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World Travel Guide > Guides > Africa > South Africa > Camps Bay beaches

About Camps Bay beaches

Tucked at the foot of Table Mountain and overlooked by the majestic Twelve Apostles, the impossibly trendy Camps Bay is Cape Town’s most exclusive resort. It has some of the most sought-after, and expensive real-estate in Africa, and regularly attracts celebrities and film shoots. Luxurious houses with glistening swimming pools climb up the mountainside, while the hip and happening beachfront road is lined with palm trees, pavement cafés, nightclubs and gourmet restaurants. Rocky crops of boulders jut out into the ocean, and the stunning swath of white-sand beach is considered to be one of South Africa’s finest. It’s a favourite for beach babes and surf rats on summer weekends and it’s no secret that Camps Bay is home to ‘the beautiful people’.

Beach:

Spotlessly clean with fine white sand and flanked by a tidal pool, Camps Bay beach has been granted Blue Flag status, and is the place to do a spot of people-watching. Volleyball and frisbee throwing are popular and the grass verge along Victoria Road offers shady, wind-free barbecue and picnic spots. The icy Atlantic however, can be too cold for swimming, so while the beach gets packed with sunbathers, only a few brave souls make it into the sea.

Beyond the beach:

The dramatic coastline to the south of Camps Bay is ruggedly beautiful and as part of the Table Mountain National Park, it’s largely undeveloped. The road goes past the brooding Twelve Apostles on the left, the spine of mountains that run down to Cape Point, while on the right, the ocean pounds on the rocks below. In season, between July and November you may spot whales. At Cape Point itself you can follow walking trails, visit lighthouses, look down over sheer cliffs or admire the diverse fauna and flora.

Family fun:

Children can have plenty of seaside fun building sandcastles on the beach and paddling in the tidal pool. The current is too strong for them to swim in the sea and there are no life guards. Most hotels in Camps Bay are happy to accommodate children; those with swimming pools are a good family choice. The majority of restaurants along the ‘strip’ are family orientated.

Exploring further:

To see Camps Bay from a different angle, ride the cable car or hike to the top of Table Mountain (www.tablemountain.net) for the panoramic views. There’s plenty to do in central Cape Town. Visit the shops and restaurants at the V&A Waterfront (www.waterfront.co.za) where there’s fascinating marine life to see at the Two Oceans Aquarium (www.aquarium.co.za). The former prison home of Nelson Mandela on Robben Island (www.robben-island.org.za) can be visited by ferry, or enjoy the tranquil beauty of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens (www.sanbi.org).

Splashing out:

Enjoy mesmerising views over the ocean and a sumptuous five-course dinner at the award-winning Azure restaurant in the Twelve Apostles Hotel (www.12apostleshotel.com). The chef uses organic, locally grown, indigenous ingredients to create a uniquely South African taste. Follow dinner with a classic movie in the hotel’s private 16-seater cinema.