For those lucky enough to move to Cape Town, they will be spoilt for choice when it comes to places to live. The Mother City offers its residents a rich history and heritage, an easy pace of life, fantastic food and wine, wonderful scenery and a great choice of areas in which live, each having its own style. Cape Town has been influenced by Africans, the British, the Germans, the Dutch and French settlers and is a melting pot of different cultures.
The City Bowl sits at the foot of Table Mountain and is tiny compared with most cities. The reason for this is that Cape Town is sandwiched between the sea and Table Mountain, so growth is naturally restricted. The desirable areas in the City Bowl creep up the mountainside, areas such as Oranjezicht and Tamboerskloof which are full of delightful Victorian houses with magnificent views over the city to the Atlantic and Robben Island.
Other very popular areas are Gardens and Vredehoek, both of which have a variety of houses and apartments to suit families and singles. The whole area is well serviced with shops, schools, entertain, nightlife and excellent hotels and restaurants.
Moving eastwards from the city bowl, you come to Green Point. This area is the gay capital of Cape Town and is also home to Cape Town Stadium. It’s very close to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront complex which is full of excellent shops, restaurants, bars overlooking the Atlantic.
Sea Point is the next stop down the road and was historically the Jewish capital of Cape Town. It’s full of high rise flats and is home to the many elderly residents of the city. It has a very attractive sea front where people can be seen running and walking at all hours of the day and night.
The next stop is Clifton and Millionaire’s Row. There is even a topless beach here for those who feel so inclined. The houses here are magnificent, with awe-inspiring views, but they do cost an arm and a leg.
Moving out to the suburbs is where families will find larger houses, with good sized gardens for their children to play in. There are also many excellent schools in all the suburbs of Cape Town.
Mowbray, Rosebank and Observatory
This is the area closest to the University of Cape Town and is obviously largely populated by students. It has some great eateries and bars.
Newlands, Rondebosch and Claremont
Moving further out of the city are the family friendly suburbs of Newlands, Rondebosch and Claremont. All these areas have properties which are great for families, situated in leafy suburbs and close to excellent schools. Newlands forest sits on the slopes of Table Mountain and is perfect for walking the dog or going for run.
Bishopscourt and Constantia
Further round the mountain are the affluent suburbs of Bishopscourt and Constantia. Most of the embassies are situated in these areas. These suburbs boast some of the biggest and grandest houses in the world, with manicured lawns and landscaped gardens. Again, there are excellent schools close by.
Constantia is well known for its restaurants and vineyards. There are some beautiful walks in the area, taking you up to the top of Table Mountain. The only drawback with this area is the traffic into the city which can be awful on a good day! The secret is to leave home before 7 a.m. or after 9.30 a.m.
This is not the ideal area in which to live if you need to get into the city every day by car but there are trains from Simonstown that go straight into the city. However, if you do get stuck in the traffic, the road hugs the coast so you can spend your time whale and dolphin spotting. It is a great place for both families and singles. Places like Muizenberg, St. James and Simonstown are like little villages, each with their own character. There are some good primary schools in the area but the best senior schools are closer to Cape Town.
Hout Bay and the Peninsular
Hout Bay is still popular with visitors and residents alike, despite tensions between the people in the squatter camps and the other residents. It has a pretty little beach area and marks the beginning of the spectacular Chapman’s Peak Drive.
At the end of Chapman’s Peak Drive is Noordhoek. This is a must for horse lovers, as every other resident owns one. Noordhoek has a wide selection of properties and a magnificent beach which goes on forever. Going further along the peninsular are attractive little villages like Imhoff’s Gift, Kommetjie, Misty Cliffs and Scarborough – all with their own special charm and particularly suited to families. Again though, the journey into Cape Town can be a long one – 35 minutes out of rush hour and 2 hours during rush hour.
The northern suburbs are very popular with people who want to live closer to the winelands (Stellenbosch and Paarl etc). This area is more Afrikaans than the southern suburbs, which are mainly English speaking.
Practically every photograph you see of Table Mountain is taken from Table Bay. It is an area which is now served by MiCity buses which has made travelling into the city easier, but, it still takes a long time in rush hour. This area has wonderful beaches and is great for kite surfing and surfing. There is housing available for every scenario – families, singles and couples.