Welcome to the Western Cape’s suburbia. The region’s Southern Suburbs are made up of Rondebosch, Claremont, Kenilworth, Constantia, Plumstead, Newlands, Wynberg and Bishopscourt areas. The high rainfall in this area has resulted in beautiful, deep green woodlands and some of the province’s most beautiful flora which manages to transport visitors back in time.
Located at the foot of Table Mountain and just 15 minutes from Cape Town’s CBD is Newlands, home to the beautiful Newlands Forest. This nature reserve consists of pine plantations as well as the surviving remnants of the indigenous afro-montane forest – a stunning place for a stroll. It also includes some historic sites, among them Lady Anne Barnard’s Path and Woodcutter’s Cottage.
When it comes to sports, Newlands is well resourced with both the Newlands Rugby Stadium and Newlands Cricket Ground in the area. Two incredibly popular national sports, any chance to watch the live action at these revered stadia is well worth it. For those with little interest in the sports however, the beautiful cricket ground is a lovely spot to enjoy the view of Devil’s Peak, while just beside Newlands Rugby Stadium is the SA Rugby Museum, containing the sports’ historical artefacts and the more memorable commentaries.
On the eastern slopes of Table Mountain is the idyllic Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, one of the world’s most acclaimed botanic gardens for its diverse flora and fauna as well as the iconic setting. It is also home to the 130-metre Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway, a steel and timber bridge that winds its way throughout the ancient canopy, offering unmatched Cape views.
The ideal position and exquisite views have made Newlands a prime residential location, with some of the areas most affluent homes on display. There is also a delightful selection of eateries, cafes and bistros, including the must-visit local pub, Forester’s Arms or ‘Forries’ as it’s known to frequenters. Enjoy a cold draft and some quality pub grub in the treed outdoor area in one of the Cape’s most gorgeous regions.
Really adding to the vibrancy of the Southern Suburbs is the multitude of hipster students, all trying to find their way in life while enjoying a great drink and the joys of youth. These energetic youngsters emanate from the illustrious University of Cape Town, located in easily one of the most beautiful areas of the Southern Suburbs – Rondebosch. For some quality entertainment, pop into the university’s Baxter Theatre, which hosts a variety of local comedy, dance and theatre.
The popular Constantia Wine Route beckons – with eight award-winning vineyards to choose from, all just 15 minutes from the CBD. Relax and enjoy the tastes of the Cape at Groot Constantia, Steenberg Vineyards, Constantia Uitsig, Klein Constantia, Buitenverwachting, Eagles Nest, Constantia Glen and Silvermist Vineyards, while learning something new about South African wines from industry experts.
Get some fresh mountain air on the Constantia Greenbelt which consists of the inviting Alphen Trail. This lovely walk, encompassed by rippling streams, lush meadows and tall trees, winds along the Diep River and is gentle enough for all ages. Constantia also has the beautiful Cecilia Forest, where hikers can immerse themselves in dense greenery and an array of flora and fungi.
There are great wining and dining options throughout the Cape’s Southern Suburbs. The Constantia Village Shopping Centre has a number of great selections and the good eating continues into the winelands – La Colombe at Silverstream, Little Stream at Klein Constantia and Simons at Groot Constantia are all well worth a taste.
The quality fare continues into Claremont which boasts the renowned lunchtime spot, Starlings Cafe, as well as ‘Cape Town’s first wine bar’ – Oblivion, a great dining option in the day and party spot in the evenings.
To experience the more ‘boho’ side of Cape Town, stroll on over to Observatory – or ‘Obs’ as it’s known locally - where you are welcome to meet the international spiritual community at the Tushita Kadampa Meditation Centre. The centre is open to everyone looking to find some refuge and draw inspiration from the spiritual characters on site. After meditating, enjoy a drink at any number of chic bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants with live music backing and patrons including professors, backpackers, musicians and philosophers.