Hidden Gems Featured Image
by Gareth
Forries News

Cape Town is one of the unique places to visit in South Africa, with many hidden treasures, places to see, and things to do. So, no matter if you are visiting Cape Town for a well-earned holiday or you’re a born and bred Capetonian looking for something exciting to do on the weekend, we have compiled a list of five incredible hidden gems in Cape Town for you to explore.

What Are Hidden Gems?

Hidden gems refer to a place that is outstandingly beautiful, unique, or interesting but has yet to be discovered by tourists. These are often secret spots that have managed to remain untouched by commercialisation and mass tourism, usually known only to locals or very few people.

Secret Location

Hidden gems can be anything from a picturesque secluded beach, an off-the-beaten-path hiking trail or a cosy restaurant serving mouth-watering cuisine. Discovering these hidden gems can provide a more authentic, personal, and less crowded experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local culture and environment fully.

5 Hidden Gems in Cape Town

1. Windmill Beach

Windmill Beach, one of the beach hidden gems in Cape Town nestled behind the Froggy Pond golf course, shares similar features with its neighbouring Boulders Beach, with large granite boulders providing a natural windshield. The beach, adorned with white sand, descends into two gullies separated by a rocky extension. This area is characterised by tranquil, transparent waters, offering safe swimming and wading for children in the shallow parts and excellent snorkelling opportunities in the deeper areas.

Hidden Gems - Windmill Beach

The beach is a popular spot for scuba diving training due to its easy access points, clear visibility, and lack of intense wave activity. Beginner divers are often led on a journey around the rocky extension, starting from one gully and making their way back to the shore via the other, all while experiencing the rich marine life of the kelp forest. Sea kayakers frequently traverse the channel, either heading to or coming from Simon’s Town.

Hidden Gems - Scuba Diving

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2. The Duck Parade at Vergenoegd Wine Estate

The daily Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate duck parade is a unique and captivating experience that is another of the hidden gems in South Africa. Each morning, the handler uses a variety of gestures and whistles to guide a flock of around one thousand Indian Runner ducks from the pond to the expanse of the wine estate.

Hidden Gems - Duck Parade

These particular ducks, known for their long legs and upright stance, are especially adept at reaching snails nestled between leaves. This entertaining ritual serves a purpose beyond mere spectacle – the ducks have been instrumental in pest management in the vineyards since 1984, consuming large quantities of snails, slugs, and other potentially destructive insects each day.

The winery’s commitment to regenerative agriculture practices is embodied in their use of these Indian Runner ducks. The nutrient-dense manure produced by the ducks and other animals on the estate contributes to the vineyard’s eco-friendly operations.

3. Diving With Seals at Seal Island

If you have been searching for hidden gems in Cape Town that involve marine life, this one is for you! Snorkelling with seals at Duiker Island, often referred to as Seal Island, is an unforgettable marine adventure. This unique experience allows you to get up close and personal with hundreds of Cape Fur Seals in their natural habitat.

Hidden Gems - Seal Island

Located just off Hout Bay near Cape Town, South Africa, Duiker Island is home to a thriving colony of over 15,000 seals. The island itself is not accessible to visitors, but the surrounding waters are perfect for snorkelling. The guides ensure the safety of the participants by keeping them clear of rocks and any bull seals.

The waters around the island are shallow, typically ranging between one and five meters in depth. These conditions make it suitable for both beginners and experienced snorkelers. As you swim amidst the kelp forests, you’ll be surrounded by playful seals darting about, offering an unparalleled wildlife encounter.

Diving with Seals

4. Constantia Greenbelt and Forest

If you are searching for hidden gems with opportunities to get out into nature, do some exercise, and perhaps have a leisurely picnic, then The Constantia Greenbelt is an excellent option. Located in Cape Town’s southern suburbs, the Constantia Greenbelt and Forest is an unmissable treasure that even offers many secret picnic spots in Cape Town. This forest, a part of the Table Mountain National Park, extends from Constantia Nek to Tokai, covering a distance of approximately 9 kilometres.

Constantia Greenbelt Trail

The Constantia Greenbelt and Forest stands out for its well-kept trails that cater to varying levels of difficulty, from simple to moderate. The much-loved Alphen Trail leads trekkers through the verdant forest and past the historic Alphen homestead, a structure with roots tracing back to the 18th century.

Alphen Trail

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5. Forries

Nestled in the heart of the Newlands community, Forester’s Arms is a much-loved Cape Town pub and restaurant welcoming everyone from families to furry friends. Our child-friendly establishment is one of the hidden gem restaurants in Cape Town, with its beautiful outside play area to keep the kids entertained and a menu diverse enough to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. There’s something for everyone at Forester’s Arms.

Forries Sign

Recognising that pets are as much a part of the family as anyone else, Forester’s Arms is a  proudly pet-friendly pub and restaurant in Cape Town. So whether you’re out for a walk with your four-legged friend when you decide to grab a bite to eat or simply don’t want to leave them at home, you can rest assured they’ll be welcomed with open arms, although dogs must be on a lead, please.

When it comes to food and drink, Forries boasts a varied menu. From pizzas and burgers to fresh line fish, and let’s not forget about the beer and cocktails, there is something for everyone. Forester’s Arms in Cape Town takes pride in its ice-cold tank beer, which is fresh and served straight from the tank to your glass.

Forries Pizza

Another reason to include this in your hidden gems list is the history aspect of Forries. Forester’s Arms is the oldest pub in Cape Town and is steeped in history. We have been serving the local community since the 1900s and weathering changes in trends and tastes while still retaining its original charm and character. This isn’t just a pub; it’s a piece of local heritage, showing us the enduring appeal of good food, good drink, and good company.

Forries Beer Garden

So whether you’re a local or a visitor, make sure to stop by Forester’s Arms, where everyone, including children and dogs, is welcome and where history, diversity, and quality are always on the menu.

Recommended reading: Outdoor Restaurants in Cape Town: Why Choose Forries?

Hidden Gems: Book a Table at Forries

While we recommend booking a table to ensure your spot, walk-ins are always welcome as we understand that sometimes, the best moments are unplanned and spontaneous. 

We’re open seven days a week:

  • Mondays to Thursdays from 11:30 to 23:00
  • Fridays from 11:30 to 00:00 
  • Saturdays from 09:00 to 23:00 
  • Sundays from 09:00 to 21:00

Whether you’re craving a hearty late breakfast, a leisurely lunch, a delectable dinner, or just a quick drink, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Forries, one of the best hidden gems in Cape Town. We look forward to welcoming you to Forries! If you would like to book a table then you can make use of the Dine plan form on our website or reach out to us via phone on 021 689 5949.

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