Sandwiched between the final stretch of the M3 and Tokai Main Road, Kirstenhof is a hidden gem of a suburb much sought after by families.
Not only does it have a beautiful mountain backdrop, it also has its own stretch of wetlands along the Westlake River plus the adjoining Westlake golf course and the Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve, so nature and abundant birdlife are part of everyday life here. “We’ve got amazing views,” says resident of 18 years, Kim Ainsworth, “I can see the whole of Silvermine from one side of the house and the Elephant’s Eye Cave on the other. The only minor downside is that it can be very windy here on the Peninsula.”
Schooling is another reason that families buy in the area, with government school Kirstenhof Primary maintaining a high standard of education. Private School Reddam House is also close by. The close-knit community is another attraction. “There are always people out walking their dogs, taking their kids to the vlei to visit the ducks and kids cycling or skateboarding around,” says Kim. “Everyone is very friendly and we all look out for one another.”
With the recently completed major reconstruction of the Blue Route Mall next door to Kirstenhof, residents say shopping is now an absolute pleasure, with more upmarket shops, eateries and cinemas. And for a laid-back market vibe, there’s the Earth Fair Food Market on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings and The Range night market on Fridays with live music.
For weekend fun Kirstenhof is perfectly placed – it’s a short drive to Muizenberg for beach, surfing, waterslides and putt putt, a choice of hiking trails from Tokai Forest up to the Elephant’s Eye Cave, or Silvermine for walking and swimming in the dam, not to mention all the wine estates and restaurants of the Constantia Wine Route.
Kirstenhof is quite safe and secure. I walk a lot, it’s beautiful here and everything you need, from shops to schools and doctors, is within walking distance, so I hardly ever need to use the car.
Kim Ainsworth, resident
Best in food:
- The Italian Kitchen: for good family meals
- Cattle Baron: for steaks
- Bistro 1682 at Steenberg Wine Estate: for indulgent tapas
- Lime Tree Cafe: for light lunches
- Vovo Telo: for coffee and cake
Things to do:
- Swim in the Silvermine dam.
- Hike in Tokai Forest and up Elephant’s Eye.
- Visit the Earth Fair Food Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
- Swim in the beach and go on the waterslides at Muizenberg.
- Visit Zandvlei Nature reserve for open spaces, bird-watching and canoeing.
- Play a round of golf at Westlake Golf Club.
- Kirstenhof Primary School
- Reddam House
- Bergvliet High School
- Wynberg Boys’ High School
- Constantia Waldorf School
Take a spectacular journey through the Southern Suburbs here:
Estate agent Q&A on Kirstenhof
What are the best things about Kirstenhof for families?
Kirstenhof is ideal for families with the highly sought-after Kirstenhof Primary School in the heart of the suburb and Reddam House nearby. The greenbelts are safe and well used by families, with young children enjoying the water and all ages walking dogs in the leafy parks. The active Kirstenhof community and crime watch ensure the neighbourhood has a friendly feel while being very secure. It’s near the Blue Route Mall, Steenberg Shopping Centre, Westlake Golf Course and top wine farms. With easy access to the M3, Muizenberg and Kalk Bay beaches, it is easy to see why Kirstenhof is so sought-after for families.
What do you love about Kirstenhof?
I love Kirstenhof because of its strong community. People are caring and helpful and when my daughter had a bad car accident, the neighbours cooked meals for my family for over a month. The Kirstenhof Crime Watch is phenomenal. They are a group of locals who volunteer their time and services and are well-trained, working closely with the SAPS. Crime has gone down significantly in the last few years because of this good relationship. The area appeals to young families and is central to many attractions such as mountain bike and forest jogging trails. Its parks are ideal for long dog walks on balmy summer nights.
How would you spend a free day in the Kirstenhof area?
I grew up in Kirstenhof and most of my free time or weekends were spent having braais with friends who lived in the neighbourhood. There is a real sense of community here and we usually gathered on one of the fields or greenbelts in the area for a game of touch rugby before heading to someone’s house. Kirstenhof is ideal for families because of the parks, close-knit community and convenient access to Blue Route Mall. There’s space to walk the dogs, a beautiful riverside to explore and the comfort of knowing that you’re part of a neighbourhood that cares.
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.