Centred around Bellville, the expansive northern suburbs include Tygerberg, Durbanville, Century City and Milnerton… all of which are 25 minutes or less from Cape Town. Named after the surveyor general of the Cape Colony – Charles Davidson Bell – Bellville is renowned for its verdant vineyards, shopping centres and recreational facilities, among them the illustrious Bellville Golf Club.
The Bellville Golf Club’s 6000-metre, Par 72 golf course incorporates the natural contours with immaculately-manicured fairways and greens, and stunning views of the Hottentots Holland mountains in the distance. If golfing is your game, then Bellville Golf Club is definitely worth a stop.
The natural beauty flows into Durbanville Wine Valley, a gem of the Cape’s Northern Suburbs comprising a vintage selection of quality vineyards - Altydgedacht, Bloemendal, D’Aria, Diemersdal, De Grendel, Durbanville Hills, Hillcrest, Klein Roosboom, Meerendal, Nitida, Phizante Kraal wines and Signal Gun. Take some time out to enjoy the region’s immense scenic beauty while sampling some of these award-winning wines accompanied by delectable cheeses and fruits.
Staying with the outdoors, the Northern Suburbs also boast the historic Tygerberg Nature Reserve, a 309-hectare reserve which offers views of the Cape Peninsula and a range of interesting hiking trails and picnic sites. For the floral fanatics, Tygerberg Nature Reserve is home to some 562 floral species and is one of the largest remaining areas of the critically endangered Swartland Shale Renosterveld. The wheelchair-friendly reserve also has a well-maintained wheelchair path and picnic site.
For visitors more partial to indoor activities, there is lots to do in the Northern Suburbs, including a visit to the Tyger Valley Centre – where ‘lifestyle, leisure and the latest fashion meet’. The mall has some 250 stores selling a variety of fashion, health, beauty, leisure, sporting, homeware and home comfort products, all of which is just a 15-minute drive from Cape Town CBD. The Food & Entertainment Court has a wealth of fine dining and fast food options, with a big screen TV for the latest sport and a child-centred Funky Frogs’ arena.
If you’re looking to take in some theatre, then the relaxed and rustic setting of the Barnyard Theatre in Tyger Valley is well worth a visit. Patrons attending the theatre sit around heavy wooden tables with food served before the show to encourage camaraderie before the curtain goes up. This unique theatre puts on a range of musical performances, as well as hosting top South African comedians and performers.
Entertainment abounds at the only casino in the Cape Town, GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World, based in Goodwood, which is suited to the whole family. The non-stop entertainment offered has ‘all the thrills and excitement of a Las Vegas-scale casino’ including international musical performances; laser tag; an arcade; 12-lane bowling; and an Olympic-size skating rink.
Another incredible find within the Northern Suburbs is Century City, a mixed-use development established in 1997. The 250-hectare wasteland was completely re-envisioned into a complete city consisting of the must-visit Ratanga Junction – a vast theme park – as well as Canal Walk, one of the must successful shopping centres countrywide.
And for some cultural and historical immersion, there is Mayibuye Centre based at the University of the Western Cape, Bellville. Here you can find an impressive collection of previously banned material from South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle, including photographic archives, posters, banners, art and even depictions of oral history.