Kommetjie and Kommetjie Lighthouse

Te Slangkop Lighthouse. Photo courtesy Damien du Toit

Kommetjie (“small basin” in Afrikaans) gets its name from early beginnings, when settlers apparently used the natural basin as a convenient fish trap. 

Today the suburb’s main attraction is its wide, long, beautiful beach, which extends for more than 8km (5mi) to Noordhoek. Its length and flatness makes Kommetjie a popular dog-walking and horse-riding venue. About 3km down the beach you’ll come across the wreck of the SS Kakapa, which ran aground in 1900.

Another attraction is the tallest cast-iron lighthouse on the South African coast, the white Slangkop (“snake head” in Afrikaans) Lighthouse, which stands approximately 30m (98ft) high and is made entirely from steel. Slangkop Lighthouse has been operational since March 4, 1919 and has a rotating electric light that gives four flashes every 30 seconds. The central point of the light is 41m (135ft) above water, making it visible even in thick misty conditions. The lighthouse is powered by the Cape Municipality, but it also has a standby diesel alternator, which takes over in the event of an interruption in the main supply.

Kommetjie is also a premier site for observing seabirds. It forms part of the fynbos biome, and possesses some rare and highly sought-after plants that are threatened by alien species, especially those of Australian origin. Nearby Noordhoek Valley and the wetland opposite offer varied habitat to more than 150 different bird species.

Under the welcome shade of ancient oaks you’ll find the Noordhoek Farm Village, where eclectic shopping opportunities mix with art, wine, fine dining and overnight accommodation. However, for the more adventurous, a number of hiking trails – from one to four hours’ duration – wind through the mountains surrounding the Noordhoek Valley.

This rural and well-preserved area near Cape Town always has a peaceful atmosphere, even in peak holiday season.

The residential areas of Ocean View and Masiphumelele fall within the Kommetjie environs and are an example of settlements established during the apartheid era. Both have distinctive cultures and local tour operators and guides love sharing their stories, history and unique cuisine. Ask Cape Town Tourism for more information on the bicycle tours available in Masiphumelele.

Kommetjie is also world-famous for surfing events, crayfishing, and long summer nights.

Imhoff Farm, +27 (0)21 783 4545; www.naturefarm.co.za, in Kommetjie is worth a visit. It’s a fun place for adults and children alike,  with camel rides, a snake park, a farm stall and a bistro.

For more information on the small town of Kommetjie, visit the community website on www.kommetjie.co.za or contact Cape Town Tourism to ask about activities, attractions, places to stay, restaurants or just a tour to the “small basin”.

  • Phone: +27 (21)789 2812

Southern Suburbs

The Southern Suburbs are a tourist’s delight. The area, which stretches from the slopes of the Table Mountain range to the False Bay coast, offers natural attractions and a vibrant nightlife.

St James

Just a little further on from Cape Town’s well-known Muizenberg beach is St James. Home to a cluster of well-known and oft-photographed bathing boxes on the beach, St James is a picturesque area that offers beachgoers respite from the westerly wind.

Llandudno and Sandy Bay

Only 18km from the Cape Town city centre, an arc of fine white sand gives away the secluded location of one of Cape Town’s most beautiful beaches, Llandudno.

Macassar Dunes Project

The Macassar Dunes Project is located on the Cape Town coast adjacent to Macassar and Khayelitsha and is bounded by the Eerste River, Baden Powell Drive and False Bay.

West Coast Ostrich Show Ranch

For a tourism experience with a difference, visit the West Coast Ostrich Show Ranch. This family-owned ostrich business includes informative tours.

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