As you round one of the last hairpin bends of the incredibly scenic Chapman's Peak Drive in the direction of Noordhoek village, the spectacular sight of Noordhoek Beach will strike you. It's worth stopping here for a few minutes to gaze from this high vantage point at the enormous beach stretching for 8 km.
Horse riders can often be seen galloping along this vast expanse, gripped by the wildness of the ocean and sense of space and freedom. Also known as Long Beach, it's one of the stretches on the multi-day Hoerikwaggo Trail and you can walk all the way to the next village of Kommetjie.
There's more than enough space for everyone – surfers, beach walkers, dogs, horse riders, kite surfers and anyone up for a good session of sun tanning and chilling. It's not one of Cape Town's best swimming beaches as the conditions are often rough and the water temperature is chilly.
Go splashing through the surf, enjoying a sunset horse ride along 7 km of powder white beach. Noordhoek’s Long Beach is arguably the best beach horse ride anywhere in the world!
There are currently three commercial horse riding establishments in the area. With their vast knowledge of horse riding and horses, Chris and Louise Spengler (the owners of Afton Grove) will be able to direct their in-house guests to the stable best suited to their needs, whether you are a complete novice or an accomplished rider.
As this is an extremely popular activity, it’s advisable to book your ride at the same time as booking your stay at Afton Grove. There is also the option of a one-hour bush ride for the 8 – 14 year olds and 30-minute pony rides for the 2 – 8 years old.
Trail guides accompany up to six riders. Over weekends on the morning and late afternoon trails up to eight riders can be accommodated with two trail guides, however arrangements need to be made in advance.
Riding experience is not essential as horses are allocated according to skill, however you need to bear in mind that horse riding is considered an extreme sport and in accordance with SANParks regulations no galloping is allowed on the beach and the ride will be kept at a walk.
Guests may wish to visit a local racing stable (by arrangement) or stud farms further a field. As our valued in-house guest, speak to us about your particular interest and let us arrange a visit on your behalf.
On the road to Noordhoek's Long Beach and tucked away under the ancient milk wood trees you will find the Red Herring restaurant. Above it is Skebanga’s Pub - a place so laid back that shoes are not essential and baggy shorts are fine.
Skebanga’s is loud and always packed and very popular with horse riders, surfers and locals just chilling out, but there is always room for one more. In the winter a roaring fire will keep the chills at bay, but for most of the year one can enjoy the truly spectacular views of Long Beach from the outside wooden deck.
Noordhoek faces West and it is known for breathtakingly beautiful sunsets and nowhere can one enjoy them more than the deck of Skebanga’s pub. Sunny winter afternoons can be spent on the deck watching whales mating off the beach in the cool Atlantic.
Deservedly reputed to be one of Cape Town’s great pubs, Skebanga’s serves great pub fare at modest prices, but locals know that the best nosh is the wonderful thin based Pizzas cooked in a wood fired oven, and said to be the best in the Southern hemisphere.
Enjoy the multi-choice pizza menu or order one made to your own specification, but be warned - their pizzas are huge and best shared with another. A range of beers is available on tap as well as the usual pub offerings. Don’t be alarmed if you find yourself hooked and keep on returning. That is what Skebanga’s does to you!
Local is “lekker” they say. Well, it can’t get much better than Noordhoek farm village; a thatched Cape Dutch yesteryear complex with farm stall, excellent restaurants, a pub, artist studios, antiques and African collectibles and curios. This charming village complex of shops, galleries and handicraft shops is situated at the start of famous Chapmans peak scenic drive - clustered under ancient oak trees. This favorite relaxing spot for the locals always has a busy vibe, but is generously shared with visitors to this enchanted valley. The restaurants begin their busy days serving wonderful country breakfasts which you can enjoy our fresco or under the thatched patio of the food barn. The Food Barn is presided over by famous chef Franck Dangereux, who offers cooking demonstrations with his always popular Bistro menu. The Food Barn also offers a wide range of organic vegetables, baked goods, preserves and cheeses for you to take home and enjoy the best of the Cape.Amongst the shops you will find a wine shop – open seven days a week – which will give you an excellent the opportunity to try a range of Cape wines including the prestigious output of our local Cape Point winery. Spend a couple of hours browsing in the art galleries sharing the inspiration that the many artists who live in the valley have gained from the beauty that surrounds Noordhoek, or shop for truly African clothes and crafts.There is no reason to be worried about the children being bored while you shop or just browse because there is a large playground area equipped with swings, slides and jungle gyms to keep them occupied. Perhaps you might join the locals at the end of your outing in the local pub “The Frog” for a cool couple of points or even an enjoyable pub meal.
Heaven on horseback is cantering through the surf on a fine thoroughbred horse with whales and dolphins leaping in the bay.
That's what the brochure says but this dream can easily become a reality at The Dunes in Noordhoek. The stables are built right on the sand of Noordhoek Beach – the longest, whitest and most spectacular beach in Cape Town.
Stroll or canter along the shoreline of this five-mile long beach, then explore the ancient shipwreck. Splash through the seasonal lagoon and trot through the grassy sand dunes. Advanced riders can gallop on the race horse training track parallel to the beach, while beginners admire the exquisite views of Chapman's Peak and the Atlantic Ocean.
Apart from offering beach horse rides, The Dunes stables about forty thoroughbred horses who are in training and compete at Cape Town's two race courses every week. You could be taking a beach ride on a retired winner who now has a more leisurely life as a trail riding horse. Your ex-race horse will go as fast as you like, but they are quite happy to plod along at a walk, trot or canter. The horses are regularly featured in the photo shoots and films – not only could you be riding a winning race horse, but your mount could be a movie star too!
Contact Mike Stewart +27 (0)21 789 1723 +27 (0)82 784 8699 www.horserides.co.za
Things to do near
*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling
Sunnydale (2.6 km from Noordhoek)
Longbeach Mall houses all the large food and clothes retailers including Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Food Lover’s Market, Edgars, Truworths. Ocean Basket, Spur, and Wimpy. You will also find jewellery stores, coffee shops, craft shops, hair and beauty salons, pharmacies and music stores.
Masiphumelele (3.4 km from Noordhoek)
Join Charlotte Nomthunzie on a fascinating, informative tour of Masiphumelele. This thriving township is home to 20 000 people and is just a few kilometres from Noordhoek.
Charlotte offers two-hour guided walks while sharing anecdotes about life in the townships. On the tour you will visit spaza shops, shebeens, barbershops, the school, development programs and local artists.
Faerie Knowe (3.6 km from Noordhoek)
Liebermann Pottery retails a vast collection of ceramics – traditional tableware designed and developed by Sammy and Mary Liebermann, rare porcelain from the Far East, functional ware from Africa and South East Asia, garden planters of all kinds, bric-a-brac, and collectables. The shop is set on a smallholding featuring an organic veggie shop, and indigenous garden.
Open 7 days a week, Monday to Friday 10:00 – 18:00, Weekend 10:00 – 15:00.
Silvermine (3.8 km from Noordhoek)
Big views, pretty fynbos and a fairly easy walk characterize this popular route. The horseshoe-shaped hike can be done in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction around Silvermine Dam. Leave your vehicle in the parking area at the dam.
Starting in a clockwise direction, the trail climbs steadily above Silvermine Dam past Shelter Rock, and Breakfast Slab, then along Crassula Edge and the Amphitheatre Path. After Dragonback Passage, walk past Blind Man's Bend to the cairn, and turn down to the trail running on other side of the dam.
Duration: 2.5 – 3 hours
Distance: 4.5 km
Silvermine (3.8 km from Noordhoek)
Combined with an additional loop to Elephant’s Eye Cave, this easy walk takes in three stunning viewpoints that jointly offer a 360-degree panoramic of the Peninsula.
Start at Silvermine Dam car park and follow the jeep track beyond the reservoir wall. Look out for the gorgeous King Proteas blooming in autumn. At other times there are blue Disas, Painted Ladies and numerous Erica species along the trail.
Duration: 2.5 hours return
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Distance: 6 km
Silvermine (3.9 km from Noordhoek)
The guided Orange Kloof Hoerikwaggo Trail starts at the Silvermine Dam and overnights in the Orange Kloof National Forest on the first day. Hikers are able to walk unencumbered with backpacks as belongings are portaged to the overnight camp. This section of the Hoerikwaggo Trial has a minimum of 2 and a maximum limit of 12 hikers per day.
Duration: 2 days
Distance: 33 km
Silvermine (4.3 km from Noordhoek)
Silvermine Nature Reserve forms part of the Table Mountain National Park and offers numerous trails for walking or hiking. A detailed map of the trails can be purchased from Noordhoek Village tourism office for a nominal fee.
The Silvermine Hiking trail allows one to see some of the world’s most spectacular coastal and mountain scenery which is rich with a variety of flora as well as bird and small animal life. There are a large number of different Proteas and other fynbos species, flowering throughout the different seasons; making this an enjoyable and interesting walk at any time of the year.
One of the easiest and most accessible walks leads from the car park at the top of the mountain to the Silvermine Reservoir. This is an easy 1 – 1 ½ hour walk and is suitable for all members of the family. From the parking area the trail is well marked and heads predominantly uphill although it is not particularly strenuous. The trail winds through remarkably different vegetation and you will enjoy a number of boardwalks over the streams.
On hot summer days you will find the wooded banks verdant with tree ferns a pleasantly cool and peaceful spot to linger. Surprisingly the trail heads through some small forest glades. The path wends its way up well-maintained wooden walkways and the occasional rustic bridge until reaching the dam wall. Stop along the way to admire the spectacular views across False Bay where on a clear day you can see clear across to Gordon’s Bay.
A number of quaint stone benches and tables are dotted along the path where one can picnic or braai. It is best to check at the ticket office beforehand – lighting of fires may be prohibited in dry and windy conditions. During hot summer days, people often take a cooling swim in the clear water. In early autumn there are an amazing variety of flowering plants including Proteas.
On the opposite side of Ou Kaapse Weg, just after the apex, is another entrance manned by the Parks board where one can park and walk up Silvermine River Valley to a small waterfall, passing a number of old ruins. The waterfall offers the perfect spot to take in the sounds of nature. Like so many of the waterfalls on Table Mountain, this one is only seen in its full glory in winter, but it is also a great peaceful picnic spot.
Need to know? There is a small entry fee or free for Wild Card holders. There are toilet facilities at the parking area.
Silvermine (4.8 km from Noordhoek)
Popular with families and dog walkers, the Silvermine Waterfall Walk is very easy and accessible with a robust pushchair for an infant.
It’s a great place to spot sunbirds flitting amongst the profusion of fynbos – proteas, ericas, watsonias, pelargoniums, everlastings and a horde of other plants. The waterfall is at its most dramatic in winter and is usually dry in summer.
Duration: 1 hour return
Distance: 2 km
Warning: Take care when close to the slippery edge of the 30m waterfall!
Silvermine (4.9 km from Noordhoek)
Walking through Silvermine’s rocky landscape and stunning fynbos to the Kalk Bay Amphitheatre is gentler than the more direct uphill from Boyes Drive.
The trail traverses Maiden Peak, offering impressive views of Constantiaberg, and across False Bay to Cape Point. Part of the route is on an old fishermen’s path that linked Hout Bay to Kalk Bay before roads were built.
Duration: 4 – 5 hours
Distance: 7.5 km
Silvermine (4.9 km from Noordhoek)
Park your vehicle at Gate 2 in Silvermine East and take the path signposted to Higher Steenberg Peak. The circular trail meanders through interesting fynbos past the distinctive Wolfkop Pillar. The spectacular views extend across Silvermine West, Constantia, and the back of Table Mountain all the way to Devil's Peak.
The hike to Higher Steenberg Peak can also be done in an anticlockwise direction, taking the jeep track just past the waterfall. From the top of Steenberg Peak, the awesome panoramic views are well worth the steep climb.
Duration: 3 hours
Distance: 4 km
Silvermine (4.9 km from Noordhoek)
Explore the watercourse of the Silvermine River along a short trail up or down from Silvermine Dam. If you intend going up the river, turn left directly after paying at the entrance and park on the grassy parking section.
The trail passes through dense Palmiet reeds, natural pools, marshlands and a dense canopy of Keurboom trees before reaching the reservoir. Once here, don't miss doing the loop around Silvermine Dam. Here there are wonderful spots for a picnic, braai facilities and ablutions.
Duration: 1 hour
Distance: 2 km (one way)
Imhoffs Gift (5.4 km from Noordhoek)
Imhoff Farm is an historical Cape farmstead offering something special for the entire family to enjoy. It’s Old World, yet original; beautifully situated, fun, tranquil, and it’s on the busy tourist route to Cape Point.
Equally popular with locals and visitors from afar, this spot in the country provides a wealth of activities. Stunning views, first-rate food, organic produce; unique shops, beach rides and animal encounters are just some of the many experiences on offer.
The Farm is open seven days a week with ample, safe parking available.
Kommetjie (5.5 km from Noordhoek)
Feel the exciting and adrenalin-pumping action of paintball. Dive through bushes, cover behind trees, and take out the enemy using tactics and team coordination; a thrilling experience of real-time combat.
Markers and paintballs are rented and purchased onsite, as well as heavy army jackets if you require them. Avid regulars and social players are all welcome to enjoy themselves.
Age limit: players must be above 11 years of age to play.
Cost: R120 per player, and R50 per marker. Camouflage gear and the face mask are included.
Please note that the use of your own paintballs is not allowed.
Kommetjie (5.5 km from Noordhoek)
Imhoff Equestrian Centre offers horse enthusiasts a wonderful ride through Noordhoek's beautiful scenery.
This is a 2-hour guided beach ride on Noordhoek Beach, which is commonly accompanied by sightings of birds, whales, dolphins, otters and seals. The Kakapo shipwreck is also an interesting sight to see. This lovely scenic ride also promises great views of the coast and surrounding mountains.
The centre caters for all ages over 12 years old and for all levels, from beginners to advanced riders. Bookings are essential.
Clovelly (5.6 km from Noordhoek)
Considered one of the finest golf courses in South Africa, Clovelly Country Club is famous for its rolling, computer-irrigated fairways and undulating holes complementing its rich coastal environment. The championship-quality greens consist of bent grass and poa annua mix. Nestled in the pristine and tranquil Silvermine Valley close to Fish Hoek, Clovelly offers its members and visitors a memorable experience.The picturesque and challenging courses are a favourite of Bobby Locke, where each hole has a distinctive setting, with magnificent views of the surrounding mountains and False Bay. The Silvermine River, natural sand dunes and trees line the fairways with water features and a wide variety of birdlife such as guinea fowl, pheasant and steppe buzzard.Adjoining the club house is a pro shop, restaurant and driving range.