Wynberg is certainly one of the most interesting Areas in Cape Town. It is home to one of the oldest Schools in the Country (Wynberg Boys), with its beautiful grounds stretching across the Area, and has a torrid History of contested space in the Group Areas Act. This is visually and economically evident today in the stark differences between the colonial-style buildings in the Western side and the bustling streets around the Main Road. Exploring this diverse Area and its offerings is a sure-fire way to obtain a deeper understanding of the City of Cape Town and its History.
Maynardville was originally known as ‘Maynard Villa’ after the Maynard family, who owned it under the administration of the Dutch East India Company. It later passed to the City of Cape Town who turned it into a public park. Today it is an idyllic green space with children’s playgrounds, vibrant birdlife, and a wealth of diverse flora. The highlight of Maynardville, however, is the open-air theatre that has long hosted various Shakespearean productions (a different one every year since 1956) on the warm summer nights. This has evolved into the Maynardville Open-Air Festival which features a variety of performances (including the signature Shakespearean play) as well as a food market and full line-up of cultural events.
The Chart Farm consists of 12 hectares of picturesque land offering one of the more unique activities available in Cape Town, which is rose picking. With its spectacular views and gardens, the Chart Farm is not only a wonderful pick for photoshoots, it offers a tranquil day out where visitors can relax at the café after spending some time picking roses or horseback riding.
Wynberg Park is a very popular site among locals for braais and picnics, Wynberg Park dates all the way back to 1902. The stretch of gardens seems endless and is complete with a duck pond, children’s play area, and designated braai spots, perfect for the large, jovial groups of families and friends you’re bound to see scattered throughout the park on the weekends. While there, don’t forget to look out for the hydrangeas blooming in the summer months.
Bordered by Constantia to the west, Kenilworth to the North and Plumstead to the East, in the middle of the Southern Suburbs lies this bustling District known as Wynberg! With its mix of free-standing Houses and Apartment Blocks surrounded by, bustling commercial businesses. Wynberg acts as one of the main transport hubs in the Southern Suburbs, giving residents and foreign visitors easy access in and around Cape Town. Wynberg is situated nearby to the Old Wynberg Village, a well-known urban conservation area that houses one of the largest collections of historic properties in and around Cape Town and likely the country. In addition to the Old Wynberg Village. Wynberg is close to several other popular locations, including the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Rhodes Memorial and the Maynardville Park Open-Air Theatre, leaving no surprise that residential properties in the Wynberg area are desired by locals and visitors alike.
The story of Wynberg begins in 1683, where a large portion of land alongside the Liesbeek River was given to Herman Weeckens by the governor, Simon van der Stel. The Farm and surrounding Farmlands were named- De Oude Wijnbergh (Old Wine Mountain). During the rough winter months, the harsh Cape Seas led to a formal winter anchorage in 1743, wherein boats would dock at Simon's Bay, (present-day Simon's Town) and a wagon route that connected Cape Town and Simon's Town was situated over the hillside, adjacent to 'De Oude Wijnberg' Estate.
In 1975, after the British assumed control of the Cape settlement, the small agricultural area began rapidly developing into a garrison Town, with great numbers of British troops settling down in the Area which led it to become a veritable hub of commercial activity. "The Village" (as the locals had taken to calling it) provided farmers with a local alternative to the Cape Town market. As additional farms were divided up, the number of Commercial and Residential properties in the Area began to rise. One of the very first electrical power plants in South Africa was erected in Wynberg on the conveniently named Electric Road in 1893. Opened by the mayor of Wynberg at the time, James Bisset, in the hopes of providing power to the local tram system and streetlights. Throughout the mid-19th Century, the old village of Wynberg was further developed, becoming the main place of retirement for many of the British Civil Servants, who were returning from duty tours in India. Today, Wynberg remains an area of significant architectural value and is one of the only few suburbs close to the City of Cape Town that has succeeded in retaining its unique historical character.
Wynberg is situated close to several good Public and Private schools:
Public schools in the Area include-
Simon van der Stel Primary School
Located near the beautiful Waterloo Green, in the Wynberg district, lies the Simon van der Stel Primary School. As one of the few Afrikaans-medium primary schools in the Southern Peninsula, Simon van der Stel Primary focuses on maintaining balance between the three main pillars of education, namely culture, sport and academia. With their motto "Truth Winning" Simon van der Stel Primary attempts to utilize these aspects of education through the acquisition of Christian principles and values. Simon van der Stel Primary has much to offer its students, including outdoor education, daily bible teaching, computer classes, camps, regular excursions and a fully-stocked library complete with the latest learning materials. Seeking to develop and maintain their high standards, the school continually strives to bring the talents, possibilities and opportunities of its students to full fruition.
Wynberg Boys High School
As one of the oldest and most respected traditional schools in the country for young men, Wynberg Boys High School celebrates diversity and encourages community in an accepting environment, promoting the achievement of excellence in all spheres of school life, including culture, service, sport and academics. With enthusiastic staff who are committed to growth and progress, Wynberg Boys High School works closely with local and international universities, benchmarking the quality of their academic education and making constant improvements, so that they can produce intelligent and capable learners.
Wynberg Girls High School
Located along Aliwal Road in Wynberg, lies the esteemed Wynberg Girls High School, boasting many great facilities, including an Astroturf Complex, a multi-purpose swimming pool, a fully-sprung Ballet Hall and Computer Laboratories among others. Wynberg Girls High strives to provide its girls with a wealth of opportunities in four foundational pillars of education: culture, sport, service and academics. By fostering friendships across the different grades through extracurricular activities and the House and Tutor Group systems, Wynberg Girls High aims to create a community-focused on learning environment for its students. Ultimately, Wynberg Girls High School aims to encourage the development of unique, confident women who continually strive for excellence in all spheres of learning, preparing them to take their place among successful, contributing members of future society.
Private schools in the Area include-
The International School of Cape Town:
As a co-educational, private school which offers its pupils UK-graded education that includes a Cambridge IGCSE Extended curriculum, The International School of Cape Town ensures that its pupils are well-equipped with the necessary values, skills and advantages to adapt and overcome the challenges of life in modern society.
Springfield Convent School for Girls:
As a private school that caters to pre-primary, primary and secondary schooling levels, Springfield Convent School values the individuality of each of its students, fostering growth and helping each girl to reach their full potential. By offering up a quality education that seeks to uphold values of inclusivity and individuality, Springfield aims to enrich its students - physically, spiritually, socially and intellectually.
College of Cape Town:
Situated in the central area of the Southern Peninsula and known as one of the leading providers of Education and Training in mainly the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) band, the College of Cape Town has much to offer students and prospective partners as an alternative to General Education and Training. Our courses lead to recognised, accredited qualifications that are in high demand by commerce and industry. The College is committed to the education of learners from all communities, offering a holistic learning experience in the vocational discipline of their choice. The College of Cape Town serves the greater Cape Town area, including a large percentage of townships and traditionally disadvantaged areas and also proudly accepts students from both local and international regions.
For residents and visitors looking for a retail therapy destination, the popular Cavendish Square Shopping Centre is only a 4km drive (or Uber ride) away. For those looking to avoid travelling too far out of the area, the Maynard Mall Shopping Centre is the ultimate convenience; With a variety of different stores, including big name brands like Cell C, Foschini, American Swiss, Markham and Clicks. Maynard Mall Shopping Centre also houses the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) which acts as the verifier and protector of the identity and status of citizens and other person's resident in South Africa. The purpose of the DHA is to facilitate, regulate and control immigration and the movement of persons through ports of entry. The DHA also provides civic and immigration services at foreign missions and determines the status of refugees and asylum seekers following international obligations.
Wynberg is a central hub and is close to several key locations, being a 20km drive (or Uber ride) to the Cape Town International Airport and a short distance from the Wynberg train station, which allows residents and visitors ease of travel into the Cape Town CBD.
Wynberg houses many excellent cafés and restaurants, including:
As one of the very first upmarket, Halal fine dining establishments in Cape Town. The family-run restaurant offers up the finest traditional South African cuisine, with items on the menu including fresh seafood, prime grills, fragrant Cape Malay and Indian inspired curries, salads, pasta, delicious desserts and more. With spices sourced straight from Karachi and a passion for food present in each mouthful of every dish, Sabrias is sure to leave its patrons returning for more.
Erawan - Thai Restaurant and Bar
Patrons seeking a quality oriental food experience need not look any further than Erawan - Thai Restaurant and Bar, which offers up true flavours of the east. With an authentic-tasting Thai menu combined with outstanding service and ambient atmosphere, there is no finer Thai food option in Cape Town.
Maynardville Open-Air Theatre
Situated in the centre of the Maynardville Park, with easy access via the front gates on the corner of Wolf and Church street and with parking available along public roads around the venue or at the Wynberg Public Library on Glaren road, lies the Maynardville Open-Air Theatre, reputed as one of the most popular outdoor theatre venues in the Cape Town region. The venue offers park-goers a spectacular lake setting, perfect for pre-show drinks and picnics before settling down into one of the 700 theatre seats to enjoy some Shakespearian entertainment, 'a delightful experience that is not to be missed out on!'
Wynberg Fire Station
The Wynberg Fire Station provides an efficient fire and rescue service to residents and visitors of the area. The station is home to members of the City of Cape Town's Fire and Rescue Service (CTFRS) which consists of a total of 30 fire stations spread around Cape Town that deal with all types of fires, rescues and emergencies. A visit to have a look at the Wynberg Fire Station is a must for anyone in the area, if only just to catch a glimpse of one of the great fire engine's up close.
Wynberg Aquatic Centre
One of the best-kept secrets of the Southern Suburbs, the Wynberg Aquatic Centre is situated just around the corner from Chelsea Village on the premises of the Wynberg Military Base. The Aquatic Centre is one of the few heated and covered public swimming pools in Cape Town that stays open during winter. It is run by a swimming school called Swimlab Aquatic Academy (SAA) who often have groups of school children from the area in for swimming lessons. Anyone is welcome - although the pool has only four swimming lanes available for use, so consulting with Swimlab ahead of time is advisable if you are hoping to secure a lane to yourself.