Things To Do

Kommetjie (Afrikaans for “small basin,” approximately pronounced commey-key) is a beachside suburb of Cape Town which lies about half way down the west coast of the Cape Peninsula, at the southern end of the long wide beautiful beach that runs northwards towards the Chapman’s Peak and Noordhoek.

The village is situated around a small, natural and rocky inlet that resembles a basin. There is some evidence that this basin was used as a fish trap by prehistoric peoples. In modern day times, this basin is known as "Die Kom" and local fishermen launch their boats from the slipway here. Weekends during the summer season are often lively and colourful as old and new fishing boats head out to sea for their crayfish quotas. Kommetjie is famous for its excellent crayfishing.

SLANGKOP LIGHTHOUSE

Another icon of Kommetjie is the Slangkop Lighthouse. Slangkop (meaning Snake Head) Lighthouse has been burning brightly since 1914, and became fully automated in 1979. The tower’s light shimmers 33 nautical miles out to sea from its 33 M circular construction and is the tallest cast iron tower in South Africa. Initially manned by 3 Lighthouse Keepers it is now maintained by one Senior Lighthouse Keeper who still washes the lighthouse windows.

Children and adults alike enjoy the guided tours offered at Slangkop Lighthouse which take you up a steep internal spiral staircase standing 100 feet from base to balcony. The guide will also enlighten you to the history of lighthouses on the South African coast and explain why South Africa is one of the few countries worldwide that still has Light House Keepers as staff.

lighthouse
kommetjie-town

FAUNA

Living in Kommetjie is often accompanied by sightings and interactions with local baboon troops. These intelligent animals occasionally come into the village when foraging for food. Unfortunately sometimes baboon and man don't get along too well, so a local business called Baboon Matters has developed the inspiring 'Walking with Baboons' project in an effort to create a level of awareness and appreciation for these incredible animals. Do yourself a favour and adventure into our mountain fynbos on a specialized 2/3 hour walking tour to spend time with the last remaining Chacma baboons in the Cape Peninsula. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sit and watch these fascinating animals as they eat, play and socialize. Experience their gentle side as you watch them in their natural environment.

Other mammals living in the Kommetjie area include porcupine, best spotted at night, the Cape grey mongoose, the Cape clawless otter often seen on Long Beach and the nocturnal Large-spotted and Small-spotted genets. The rich sea life of the Cape oceans includes several whale and dolphin species, and most commonly we enjoy frequent sightings of the Southern Right Whale during the winter season.

For the bird watchers of the world, Kommetjie offers a wonderful diversity of feathered friends to study, with over 130 bird species know to the area. From White-chinned petrels, to Yellow-nosed albatrosses, Northern and Southern giant petrels, to the Antarctic terns and Arctic terns, from the endemic African Black Oystercatcher. to Ground woodpeckers, from Cape sugarbird, to Orangebreasted sunbird and the occasional Black eagle and Peregrine falcon - bird watching in Kommetjie will not disappoint you!

FLORA

As part of the Cape Floral Kingdom (the smallest, and for its size, the richest in the world) this region has countless species to delight the flower lover. Amongst these, in springtime are the dainty blue Gladiolus carinatus and carpets of Bokbaai vygies and the Cape daisy. In summer the Ground Protea adds colour to the sandy areas, while through autumn and winter the Tortoise berry, a thorny bush with mauve flowers and edible berries, provides food for tortoises.

RESTAURANTS AND SHOPS

For a little village, Kommetjie offers quite a diversity of dining choices. In Kommetjie itself there is the Bistro, Fishermans Pub, The Green Room, Espresso Cafe and the British Bulldog. All of these offer casual meals ranging from pizzas to burgers to nachos to fabulous breakfasts to calamari & chips. If you're looking for more formal dining, then within a 5 minute drive of Kommetjie is the fabulous Rioja restaurant that boasts award winning dining at very good prices. Excellent wines, fabulous meals and in a most delightful setting.

Also less than 5 minutes drive from Kommetjie is Imhoff Farm Village. Imhoff Farm Village is the perfect venue for families with plenty of entertainment and fun for all. There is an inspiring Farmstall filled to the brim with fabulous organic produce and wonderful home-made pies, quiches, cakes, cheeses, olives, honeys , Italian ice cream and confectionaries to name but a few! Leaving this farmstall empty-handed is virtually impossible! There is a coffee shop, a wine shop and also an excellent restaurant called Blue Water Cafe which offers superior quality dining and the most exquisite views across the valley and towards Noordhoek beach. The restaurant has a lovely enclosed garden featuring a large lawn area and jungle gym plus its very own Faraway Tree, providing children with lots of frolicking space whilst their parents can relax with a chilled glass of Cape wine. Children just love to ride on the donkeys and feed the farmyard animals at Imhoff Farm too. Visit the snake park or enjoy a camel or horse ride - and don't forget the home-made chocolate shop too!

The shops in the Kommetjie area should cover your every need, from a laundromat, a hairdresser and a beauty salon, through to an excellent deli offering the best freshly baked croissants & ciabatta breads in the valley, post office, pharmacy, library and finally a suprette, for those forgotten odds and ends. Finally, if you still haven't found what you're looking for, Longbeach Mall which is 15 minutes drive away, offers a full selection of grocery stores, clothing stores, restaurants, interior shops and cinemas.

surfing-beach
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SURFING

The culture of Kommetjie is strongly revolved around surfing the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. Kommetjie and surrounding coastline are known to provide some of the worlds best surfing, since powerful waves from the Atlantic Ocean rise up over rocky reef and deliver a variety of excellent surf spots that are well known both nationally and internationally. With these natural assets at their "board-tips", many of Kommetjie youngsters begin surfing at very young ages and it's no great surprise that some of South Africa's top professional surfers have grown up in this area. For the less faint hearted surfers, there are several local spots that provide "big wave surfing" and international contests are held annually in the waters of Kommetjie for those intrepid wave riders that don't fear travelling down the face of 10 foot waves!

KITE SURFING

Combining the freedom of riding waves with the thrill of wind-driven speed, Kite Surfing is also a very popular ocean sport of the Kommetjie area. This coastline provides kite surfers with a great range of choice and conditions, whilst onlookers enjoy watching the graceful movements of multi-coloured kites speeding across the cobalt blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

SURROUNDING AREAS

Imhoff Farm

The original farm stretching from Scarborough to Chapman's Peak was known as Slangkop Farm. It was later divided up into smaller farms which grew vegetables for shipping that called at Simon's Bay (rather than Table Bay) during the Cape's stormy winter months. One of these portions is the historic Imhoff Farm.

The land for this farm was gifted to a local lady by Baron Von Imhoff, an official of the Batavian Government in 1743 and was known thereafter as Imhoff's Gift. The historical homestead now houses a restaurant with spectacular views over the wetlands of the Table Mountain National Park and Long beach as well as craft shops, a snake and reptile park and horse and camel rides.

Ocean View

Freed slaves and those who had escaped from the Dutch settlement below Table Mountain settled in the Slangkop area. They lived off the land and farmed vegetables. Many of the people in the area today are descended from theses original settlers. They were moved from their land because of their mixed heritage to the settlement of Ocean View in the late 1960s during the apartheid era. They were joined by people who were moved from Simon's Town. This is a warm-hearted community rich in Cape history, legends, stories and one with a surprising lack of bitterness towards the political past.

Soetwater

Past Slangkop Lighthouse is the Soetwater area, a naturally rich stretch of coastline which runs from the lighthouse to the crayfish factory, a landmark on the coast. The kelp beds there provide a rich habitat for crayfish, which is exported around the world. Soetwater forms part of the important coastal segment of the new Hoerikwaggo hiking trail, running from the top of Table Mountain to Cape Point.

Masiphumelele

Situated on Old Kommetjie Road, this colourful township was first developed in 1992 and is now home to over 20 0000 residents. Visits can be made to this Xhosa township with Charlotte Swartbooi, a registered guide and local resident. Charlotte's tour offers a unique opportunity to experience this warm and lively community and meet some of its residents. Don't miss the Ubuntu Dance Group: Marimba Band who offer vibrant performances as a celebration of traditional Xhosa, Zulu, Tswana and Sotho dances and music.

Scarborough

This peaceful seaside village adjoining the Good Hope Nature Reserve, and reached via a spectacular coastal drive from Kommetjie is a draw-card for kite surfers, wind surfers and surfers alike. Whales can often be spotted between June and November.

Good Hope Nature Reserve

One of the Cape's top scenic attractions, this reserve has over 1200 species of fynbos, 250 species of birds and a variety of buck, baboons and other mammals. It offers hiking trails, nature walks and excellent angling, surfing and diving spots. At Cape Point, the most southern tip of the Cape Peninsula is the Two Oceans Restaurant, a curio shop and a funicular to take you to the lighthouse overlooking False Bay.

Simon's Town

An historic town, famous for its long connection with the British navy and now home to the South African navy, boasts a number of interesting museums, restaurants and our country's 3rd oldest lighthouse and the only one built on rock. Boat trips are available for harbour tours, whale-watching and trips to Seal Island and Cape Point.

Simon's Town Golf Club has a 9-hole golf course with fabulous sea and mountain views. Nearby are Mineral World, a popular gemstone factory with a scratch patch and an unusual jewellery and gift shop, as well as the unique and fascinating African penguin colony at Boulders beach.

Noordhoek

This charming rural area at the southern end of world-famous Chapman's Peak Drive, about 10 minutes' drive away offers horse rides, beach walks, a thriving art culture, restaurants and a craft centre at the Noordhoek Farm Village.

Hout Bay

At the other end of Chapman's Peak Drive is scenically beautiful Hout Bay. Tourist attractions include the World of Birds (with Monkey Jungle), a vibrant harbour life with numerous restaurants and pubs and a variety of launches that offer trips to Duiker Island (seals) and the V&A Waterfront. Nearby at Llandudno is Sandy Bay, a secluded nudist beach. Lions Craft Market is held every Sunday on the common.

Fish Hoek and Clovelly

Fish Hoek has one of the safest and most popular beaches. Jager Walk, along the rocky coastline, is a good viewing point for Southern Right and Humpback whales. Nearby Clovelly Country Club has an 18-hole course in a picturesque setting, and on the hillside is Peers Cave, a stone age site where the remains of a 12000 year old man was discovered.

Kalk Bay & St James

Kalk Bay is a trendy, vibrant seaside village with art and curio shops and a number of restaurants and a picturesque fishing harbour. St James, with its colourful Victorian bathing boxes, is popular for its safe bathing beach and tidal pool.

Muizenberg

Muizenberg has 36km of beautiful white beaches for surfing and bathing. Historic sites are Rhodes' Cottage, Het Posthuys and the site of the 1795 Battle of Muizenberg.

FURTHER AFIELD

Winelands

The main wine-growing areas are concentrated around Stellenbosch, Franschhoek and Paarl but with more than 800 wine-estates in the Western Cape one needs to plan one's route carefully. Close at hand is the Constantia Valley which boasts some of the oldest estates and many award-winning wines. An interesting wine to look out for is Pinotage, a SA cultivar which is a fusion of pinot noir and hermitage vines, first cultivated in the 1920's.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

This world-famous garden was established in 1913 to conserve and promote the indigenous flora of South Africa. About an half-hour drive away, it is situated amid magnificent scenery on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, covers 528 hectares and includes restaurants, a cultivated garden and a nature reserve with mountain walks. Outdoor summer concerts are held on Sunday evenings from December to March.

Cape Town

Approximately 45 minutes' drive away is Cape Town, also known as the Mother City, the oldest European settlement in SA. Popular tourist attractions include the Table Mountain Cableway, the V&A Waterfront with its trendy shops, restaurants and aquarium, trips to Robben Island, and historic walking tours.