Cape Town Time:

Rondebosch

This leafy green suburb nestled below the slopes of Table mountain has been home to most of the University of Cape town’s students for many years, but there is much to know and see in this beautiful suburb. 

A guide to Rondebosch: History & Fun Things to do

 

The first land title awarded in Africa by the first Dutch Governor, a man called Jan van Riebeeck was for the area we call Rondebosch today. The name Rondebosch loosely translated to “round tree” and has its origins in a clump of thorn trees along the Liesbeek river used as a reference point by the arriving Dutch in the 1650s, they called it “Het Ronde Doornboschjen”. Today this area is home to most of the University of Cape town students and families. The proximity to the city is fantastic, and you never feel like you are in one of South Africa’s biggest cities when staying in Rondebosch. 

With quaint bakeries and coffee shops, this is the ideal place to spend a relaxed afternoon in Cape Town. Being close to Kirstenbosch botanical gardens and Newlands forest, there is plenty to do in the Rondebosch area. The famous Rhodes monument is also situated here and many visitors to Cape Town will stop by this monument. A memorable stop for any visitor would be the Groote Schuur estate, this was the home of Cecil John Rhodes and is a fantastic example of Cape Dutch architecture.

Where to Drink & Eat out in Rondebosch

 

1. Starlings Coffee Shop 

Now we know this is in Claremont (The suburb next to Rondebosch) but we had to include this spot on the list. This has to be in our all-time favourite lists of coffee shops to visit in Cape Town. The setting is relaxed and quaint, the coffee is fantastic and the food will leave you wanting more. 

2. Al’s Place 

If you are looking for a local spot with good grub and a nice atmosphere this is the place for you. Al’s is an institution in Cape Town and has been around for a while. From steaks to Pizza and everything in between, you will be looked after here. Don’t expect fancy decor, but a place with great food and a fun atmosphere. 

3. The Hussars Grill Rondebosch

Although you can find this chain of steak restaurants all over South Africa, this spot has become much loved by locals. Offering tantalising steak meals with a great menu, you will never be disappointed visiting the Hussars grill.  If you are visiting South Africa for the first time, make sure to try their biltong (dry-cured meat that South Africans love). No trip to South Africa is complete without eating biltong.

The Story of Rondebosch’s Haunted House

 

It doesn’t matter where you travel around the World, there is always going to be a ghost story, and Rondebosch is no different.  Situated on Milner road is a fantastic example of Edwardian architecture, a magnificent red-bricked 24 room house, with imposing steel gates and a certain air about it. Known by locals as the “Spook huis” this residence has been the talk of locals for many decades. Tales of doors opening and closing with minds of their own, and a translucent elderly man wandering the property have enthralled people for many years and its history seems to date back to the 1930s when young boys would dress up as ghosts and jump from the balcony to scare passers-by. It seems they left a lasting impression. Whether or not you believe in ghosts, this is a beautiful property, and a reminder of times gone by.

Newlands

Langa

Simon’s Town

Blouberg

Bo Kaap

Cape Town CBD

Noordhoek

Woodstock

Khayelitsha

Camps Bay

Muizenberg

Sea Point

Rondebosch

Bellville

Claremont

Durbanville

Kalk Bay

Mitchell’s Plain

Observatory

Gugulethu

Hout Bay

De Waterkant