February 27th, 2010

Simon’s Town is a beautiful sea-side town on the opposite side of the Cape peninsular. Only a few kilometres south of the town is Boulders Beach, a popular tourist attraction, and is home to the African Penguin (one of only three colonies in South Africa.)

Popular activities include: boat charters and sea kayaking, offered by the Simon’s Town Yacht Club as well as deep sea fishing and whale watching charters. There is also a wealth of delicious sea-side restaurants and pubs that will suit even the pickiest eater’s appetite.

History of Simons Town

The Dutch governor of the Cape Colony, Simon van der Stel, is the man after whom Simon’s Town is named. He surveyed the land from 1677 – 1699 and concluded it to be a safe winter harbour between the months of May and September.

In 1806, Simon’s Town became home to the South Atlantic Squadron. They were tasked with caring for Napoleon Bonaparte, who was exiled to St. Helena Island. Admiral Lord Nelson also made two visits to Simon’s Town during the late 1770s.

Robert Brown, generally regarded as one of finest figures in the history of British botany, called at Simon’s Town during 1801, where, for the first time, he saw members of South Africa’s national flower, the Protea, growing in its natural habitat.

The town has several museums which are worth visiting. Simon’s Town Museum highlights events in the development of Simon’s Town through the centuries. The South African Naval Museum in the Mast House (1815) alongside the Simon’s Town Museum, displays models of ships and related maritime events.

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