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Exploring the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town
There's a big difference between the Atlantic Seaboard and the Southern Suburbs. The weather, the people, the atmosphere - everything is completely different. The Atlantic side tends to be hot and sunny, full of crowded bars, stylish boutiques and lavish hillside mansions.
But as soon as you slip around the other side of the mountain, past the Rhodes Memorial, you find yourself surrounded by forests and quiet neighbourhoods. All stress and tension in your shoulders fades away. And as you take a deep relaxing breath, your realise - THIS is where I want to stay.
As you wind southward down the M3 highway, just past the Rhodes Memorial is the University of Cape Town. (Anytime you see a university, you know your in the right part of town.) Past the University is the Newlands Forest. Oh, while we're in Newlands - if you're a sports fan, this is definitely where you want to hang your hat. The Newlands Stadium is home to both the Cape Town Stormers rugby team as well as international cricket.
Should your interests lean more towards nature, you'll not find a more beautiful sanctuary then the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, nestled in the forests that completely line this side of Table Mountain. Watch you don't wander too far into the forest. Contour trails run right the way the mountain.
Further down the road is the Tokai Forest, where you reach the end of the the M3. If you're heading for the beaches in Muizenberg then turn left. But if you're heading further down the peninsula towards Fish Hoek or Simons Town you MUST turn right and head up the Ou Kapse Weg. Although it's not the shortest route to Fish Hoek the view is absolutely stunning! As you zig-zag up to the top, the panoramic view stretches right across False Bay to the Hottentots Holland Mountains.
If you're heading for the beach, your best bet is Muizenberg. The waters are much warmer than on the Atlantic side, and the waves are much tamer. Even small children can safely play in the waves. And don't just sit there and watching the kids. Grab a boogy board from the local surf shop and get out there and have some fun!