Muizenberg roughly translated means mouse mountain. Fortunately this seaside town isn’t overrun by mice. The area was named after a Dutch Postmaster Sergant Muys (Mouse). Muizenberg’s main road was once a dusty strip of dirt road linking the area to Simon’s Town which is another coastal community. The community of Muizenberg has been around for a long time, for centuries in fact. Today it is a top surfing spot, filled with bustling café’s, restaurants, stores. I happen to love the artistic spirit of Muizenberg its stores often offer unique items. So grab your sunscreen and join me whilst I ramble on about how much I love Muizenberg.
Muizenberg beach is a surfing hotspot. You can learn to surf and hire everything you need at Surfer’s Corner which is a stone throw away from the beach. The beach happens to be a great kite surfing sport as well. It can get windy at times which suits the thrill seeking kite surfers perfectly. Then there are the Muizenberg beach huts which have become the symbol of Muizenberg. Vibrantly painted with a touch of rustic flair these beach huts are a favourite photo spot for locals and tourists alike. The City of Cape Town wanted to demolish these huts but, I along with thousands of other Capetonians squashed that silly idea.
Muizenberg was a resort like town during its golden age. You will notice Victorian houses with elaborate façade’s lining the streets. There’s the train station which still has a bygone era look to it too. And if you still can’t guess that Muizenberg was once the playground of the wealthy cross the train line and look out for the information boards. There you will be able to read up on Muizenberg’s illustrious past.
Beach Road: The bustling road
Urban decay slowly started to rear its head. This led to less visitors and residents. But, that has dramatically changed, I remember when the Majestic Café was the only café’ close by. It’s where my parents bought me huge ice-cream cones no small sized one’s for me. Majectic Café’ still exists it sells vanilla, chocolate, and chocolate and vanilla swirl ice-cream. It is still family owned and remains the oldest shop in Muizenberg. The Majestic Café’ was opened in 1937. It’s been operated by the same family from 1975.
Now there are more options to visit. There’s Live Bait which serves up fresh seafood dishes. You can even get a low coast portion of fish, chips and a beer or glass of wine or ginger beer for just R80 on a Saturday at Live Bait. There’s Easy Tiger I’ve had their breakfasts and burgers, their food is always mouth watering. They serve big portions and their staff deserves awards for friendliness. Tiger’s milk in Muizenberg has a quirky interior. Sidenote I don’t know why there are so many “Tiger” restaurants popping up. The last time I visited Tiger’s Milk was an old BMW bike affixed to the wall. Tons of modern mason jar styled lights and other interesting pieces. On Sunday evenings you can listen to live music whilst biting into the perfect burger. Their bitterballen are just as good as those I tried in the Netherlands, crispy and cheesy in a good way.
You can grab a coffee at Vida but I had a terrible experience with their sister branch in Kirstenbosch I no longer recommend visiting Vida Café’. Instead when I want a good cup of coffee I grab one at Bootleggers, there’s no sit down area but, the beach is close by and there are benches all over the place if you don’t like sipping coffee in the sand. Knead is another café’ which serves breakfast and lunch. Warning though Knead is always full. You better get there early if you want to taste the delicious bread, scones and hot chocolate which Knead offers. If you are in the mood for pizza Primi Piatti is for you. I like their pasta more than their pizza lately. Some of the branches serve Jamaican jerky chicken wings as a start which are salty, saucy and tender. Now for the places I haven’t tried yet there’s Yoffi Falafel which sells Middle Eastern Food. Gaslight Café’ which has budget breakfast and comfort food options like lasagne on their menu and Hang Ten Café’ which sells healthy food options including iced almond milk lattes.
York Road: The eclectic mix
I bought Black Beauty by Anna Sewell for only R10 at Paper Moon book shop. The store is tiny inside and ultra creatively decorated. Even the street sign directing you to Paper Moon is cute. You can purchase a few souvenirs such as small paintings, magnets and bookmarkers at Paper Moon. And if you are lucky you might be able to buy a book on sale like I did. The Stripped Horse is a funky pub it happens to brew its own craft beer. My boyfriend says the beer is good. I wouldn’t be able to say so myself since I’m a beer hater. The Stripped horse sells pub grub and on Sundays you get to listen to live local musicians like Lonesome Dave. Can’t wait that long then listen to Tuesdays ( Open mic Blues Sessions), Thursday (singer-songwriter) Friday (old school 80’s rock). Rolling Wood Surf Store is a skater’s boyfriend again asks my skaterboy or is it skaterman boyfriend. The store sells artisanal wooden skateboards which look more like bold pieces of art than skateboards. You can also enjoy a sweet smoothie at the store. Carla’s restaurant advertises proudly that it serves appetizing prawns and I need to try them sometime. I visited Oroboros only once at 4pm but it is a bar/club. It’s another on my “ to visit list” place. I will say the drinks are divine but, the tapas aren’t worth the price. My tapas order was cold but, the warm staff has left me with the feeling that I need to visit Oroboros one more time to judge it fairly.
Palmer Road: The heart of Muizenberg
Rumour has it that Palmer road is the trading street from the 1920’s. It runs through the middle of Muizenberg village. Today the street remains lined by small Victorian houses. It’s a party street and you can find a few interesting places such as The Hive which is a open collective working space. It’s a creative environment. There are often pop up shops, talks and more going on at the Hive. Joon sells pizza, cake and coffee. They also have vegetarian dishes on their menu. Looking for a colourful African print backpack, hoodie or shorts then Bluepriest is where you need to go. It’s a streetwear brand that uses tradition African fabric to make vivid clothes.
Things to do in Muizenberg
Eating, shopping or work sharing spaces might not be enough to keep you busy. Well Muizenberg has much more to offer.
Learn to surf
Go for surfing lessons with all the surfers whom make it look so easy you might be tempted to learn how to surf. Gary’s Surf School, Surf Emporium , Lifestyle Surf Shop and Xpression on the Beach are all places you can got to book lessons. My miserable bank balance hasn’t allowed me to learn how to surf but, I can see myself trying it out to see if I like it.
Become a potter
The pot spot on Atlantic Road is where you can buy or make your own ceramics. The ceramics they sell looks beautiful have a look at their products on their website. There are classess offered and you can find out more about making your own artistic creations over here:www.potspot.co.za
Take a guided tour
Take yourself on an audio tour for $2.99. The tour lasts for about 45min find it at: https://voicemap.me/tour/cape-town/muizenberg-like-a-local
Guided tours can be arranged by contacting the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society. The ticket for this tour is a whopping R100, but it’s stated that this is a donation. You will have to check if your donation can be less. The money does go to a good cause preserving the community’s history.
Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society Phone: +27(0) 82 908 3456
Take a self guided tour
If you like me can’t spend R100 on historical tour tickets then take yourself to the historical sites.
Het Posthuys is where farmers paid their taxes. They made their way to Muizenberg to sell their goods to the crew on ships docking at Muizenberg. Het Posthuys is where Sergant Muys the guy who named Muizenberg worked. The building has been around since 1673. Het Posthuys has been many different things from hotel to brothel, it’s now a monument.
Find it at: 182 Main Road, Muizenberg
Phone: + 27(0) 21 788 7972
There’s the site of the battle of Muizenberg
The battle took place on the 7th of August 1795. This is why you may stumble upon canons around Muizenberg. The battle took place between the Dutch who ruled the Cape and the British. The Dutch were eventually outgunned and retreated. They fled to the area known today as Retreat. The site of the battle lies between Muizenberg and St. James. It’s at the bottom of a mountain slope. There happens to be a big board which summarizes the battle. You can explore the ruins of the battle fort on your own or by booking a tour with the Muizenberg Historical Conservation Society. At Muizenberg park there are two Canons and there are another two at the back of Muizenberg Station.
Cecil John Rhodes loved his Muizenberg home and died there in 1899. He remains a controversial figure colonialist, mining magnet and successful industrialist. This former home is now a museum complete with thatch roof.
Address: 182 Main Road, Muizenberg
Phone: +27 (0) 21 788 1816
Casa Labia is styled after the 18th century Venetian homes. It was the residency of Count and Countess Natale Labia. Casa Labia now hosts elegant live music events, and fine dining experiences at it’s restaurant. You can also book a high tea package if you happen to be part of a group of 6 people or more.
Go to the Market
Bluebird Garage Food and Good’s market I’m guilty of not going. It runs every Friday. The market sells lots of different things.
Address: 39 Albertyn Road, Muizenberg
Phone: + 27(0) 82 920 4285
Strut on the Catwalk
There’s a catwalk between Muizenberg and St. James in Kalk Bay. It takes about 30 min to walk along this concert walkway which has a view of the ocean on one side and the steep mountain range along with old Victorian homes on the other side. It’s a relaxing and enjoyable way to get some exercise in especially after I’ve indulged at one of Muizenberg’s many restaurants.
I’m a rather amateur hiker. I have a tendency to love long walks a hour or more of fast paced walking doesn’t make me tired. I can even stop along the way and take photos for another hour. Hiking is a whole other story. So instead of acting like I’m a pro hiker you can read all about the different hikes you can enjoy or in my case suffer through by clicking here: http://muizenberg.info/activities/hiking
I actually love hiking but, I need to train again before I go hiking. Most hiking trails in Cape Town have the advantage of offering hikers spellbinding views, cliffs, sea, blue skies and striking vegetation. You might see the King Protea South Africa’s National Flower along your hiking trail. Just remember to be safe, hike in a group, don’t flash your belongings and always tell someone where you are going. If you are a solo traveller follow the link I posted about hiking at the end of the article you will find a Muizenberg Hiking group that you can join.
Africa Soul Backpackers which is right by the beach offers surfing and yoga lessons. You don’t have to be staying at the hostel to book a yoga class. I have never attended a yoga class in my life so I can’t recommend this one but, I think it is worth trying. If just for the location of the yoga studio which is by the ocean.
Between Muizenberg and St. James is where you can spot there are majestic creatures. Southern Right Whales swim along South Africa’s coast. Sometimes they jump out of the surf. This is another great free thing to do in Cape Town.
Zandvlei Estuary is a wetland area. The space has picnic benches. Plus, it’s an excellent place to spot birds. The great thing is that its nearby to the beach, and everything in Muizenberg is pretty close ot each other.
Visit the theater
I never knew about the Masque theater and only recent found out about it. It’s bad since the theater is in the main road. Yikes I will heading to the theater soon.
Muizenberg Festival is celebrated annually. It is hosted by the Hive. The fest aims to bring the community of Muizenberg together, it celebrates the art scene and there’s a number of film screenings, poetry, live music sessions and artsy things which are all part of Muizenberg Festival. The Kite Festival is hosted by Cape Mental Health. The event is mainly aimed at entertaining kids. I have attended and it can be a wonderful day out gazing at multicoloured kites floating in the breeze. However no wind equals no kite flying. All funds raised go to supporting Cape Mental Health and as I have a brother who is mentally disabled this cause is dear to me. Besides the tickets is dirt cheap.
Look out for murals
In Palmer road and close to the train lines there are beautiful murals. There’s also one at Muizenberg park.
Thank you so much for reading this blog post. I hope you have a lovely day. For all my South African readers may your holiday tomorrow be amazing. Please feel free to comment and if you would like to collaborate with me online do let me know.
xxx Nikki xxx