovely community for children, with tons of things to do. It never gets boring.
Verena Neumayr-Howes, resident
Best in food:
- Baked Bistro: for breakfast
- Umi: for Japanese food, sushi and great views
- Leopard Bar at Twelve Apostles: for special sundowners
- The Codfather: for seafood cooked to order
- The Raj: for Indian food overlooking the beach
- The Rumbullion at The Roundhouse: for lunch on the lawns
Things to do:
- Watch a production at Theatre on the Bay.
- Hike up Lion’s Head at full moon.
- Hike the Pipe Track from Kloof Nek above Camps Bay for stunning views.
- Visit secluded Glen Beach for surfing and walks away from the tourist bustle.
- Picnic at Oudekraal Beach within Table Mountain National Park.
- Enjoy a luxury dinner and movie package at the Twelve Apostles.
Top schools nearby:
- Camps Bay Preparatory School
- Camps Bay High School
- Camps Bay Primary School
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.
Take a beautiful trip through the Atlantic Seaboard here: