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LOCAL TIME: 02:09 pm | Tuesday, 16 July
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Macassar is a small town in South Africa, close to Strand and Somerset West, with an approximate population of 33,225.


Macassar, the heritage heart of the Helderberg!

This humble village in the shadow of the Macassar sand dunes has been host to some of South Africa’s great hearts. If the caves in the nearby nature reserve could speak, they would mention the names of Steve Biko, who hid here while running from the apartheid police, and of Shekh Yusuf, father of Islam in South Africa and himself a struggle icon of the 17th century.

In fact, to honour the Shekh the area was named after the town of Makassar in Indonesia, from where he was banished for his activism against European settlers. The Kramat (shrine) built in his honour is a site of pilgrimage and an oasis of peace and quiet for all.

Macassar Road winds between the village and the Macassar Dunes Nature Reserve and is the start of the scenic road that hugs the False Bay coast line, connecting Somerset West with Cape Town’s southern suburbs. With Muizenberg only 20 minutes away, not to speak of the numerous wine farms close by, Macassar is the perfect place to start or end a day.

Let the locals introduce you to a fun time, Macassar style, and you will see exactly how much heart and soul this little place has to offer. Enjoy a clay music experience or shop at Macassar Pottery, and eat your heart out at Rawoot’s Fisheries (Faried makes a killer Gatsby, the Cape’s signature fast food sandwhich). Watch the sun set from the local beach, a favourite amongst film makers, before you make your way to Fran’s Guest Room for a good night’s rest.

You will soon discover just how marvellous Macassar really is.

Where to stay in Macassar

Macassar Accommodation

Accommodation in Macassar caters for every taste and budget. Accommodation options available include lodges, self catering accommodation, bed & breakfast accommodation.

Visit our Accommodation Page..

Things to do in Macassar

(Click on the link for more information)

Proudly Macassar Pottery

Need to shop for local design treasures? Then make this social enterprise your first stop. Unique ceramics by resident artists are available in the on-site shop while family-friendly creative clay experiences are offered in its spacious visitors’ room.

The #soundoftheground clay music experience is sure to be one of your favourite Cape Town memories.

Proudly Macassar Pottery

Macassar Beach Pavillion

Hidden amid sand dunes and scraggly vegetation in Macassar, on the False Bay coast, lies a series of derelict buildings and broken water slides faded by the sun. This seemingly out of place structure is the Macassar Beach Pavilion — an abandoned water park overlooking the sea.

Curiously, these ruins are helping put Macassar on film makers’ map, as several high-profile films and series have used the forgotten waterpark as a filming set.

Macassar Beach Pavillion

Sheikh Yusuf Kramat

The Kramat of Sheikh Yusuf is a sacred shrine and place of pilgrimage visited by many Muslim people. A Kramat or shrine is where the holy men of Islam or ‘Auliyah’ where laid to rest when they died. These men, many of them noblemen, were brought as prisoners from Arabia, India and Malaya to the Cape Colony by the Dutch settlers.

Shekh Yusuf arrived here on 2 April 1694, and proceeded to found the first free community of colonial times.

The Kramat is open to all. You will enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains, and the air of peace and quiet. The facility does have restrooms, but do consider making a donation for its upkeep.

 Sheikh Yusuf Kramat

More things to do in and around Helderberg:

 Type of Activity
 Activity & Area
 Sport/Adrenalin  Strand/Somerset West – Play a round of Golf at Strand Golf ClubSomerset West, or Erinvale Golf Course
Gordons Bay – Surf at Bikini Beach  or Koeel Bay
Gordons Bay – Go Deep Sea Fishing
Gordons Bay – Hike the Danie Miller Hiking Trail up to the GB sign
Gordons Bay – Rent a bicycle & cycle around our Village
Gordons Bay – Go Scuba Diving
Kogel Bay – Hike up to Crystal Pools (permits required)
Sir Lowry’s Pass – Go Horse Riding at Journey’s End
Somerset West – Go Hiking at the Helderberg Nature Reserve (Check our Events & Entertainment Page for Guided Hikes)
Sir Lowry’s Pass – Paraglide from Sir Lowry’s Pass Lookout Point (seasonal)
Sir Lowry’s Pass – Spend the day at Blue Rock where you can Cable Water Ski, Wake Board, Fufi Slide, Play Paint Ball, swim in the Badi or have a picnic
Somerset West – Hit a couple of balls at the Vodacom Golf Driving range
✓ Somerset West – Mountain Biking at Schapenberg located at Ongegund Lodge
Somerset West – Spend the day at Helderberg Farm where you can Mountain BikeHike one of their Trails, try the 4×4 Route, play Laser Games or go Gravel Carting
✓ Somerset West
Play Paintball at Helderberg Farm
Grabouw – Go on a quad biking adventure
Grabouw/Stellenbosch – Go on a Segway Adventure
Strand – Rent a surfboard from Son Surf School at Strand Beach & learn to Surf
Gansbaai – Go Shark Cage Diving
Betty’s Bay – Go Sand Boarding
 Sight  Seeing/Other ✓ Gordons Bay – Browse for some reading at Bikini  Beach Books
Gordons Bay/Strand/Somerset West – Treat yourself at one of our Spa’s
Gordons Bay – Visit an Art Exhibitions by our local artists – exhibitions take place the last weekend of every month.  Visit our Events & Entertainment Page for info.
Gordons Bay – Take a scenic drive up to the Steenbras Water Treatment Plant
Somerset West/Sir Lowrys Pass – Tour the Helderberg Wine Route
Lwandle – Visit the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum
Somerset West/Strand – Visit our famous Bird Watching spots
Somerset West – Go shopping at Somerset Mall
Somerset West/Gordons Bay – Visit one of our local Craft Markets
Gordons Bay – Take a scenic drive along Clarence Drive to Hermanus
Betty’s Bay – Visit the Harold Porter Botanical Gardens
Hermanus – Go Whale Watching (seasonal)
Western Cape – Do the Brandy Route
 Family Activities

✓ Gordons Bay – Spend the day at one of our beaches
Gordons Bay – Have a picnic under the Milkwood trees
Somerset West – Have a picnic at the Helderberg Nature Reserve 
Somerset West – Go to a Summer Sunset Concert at Helderberg Nature Reserve (seasonal)      
Somerset West – Visit Monkey Town
Somerset West – Visit the Cheetah Outreach Centre where you can now Take a Cheetah for a walk on the Beach
✓ Strand – Spend the day at Strand Waterworld with water slides and putt-putt
✓ Strand – Spend the day on Strand’s 5km beach
Somerset West – Spend the day at Helderberg Farm’s picnic spots, petting zoo or go strawberry picking
✓ Klapmuts/Paarl – Visit Butterfly World
✓ Cape Town – Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront
 Betty’s Bay – Visit the Stony Point Penguin Colony

Return to About Helderberg