charming naval town is steeped in history and tradition. Named
after the governor of the Cape Colony, Simon van der Stel - upon
whose recommendation Simon's Bay was used by the Dutch East India
Company for winter anchorage the main focus of the town is its
Town was seized from the Dutch by Britain's Royal Navy in 1814,
who used it as their South Atlantic station until handing it to
the South African Navy in 1957 - and this British influence is
immediately apparent in the architecture of the town.
of excellent museums illustrate Simon's Town's naval and cultural
heritage. For local history, visit the Simon's Town Museum - housed
in 'The Residency' (1777) and offers regular walking tours of the
historic town centre. The Heritage Museum preserves the history
of generations of Muslim residents of Simon's Town and also tells
of their forced removal from the area under the apartheid regime.
The South African Naval Museum houses a submarine diorama and is
the custodian of the Martello Tower, which is one of the oldest
surviving Corsican-pattern towers in the world.
of course, no child - of any age - should miss the Warrior Toy
Museum, with its permanent displays of dolls and tin soldiers,
miniature cars and trains.
Seaman Just Nuisance, one of South Africa's most famous canine
friends, was a Great Dane who became the darling of Royal Navy
ratings during the Second World War. Remembered for his intelligence,
his fondness for pub-crawling with seamen and his uncanny knack
of getting them back to base again when they were a few too many
sheets to the wind - Just Nuisance is buried at Klaver Camp. His
grave overlooks the Bay and is marked with a headstone that bears
testimony to the love and esteem in which he was held. A bronze
statue of Just Nuisance has pride of place on Jubilee Square.
historic sites include the Church of St Francis (the country's
oldest Anglican church) and the Roman Rock Lighthouse (commissioned
in 1861, it is the third oldest lighthouse in the country and the
only one in South Africa that's built on a rock). For more about
the historic buildings of the town, pick up a detailed map from
the information office in St George's Street and walk the Simon's
Town Historical Mile.
you're after outdoor activities, there's plenty for the adventurous:
snorkeling at Long Beach, scuba diving in the many coves of Simon's
Town - Froggy Pond - Millers Point area, deep sea angling with
experienced charter operators, boat-based whale and seal watching,
golf and swimming.
one of the many restaurants at the Waterfront or along Main Rood.
And for 'shopholics', the Main Road, Jubilee Square and the Waterfront
Complex present a terrific variety of curio and specialty stores.
Simon's Town you can visit one of only two breeding colonies of
African penguins on the African mainland, with access from either
Seaforth or Boulders Beach. The larger part of the colony - at
Foxy Beach - is reached by following a bridle path along the shoreline,
and a boardwalk extends onto the beach to allow visitors an up-close
encounter with this endangered bird species. They're endearing
little creatures and nest just above the beaches along the coast,
so you could well experience an encounter with some of them whenever
you're enjoying the excellent sunbathing or swimming anywhere along
Simon's Town's coast.
Valley Road's Mineral World is a favourite destination with fascinating
tours through a gemstones tumbling factory, scratch patch for the
whole family to enjoy and an unusual jewelery and gift shop.
The Navy Festival takes place each year in March and April. This
spectacular showcase for The South Africa's Navy - where exhibitions,
demonstrations, drills, night shoots and fun runs are just a few
of the many activities and attractions - is a must-do outing for
the entire family. Simon's Town's traditional New Year's Eve party
is held in Jubilee Square and this is the party at which to see and
be seen. With the Main Roads' party lights sparkling for the occasion,
thousands of revelers gather to enjoy music and celebrations while
sidewalk cafes ensure that you are never short of refreshments as
you party the night away.