|Seaforth Beach, Simonstown|
By now the award of Blue Flag status to some of Cape Town beaches has been well-publicised and blogged about. This coveted award will certainly help to further improve the reputation of our beautiful city as a desirable international holiday destination, but we note that many up country visitors who are searching for cape town beach cottages for the summer holidays are also questioning whether it is safe to swim in Cape Town. For many who will holiday and enjoy the relaxing lifestyle of False Bay and the southern peninsula, the concern is whether bathing will be safe for the family this holiday season. The good news is that the city of Cape Town's recreation and amenities department has made every effort to ensure that the beaches of Cape Town will be ready for influx of visitors for the summer season, with a special focus being paid to beaches and tidal pools. In addition, the city has renewed a contract with Lifesaving Western Province for another three years to provide safe bathing and management of the beaches during the summer peak season, which means that 250 trained and accredited lifeguards will be deployed to render life-saving services at all beaches between 10 am and 6 pm daily from 01 December 2010 to mid-January 2011 when the schools re-open.
Shark-spotting measures will remain a priority for this holiday season, with Shark-spotters being deployed to Glencairn and Clovelly beaches during December, long weekends and over the Easter holidays. Shark-spotters will remain in place throughout the year at Muizenberg Corner, Fish Hoek, St. James, Kalk Bay and The Hoek in Noordhoek. The City’s Sport, Recreation and Amenities Department has been conducting regular checks of all of its beaches to ensure that they are clean and that all infrastructure is maintained including :
• All bathrooms and showers are clean and in working order
• All braai areas, paving, and grassed areas are regularly maintained and weeded
• All railings are maintained and some are being painted
• The tidal pools are managed according to the tidal pool management plan, which includes regular removal of algae
• Attention has also been paid to water quality at beaches and in tidal pools, which is tested and monitored by the Water and Sanitation Department’s Scientific Services, and action taken where necessary.
Horizon Holiday Cottages is a popular family and child friendly accommodation resort, and it seems that many are looking for beaches where the family will be assured of being able to enjoy the sun, surf and the beaches in complete safety. Whilst there are many beaches to choose from in the greater Cape Town area, the beaches of nearby False Bay offer warmer waters and a number of completely safe family swimming options. Especially suitable for holiday visitors with children are the following beaches all within a few minutes’ drive of Horizon Holiday Cottages:
Glencairn beach is the closest of the False Bay beaches; and is just a 5 minute drive from our accommodation. This lovely, clean, sandy beach remains largely overlooked by tourists even though it lies between the more popular beaches of Fish Hoek and Simonstown. The beach forms a small bay that is quite sheltered from the South East winds that prevail in the summer, although there is quite a strong backwash on the beach, particularly when the tides are high. Kids are bound to prefer the spacious tidal pool that juts into the bay, just below the railway station. Although beach amenities are sparse, there are a couple of good restaurants nearby including ”Flukes” at the Southern Right - a pretty, restored Victorian beach hotel.
Seaforth Beach, Simonstown is another great family beach, popular with children and their parents for safe bathing; Seaforth Beach is almost completely surrounded by large boulders with no waves and it is almost like an enormous tidal pool. The beach has gentle sloping sands, making it ideal for toddlers at play, although further out it is certainly deep enough for those who want to engage in more energetic swimming. The gentle sloping lawns that overlook the bathing area offer an ideal spot for a family picnic, and where adults can relax under the shade of old palm trees while keeping an eye on the little ones. The restaurant at the beach offers dining on the deck with spectacular views across False Bay.
Boulders beach has a deserved reputation as one of the world’s best family beaches and can be reached by a pleasant walk from Seaforth beach or, by car, from the parking lot just opposite the unusual golf course at Simonstown. In summer it is best to arrive early since numbers allowed access to the beach are limited in order to prevent overcrowding. The sheltered beach gets its name from the massive boulders that surround it, and which form sheltered coves in which you may will encounter some of the cute African penguins that have made this beach their home. Kids love this beach because the Penguins will come waddling past, or may even be sharing the water with them as they swim.
By : Dennis Cook
Affordable Cape Town self-catering accommodation - Fully equipped self catering family Cottages and chalets on Noordhoek beach.