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WESTERN CAPE: Our insider’s guide to Big Bay

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On the western seaboard a number of precincts were developed in the early 2000s, establishing a go-to area for younger and first-time buyers looking for affordability and an outdoor lifestyle

Foresight and planning have created a fresh residential and commercial precinct on the West Coast.

A key element in the City of Cape Town’s Integrated Development Plan, the western seaboard – conceived in the early 2000s – was the fastest-growing metropolitan region in the country, giving birth to suburbs such as Parklands, West Beach, Sandown and Big Bay.

More than a decade on and Big Bay has established itself as a go-to place for younger and firsttime buyers seeking a combination of affordability and outdoor lifestyle.

The introduction of the MyCiti urban transport service has been a game-changer – commuting to the CBD in 20 minutes. – Tyson Properties, Western Seaboard Director, Adrian van Riel Picture: Supplied

For resident and businessman Garth de Nobrega it is clear: “Easy access to myriad water sports is a huge attraction. The area has hosted the Red Bull King of the Air kite-surfing competition, attracting global competitors. The annual Freedom Swim, 7.4km from Robben Island to Bloubergstrand, is seen as one of the most difficult cold water long distance events on the calendar.”

Adrian van Riel, director of Tyson Properties Western Seaboard, also praises the region: “Big Bay is home to the most iconic views of Cape Town. On a clear day Table Mountain is what most travellers expect to see on arriving in the Mother City. The introduction of the MyCiti urban transport service has been a game-changer – commuting to the city centre in 20 minutes – making CBD attractions, including the V&A Waterfront, a comfortable commute.”

“As a new precinct, most housing opportunities are less than 10 years old, predominantly freehold houses, smaller townhouses and apartments within secure estates.

“These options attract all age groups and the market is robust. Also, there has been significant commercial development, including a world-class hospital and several shopping centres. The 65 000m² Table Bay Mall contains all major chains.

“A number of private schools has opened, with others in the pipeline, appealing to young families. Almost half the owners are in the 36 to 49 age bracket.” 

Van Riel says there is a wide range of price points. Entry-level apartments begin at around R1.2 million, moving to around R4.5m for something mid-range. 

At the top end, prices balloon depending on amenities and sea views. Van Riel says it is not uncommon for properties to fetch in excess of R17m. The market also attracts investors as the holiday rental market is strong, buoyed by views and abundant recreational opportunities.

A luxury split-level home at Waters’ Edge, a security estate in Big Bay, which appeals to a wide market. Picture: Thys Visser Photography/

The western seaboard is fast becoming a self-sustaining entity in its own right, with increasing commercial and employment opportunities. Abundant retail, good medical facilities, excellent schools, a great recreational offering and easy access elsewhere via the MyCiti network combine to make Big Bay and surrounds an area to be seriously considered to take advantage of the Cape’s natural bounty.

Garth de Nobrega’s favourite places and things to do

There’s so much to do, especially if you are outdoor-oriented. Ocean sports top the list, but there are also great walks, the Park Run, as well as loads of places to catch a meal – a great vibe for families and oldies. – Garth de Nobrega, resident

1 Outdoors

The Big Bay area has access to some of the most dedicated cycle lanes in the region. A new 5.85km lane from Bloubergstrand to Melkbos is 3m wide, allowing for bi-directional traffic, and there’s a kerb barrier to protect cyclists. The views looking back towards Table Mountain are breathtaking. Don’t worry if you don’t own a bike – contact Bikes ‘n Wines to rent wheels (021 823 8790).

For something a bit more hardcore, why not consider swimming from Robben Island to Blouberg Beach? First attempted in the late 1870s, the crossing is now acknowledged as difficult with icy seas averaging 12˚C, treacherous currents and fast-changing conditions. The annual Freedom Swim is on April 13. Call Big Bay Events 082 770 5798.

2 Eat

For a dessert with pizazz, visit Big Bay Waffle Company at Eden on the Bay. Not mass-made confectionery, but made-to-order delicacies. Waffle master Maria whips up special orders based on the legendary Belgian original. There’s sweet and savoury to suit all palates (021 554 4665).

Moyo is the taste of Africa. In an idyllic position with direct views of Table Mountain, they offer diverse dining options, from relaxed lunches to romantic dinners embracing the flavours of the continent – classic South African dishes with a twist (021 286 0662).

On The Rocks has been delighting customers since 1963 with fresh seafood. Waves crash at your feet (021 554 1988).

From the sea to your table, there is every type of dining available. Picture: Supplied

3 Drink

Enjoy a sundowner with spectacular vistas of Table Mountain at the Blue Peter (021 554 1988).

Siwela Wines is an African female-owned producer of blended premium red blends headquartered in Big Bay. Wines go down well – a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Merlot, Malbec, Pinotage and Roobernet, featuring blackcurrant, cigar box with pepper on the palate. Siwela wines are available online. (060 529 1486).

4 Shop

Eden on the Bay is a residential/retail offering on the West Coast. There’s a plethora of retail opportunities, including a number of iconic restaurants. The rolling lawns fronting on to the sea are a favourite hangout for shoppers and visitors and regularly host events.


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