Muizenberg & Kalk Bay
Close to the ground.

GPS: S 25 05.366 E 030 27.228 pop. 20,000 | elevation 1,403 m/4,603 ft

Muizenberg is considered the birthplace of surfing in South Africa and its surfer vibe is still vibrant today. It initially developed as a holiday resort for gold and diamond magnates in the late 1800s, including the once Prime Minister Cecil Rhodes, who built a small holiday cottage on the seafront. Further down the False Bay coast is St James, with its iconic colorful beach huts and the old fishing village of Kalk Bay. Once home to a large Filipino fisherman population, Kalk Bay is now a relaxed strip of town with antique stores, boutiques and restaurants lining the main drag opposite the harbor.

The main attraction to Muizenberg is the surf. There are a handful of local surfing stores along Surfer's Corner that offer surf lessons and equipment rentals.


Surf Shack Surf School

Surf Shack Surf School is run by a handful of true surfer dudes who offer lessons and equipment rental. Individual lessons run R300 for 1.5 hrs, 2-person lessons are R275/person and 3-5 people are R200/person. Regular group lessons are R200 and offered at 10:30am and 2:30am. Board rentals are R70 for 1.5 hours but cheaper per hour the longer you are out. To set up a lesson just call in advance or stop in. Prices may be negotiable, so it doesn't hurt to ask.


Lifestyle Surf Shop

Lifestyle Surf Shop is a fully stocked store that sells anything a surfer needs. Individual surf lessons run R275 for 1.5hrs, 2-person lessons are R200/person and 3+ person lessons are R170/person and lower. Group lessons are R100 and offered at 10am and 12pm on Sat and 10:30am on Sun. Board rentals are R60/hr. Special packages and rates can be arranged.


Bike Rental

Bike Rental is available through Olympia Bakery whose entrance is off of the alley just south of the Olympia Café. You can pick up your bike and drop it back off here or at a ByBike location in a neighboring town.


Save Our Seas Shark Center

Save Our Seas Shark Center is an educational center that promotes shark awareness and responsibility. A large fish tank displays a number of local fish species and the friendly staff is happy to share information about their research and conservation efforts.


Main Street in Kalk Bay has a bohemian flair and is lined with art galleries, antique stores and clothing stores. There's a lot to look at, so we suggest you start with the following places.


Kalk Bay Modern

Kalk Bay Modern is by far the best art gallery in Kalk Bay. Its tasteful and contemporary collection of photography, paintings, jewelry and sculpture herald not only from South Africa, but also feature African artists representing the Sudan, Congo, and Ethiopia, as well as San communities from southern Africa.


Oh So Boho

Oh So Boho has a huge selection of silver jewelry and classic Kalk Bay bohemian apparel and accessories.


Kalk Bay Trading Post

Kalk Bay Trading Post is an inviting collection of antiques, old coins, maps and rusted home furnishings that begs to be rummaged through.


Kalk Bay Antique

If rummaging isn't your style, check out Kalk Bay Antiques for a more refined selection.


Belle Ombre

For African artifacts visit Belle Ombre where you'll find exquisite woven baskets and wood carvings.


Muizenberg Beach Lodge

Muizenberg Beach Lodge is tough to beat in terms of location. It's steps from the water and has a beach house feel with sandworn steps, an open kitchen and TV lounge, as well as a large balcony to hang out on that overlooks the beach.


A'Break Away

A'Break Away is essentially a surfer-home-turned-backpackers located in a residential part of town within walking distance to the waves. The staff and surfers are friendly and they also run a program to teach disadvantaged children how to surf. Other than that it feels like staying over at a friend's house.


Kalk Bay Sonnekus Guest House

Kalk Bay Sonnekus Guest House is a well-restored guesthouse built in 1926, with nine rooms of varying size, located just across the street from the ocean. The friendly owner and host will go out of her way to make your stay pleasant, including arranging pickups, dinner reservations, picnic lunches and laundry service.


Inn at Castle Hill

Inn at Castle Hill has five individually decorated rooms with tall ceilings, wood floors and doors that open up onto a balcony overlooking the ocean. The owner and host's family has lived in the area for generations, and will happily provide recommendations and make arrangements to visit area sights and activities.


The best selection of places to eat and drink are along the Main St in Kalk Bay and St. James, but there are a couple of local favorites in Surfer's Corner in Muizenberg.


Muizenberg Empire Café

Muizenberg Empire Café is a surfer's favorite, serving up large portions and the best breakfast in Muizenberg, which makes it the most popular morning spot in town.


Knead

Knead bakes to feed the beach-going masses ‑ bunny chow, sandwiches, bread boards, pizza, you name it. Right in the heart of Surfer's Corner, it's a popular place to grab a slice. Takeaway is also available.


Gaslight Café

Gaslight Café is right under the Beach Lodge and is a great place to grab coffee, breakfast or lunch. As you munch on open-faced sandwiches or heartier fare you can take in the Muizenberg photographic history that lines the walls.


Kalk Bay Olympia Café & Deli

Kalk Bay Olympia Café & Deli is a popular seaside café on the main drag opposite the harbor. They serve up a delicious selection for breakfast and a Mediterranean inspired lunch of hearty salads, saucy pastas and fresh seafood. Their homemade bread is excellent and sourced from the Olympia Bakery.


Olympia Bakery

Olympia Bakery hidden in the alley just south of the café. It's by far the best smelling place in town (not to mention a site for bike hires).


Octopus Garden

Octopus Garden is a tastefully designed lovethemed café overlooking St James Station. The hosts enjoy what they do and the restaurant has tapas, full meals, and a sizable whiskey selection. Wacky Wednesdays are parties with half-priced drinks.


Tribeca Bakery

Tribeca Bakery is a sophisticated café that brings the feeling of New York to the harbor of Kalk Bay. Walls are covered with Tribeca building scenery and the bakery serves delicious breakfasts, gourmet sandwiches, salads and savory-topped flatbreads for lunch. For dinner your best bet is their two or three course set menu that changes monthly, so call ahead.


Polana

Also by the same owner as Live Bait and Harbor House, and located next door, is Polana a sea level restaurant and cocktail lounge with large windows overlooking crashing waves just 10 meters away. There is live rock music on Friday and Saturday nights.


Cape to Cuba

Cape to Cuba is a Cuban-themed restaurant that serves a mix of Cuban and standard fare including tapas, steaks, seafood and pasta. Outside is a sand-floor beach bar with palm branch huts where you can enjoy a Cuba Libre, Mojito or Martini.


Brass Bell

Brass Bell has a restaurant and bar that protrudes out into the ocean with the waves crashing on the wall and occasionally spraying the tables close to the edge. The restaurant is divided into five different sections each with a different level of formality and view. The restaurant specializes in seafood but also has good pizza and burgers. Brass Bell has the most active night life scene in town.


The best selection of places to eat and drink are along the Main St in Kalk Bay and St. James, but there are a couple of local favorites in Surfer's Corner in Muizenberg.


Big Blue

Big Blue is a surfer's bar/restaurant that is a quick few steps from the water. It is a laid-back place that serves food and drinks until the crowd heads home.


Octopus Garden

Octopus Garden is a tastefully designed lovethemed café overlooking St James Station. The hosts enjoy what they do and the restaurant has tapas, full meals, and a sizable whiskey selection. Wacky Wednesdays are parties with half-priced drinks.


Polana

Also by the same owner as Live Bait and Harbor House, and located next door, is Polana a sea level restaurant and cocktail lounge with large windows overlooking crashing waves just 10 meters away. There is live rock music on Friday and Saturday nights.


Cape to Cuba

Cape to Cuba is a Cuban-themed restaurant that serves a mix of Cuban and standard fare including tapas, steaks, seafood and pasta. Outside is a sand-floor beach bar with palm branch huts where you can enjoy a Cuba Libre, Mojito or Martini.


Brass Bell

Brass Bell has a restaurant and bar that protrudes out into the ocean with the waves crashing on the wall and occasionally spraying the tables close to the edge. The restaurant is divided into five different sections each with a different level of formality and view. The restaurant specializes in seafood but also has good pizza and burgers. Brass Bell has the most active night life scene in town.