Simon’s Town is a charming fisherman’s town located on the eastern side of the Cape Peninsula; the most southwest peak of the African continent.
It is also the hometown of the South African Navy, and known for its proximity to the legendary Cape Good Hope, shark & seal infested False Bay, and penguin lodging Boulders Beach.
When travelling in and around Cape Town, I strongly suggest visiting Simon’s Town for at least a few days and looking into some of the following activities.
Go Cage Diving With Great White Sharks
A true shark expedition is all about observing genuine shark behaviour in a natural shark habitat. And much like with land safaris, the apex predators aren’t always as easy to spot as the grazers, making it all the more special when you finally do.
So, to increase your chances of seeing a good amount of shark activity, I suggest booking several morning expeditions in a row. This also safeguards you from sudden weather changes and resulting cancellations.
I can’t compare all 3 agencies active in Simon’s Town, but have had a wonderful experience with Apex Shark Expeditions. Apex Shark Expeditions was created by the famous and passionate elasmobranchologists Chris and Monique Fallows, known for their work with National Geographic and Discovery Channel.
Their passion and respect for sharks resonates throughout the Apex office and is prominent from the eco-friendly approach to their expeditions
Whichever provider you end up choosing, make sure to dress warm and bring some (preventive) motion sickness medication or get it at the nearby pharmacy!
Stand Where Two Oceans Meet
Most hotels, hostels and tourist agencies will offer competitive tours through the Cape Point reserve. Considering the volatile weather conditions, I suggest booking your tour only a few days in advance, or find a last minute booking on a sunny day itself.
The reserve makes for a nice drive, but if you don’t mind some physical exercise, I strongly suggest a bike tour to really take in your surroundings.
You can join an organized bike tour, or simply rent your own. It’s a sturdy ride to Cape Point, so dress warm and bring some lunch.
Just bear in mind the ostriches
The reserve also hosts a controlled baboon population, so keep your belongings close and windows shut when parked.
While the main attraction is whale spotting, I’ve also heard there might still be some zebras and bontebok antelopes running around the reserve.
Jackass Penguins at Boulders Beach
Finally I suggest quickly visiting Boulders Beach. It takes less than a few minutes to view the beach and you’ll feel a bit silly paying an entrance fee, but the view is worth it.
The beach is home to a small colony of endangered African penguins, also known as Jackass penguins due to their donkey-like vocalization.
I haven’t tried many different accommodations in Simon’s Town, but Simon’s Town Backpackers is a very affordable and comfortable hostel offering mainly private rooms.
If you know of more great activities in and around Simon’s Town, feel free to make a recommendation in the comment section below.