The house is located at the historical Jacobsladder steps / Jacobsladder trappies, the pedestrians only thoroughfare that connects ‘Main Road’ along the Indian ocean seashore with ‘Boyes Drive ‘ uphill. Boyes drive is part of the scenic route around the peninsula of Cape of Good Hope. The Jacobsladder is opposite the public tennis court at Main Road. For locals keys for the tennis court are available ‘next door’ at the Retirement Hotel (66 Main Road St James ).
The climate on this location is Mediterranean, soft winters with relatively much sun and some rain, and warm but not too hot summers with a sheltered climate (not too windy, not too much heat, hardly any rain).
The safe and cosy little seaside village of St James lies just past Muizenberg en route to Kalk Bay and Cape of Good Hope (the end of the world is within walking distance!) and is beautifully set against the mountains with incredible sea views on the Indian ocean. In wintertime whales and dolphins can be spotted. In summertime families are waling and swimming in the relatively warm water of the Indian ocean.
This suburb of Cape Town is much sought after and many of the homes date back to the time when the Cape was a colony of the Victorian empire. The history of St James goes back to the times when VOC ships were rounding the Cape of Good Hope to go to the so called Indies and back. The area of St James is named after the St James Roman Catholic Church, built in 1858 for the Filipino fishermen of Kalk Bay, just up the road.
The house at Jacobsladder 6A dates back to 1896 and is beautifully furnished in a style that fits to the house. The house is surrounded by a Mediterranean garden with roses Bougainville and good smelling lavender.
St James’ beach – with its famous colourful beach huts - has a large tidal pool, which offers safe swimming for young and old.
The ’backyard’ of St. James is Table Mountain National Park and Silvermine Nature Reserve. This offers great hiking opportunities on well-marked routes. When you walk up the Jacobsladder steps (14 houses) you find an always (in summer and in winter time) flowering area that offers the opportunity to walk for hours - or even days- on safe and well prepared hiking trails.
The Simon’s Town commuter train stops at the St James railway station (in front of Jacobsladder). This metro line goes all along the Indian ocean sea shore from Simon’s Town (last town before the Cape of Good Hope) to Cape Town Central Station. This offers a frequent (in daytime every 10 minutes) connection with the city centre of Cape Town (Central station/ Waterfront shopping centre / Robben Island tours / Cape Town Shops and museums). The train will bring you to Cape Town Central Station in approximately 45 minutes.
Simon’s Town –, nowadays the South African Navy harbour is by car about 15 minutes from St James and by train about 20miniutes. This historic setting (1687) is one of the three oldest town in the Cape Province and was in the past the winter anchorage of the VOC ships going to the East. This little town has quite a number of nice little restaurants and shop and offers in the season whale- watching trips, as well as trips to so called Seal- Island with hundreds of seals living there. Within walking distance from Simonstown a large penguin colony is living on the seashore which is of course a tourist attraction.
The small fisherman and artistic village of Kalk Bay is within walking distance (10 minutes walking) and offers a delightful ambling opportunity for shopping and walking, through cobbled streets and a main street lined with an eclectic mix of antique shops and (modern and African) art-galleries, a good bookshop, lots of little restaurants, coffee and tea rooms, bistros and clothing boutiques.
Boyes Drive, which runs up above St James, offers further magnificent views over this bay called False Bay. Here you can sometimes spot whales in the season.
The location of St James is ideal for surfers as it is on walking distance from the trendy surfers area of Muizenberg beach with its famous waves that come and go at predictable times in a steady rhythm. This Muizenberg surfers area is full of lively bay activities (nice little restaurants and surfing lessons and clubs). Muizenberg has a number of local surf shops that hire out boards and offer lessons.
The Muizenberg Beach is a popular 200 m sandy shoreline with plenty of public parking. (after parking you give the person who looked after your car about 5 rand).
Muizenberg has been a popular and safe destination for beachgoers more than a hundred years! Many visitors spent the summer months at Muizenberg and one can still see the characteristic and colourful beach changing booths that have appeared in so many photographs over the years.
Muizenberg Beach is popular with families as the nearby Muizenberg Pavilion offers a water slide, outdoor swimming pool and putt-putt (mini-golf) course.
The safe and beautiful walk along the seafront from St James to Muizenberg (about 20-30 minutes) gives visitors the opportunity to enjoy the shoreline, rock pools and engage in some whale watching (June to November).
This walk along the so called Historical Mile brings you along Casa Labia a nice Modern Art Gallery (satellite of South African National Gallery) and former residence of Italian ambassador build in 18th century Venetian style, with possibilities to visit concerts and to have lunch and dinner in this historic setting.
Another well-known place on this “Historical Mile” is the former cottage of Cecil Rhodes (from 1899) founder of former Rhodesia /Zimbabwe which is now a museum.
Constantia and its Winelands At a 15 minutes’ drive from St James you find the elegant suburbs of Constantia and the Capes oldest winelands. This eared has many famous wineries and wine farm-restaurants such Groot Constantia, Buitenverwachting and Klein Constantia. La Colombe is rated as one of South Africa’s (and the World’s) best restaurants. High listed is also Steenberg’s Wine farm restaurant and the 1682 bistro near Constantia.
Winelands district An hour’s drive east of St James the Winelands provide perfect touring country. The district takes in Cape Town’s earliest European satellite settlements at Stellenbosch, Paarl, Franschhoek and Summerset West. Each with its own established wine route.
Kirstenbosch botanical gardens Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden ( at a 20 minutes’ drive) is acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world. It is the oldest and largest botanical garden in South Africa and was created in 1895. Today there are over 22000 indigenous plants. Cape plants are cultivated on the slopes. From here you can make your way up to the top of Table Mountain.
The area of St James has many popular golf courses such as Clovelly Golf Course in Fishhoek, at 10 minutes’ drive, The Westlake Golf Club at Lake side (10 minutes drive) and the Royal Cape Golf club, at Wynberg ( 15 minutes’ drive ) and The Rondebosch Golf Club (25 minute drive) at Cape Town Centrum.
Other Sports like horse riding, sea kayaking, kite surfing, rock climbing are possible nearby.
Activities in Muizenberg
Dogs allowed: Yes - only on a leash and only between 6pm and 9am during November until April and during off peak season, from May - October.
Lifesavers on duty: Six during peak season
Shark spotters on duty: Three during peak season
The easiest and most comfortable way to travel in South Africa is by (hired) car (use for instance auto europe and get your car at cape town international go to exit arrivals and under the tunnel to car rentals)
From Cape town international Airport by car (driving on left hand side) or taxi takes about 25 minutes to half an hour depending on traffic jam.
From the City centre of Cape Town by train in daytime and by car at night