Simon’s Town

200 years as a Naval base


History of Simon’s Town

Province; Western cape
Coordinates: 34°11′36″S 18°26′00″E
Municipality: City of Cape Town
Area: 19.81 km2

Naval Base in False Bay

Simon’s Town, named after Simon van der Stel on the shores of False bay has been a naval base for over 200 years. First, the Dutch East India Company built a dockyard in 1743. It was later taken over by the British in the 1790s.
The facility developed gradually and in 1898 when it became apparent that a larger space was needed, construction of the modern harbour was begun. The harbour area covers over 11 hectares and includes a breakwater and drydock facilities.
The Simon’s Town agreement saw it transferred to the South African Navy in 1957
There are quaint old Victorian buildings and walkways with little shops in Simon’s town, along with interesting historical sites and museums, making it a lovely place to visit.


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Things to see and do in Simon’s town:

  • Boulders Beach south of Simon’s Town is home to one of just three colonies of African penguins, which has made its home there since 1985 Take a guided walking tour
  • The British built this round 8-metre-high Martello Tower with walls 1.8 metres thick, within the Naval base shortly after it had annexed the Cape of Good Hope. This was a defense to ward off possible attacks by the Dutch or French. Today it houses a small museum
  • The South African Naval Museum houses a collection of maritime artifacts from the history of the SA Navy. To be seen are the interior of a submarine and a ship’s bridge which moves to mimic the feel of waves on the sea. Admission is free, however, donations are welcome
  • The Simon’s Town Museum was established in the Residency in 1977. This building was established in 1777 by Governor Joachim van Plettenberg. There is an exhibit that chronicles the story of just nuisance -021 786 3046
  • Take a guided walking tour
  • Warrior Toy Museum and collectors shop -021 786 1395
  • The Heritage Museum reflects the history of the Muslim Community in King George’s Way.-021 786 2302
  • A statue of Just Nuisance, a beer-drinking Great Dane who was in the 1930s, the only dog ever to be officially enlisted in the Royal Navy, can be seen overlooking the harbour.
  • Blackhill pass
  • Ghost walk 076 190 4081





Useful Numbers in Simon’s Town

  • Police: 021 786 8646
  • Traffic department: 021 786 8646
  • Fire: 0214003908
  • Water: 08601033089
  • Electricity: 08601033089
  • Ambulance: 10177
  • Post office; 021 786 2114
  • Closest hospital; False bay hospital 021 782 1121
    Institute for maritime medicine military hospital 021 787 4497
  • Pharmacy; 021 786 2133
  • SPCA: 021 700 4140
  • Library: 021 786 1553
  • Simons Town Civic centre: 021 444 6948
  • .Community hall; 021 702 6071
  • Tourism (0)21 786 8440
  • Schools:

Simon’s Town high 021 786 1056                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

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