In the days of Dutch rule, Simon's Town, or Simonstown, was the Cape's winter harbour. It retains much of its antique charm, and its main road, St. George's Street, is often called "the historic mile".
Most tourists come to see the wild penguin colony at Boulders beach, which is usually included in bus tours of the Peninsula. (Note my warning on the web page entitled "A Strange Nature Reserve".) Seals are often seen in the harbour. Baboons are found in the mountains, but I have not seen them on my visits. On one occasion, sailors of the Royal Navy had to be called in to drive them away from the town.
Any whales you may see, from August to October, are protected. This was not always so. Many years ago, a school of whales entered Simon's Bay. The small boats raced out to claim this prize, and one of the boats was smashed by a whale. An American then leapt onto the beast's back, and killed it with his harpoon. In those days, whalers were more noted for their bravery than for their ruthlessness.
After visiting the penguin colony, most bus tours of the Peninsula rarely spend much time in Simonstown, but if you revisit the village by yourself, I doubt that you will be disappointed. A walk around Simonstown's haunted streets and alleys is well worthwhile. The village was for many years the South Atlantic base of the Royal Navy, and is still used by the South African Navy. It is not surprising that many of the hauntings have a nautical theme.
Because of the richness of Simonstown's supernatural "life", I have divided this article into
Don't forget to see the statue of Able Seaman Just Nuisance, in Jubilee Square. Just Nuisance was a great dane much loved by the officers and men of the navy, during the Second World War. I haven't heard that it haunts Simonstown, but it should. The martello tower, in the naval dockyard, should also have a few ethereal residents, but I don't know anything about those, either.
Incidentally, False Bay, of which Simon's Bay is part, is noted for its sharks, especially Great Whites, which are attracted by the large numbers of seals. The sharks are sometimes seen jumping right out of ther water to catch seals. Boat trips to see the sharks, and even dive with them, can be arranged.