Cape Town’s own Millionaire’s Row is found in Camps Bay and Clifton. Here, mansions dot the slopes of Lion’s Head and Twelve Apostles, providing the backdrop for beaches fringed with leaning palm trees and turquoise waters. These are home to social butterflies, flaunting sun-bronzed bodies and designer swimwear during the day before they go on to fill trendy bars and restaurants across the road by night.
Sun worshippers strut their stuff on the shores of Camps Bay, taking part in the proverbial fashion show that is a day at the beach in Cape Town. Although not ideal for swimming, Camps Bay beach remains the place to see and be seen. Clifton’s beaches are divided into four coves by rotund boulders. Each cove attracts its own group of sunbathers, whether it be families, the local or international ‘It’ crowd, or surfers focused on catching the next big wave.
Accommodation options in Clifton and Camps Bay are very popular, especially during the South African summer months. Therefore, you should book well in advance to avoid disappointment. With most properties offering panoramic views over the Atlantic Ocean and arguably the most fashionable addresses, this should come as no surprise.
Designer apartments and mansions all compete for the best view and are only accessible by winding roads. Upscale restaurants and chic bars are crammed in the roads, with casual bucket-and-spade beach stores on the side. Stylish sundowner venues overlook the bay, serving flutes of bubbly and cosmopolitan cocktails – best paired with a golden sunset. If you want a taste of the high life, this is the place to be.
We've taken the liberty to answer everything you may need to know about visiting Clifton and Camps Bay
Clifton and Camps Bay are busiest in the summer months, from November to February. This is because of the pleasantly warm weather and low rainfall. Given that the beaches are one of the main attractions, this makes sense. However, summer is also when the wind comes out to play. Therefore, if you do not favour the breeze, it might be a good idea to wait until February or March to visit.
If you don't feel like the crowds but want to enjoy the summery weather, consider visiting between March to May, when the weather is still rather pleasant but the beaches are not as packed. Cape Town's winter, as well as the rainy season, is from June to August. From August to October, the weather warms up again, and the whales make their debut! It, therefore, is also a popular time to visit Cape Town.
A recommended four or five nights will allow first-time guests to experience the main highlights that Cape Town has to offer. This would include visiting attractions like Table Mountain, Robben Island, Kirstenbosch, Cape Point, the Cape Peninsula, and the Cape Winelands.
1. Table Mountain
The world-renowned flat-topped Table Mountain is the most photographed landmark in South Africa. It's sometimes covered in an ominous layer of clouds, referred to as its "tablecloth" by locals. However, when the clouds pass, the views over the city and Cape Peninsula is something extraordinary. You can choose to hike up or take the revolving cableway that climbs the mountain's 1,244 meters in a mere seven minutes. Weather-dependent, the cableway runs daily. However, always double-check the website and book online to skip the queues.
2. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
This garden paradise is located on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain and is part of the Cape Floristic Region, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Over 20,000 native South African plant species fill this hilly 528-hectare nature reserve.
3. Signal Hill
Enjoy a sundowner with a view from Signal Hill, rising 350-metres and overlooking Cape Town, Table Bay, and the glittering Atlantic Ocean. Go early so that you don't have to compete for a parking spot as this is a popular activity for locals and tourists alike.
4. City Hall and the Castle of Good Hope
Cape Town City Hall was built in 1905, featuring a medley of Italian Neo-Renaissance and British colonial style influences. The Castle of Good Hope is the oldest surviving stone building in the country.
5. The Heart of Cape Town Museum
The Heart of Cape Town Museum was opened in 2007 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the very first heart transplant Christiaan Barnard performed.
6. Iziko Museums of South Africa
Iziko Museums of South Africa comprises 11 museums governed by a council appointed by the Minister of Arts and Culture.
7. The District Six Museum
Honouring the people of this now-vanished District Six, it showcases the effect of apartheid on the community.
8. Zeitz MOCAA
The Zeitz MOCAA (Museum of Contemporary Art Africa) is the largest museum in Africa dedicated to showcasing African contemporary art.
Brightly coloured houses line cobbled stone streets in the Cape Malay (Bo-Kaap) neighbourhood, set at the foot of Signal Hill. Home to a large part of Cape Town's Muslim community, it's a vibrant cultural hub with a rich history and delectable Cape Malay cuisine to explore.
Clifton and Camps Bay are located about 6 to 7km from Cape Town’s city centre.