South African Cape Town’s Camps Bay Travel Information

Camps Bay has long been one of Cape Town’s most popular holiday destinations. Lined with palm trees on the beachfront, with white sandy beaches, brilliant blue sea and majestic mountains in the background, Camps Bay offers you the holiday of a lifetime. The cosmopolitan beachfront with its restaurants and cafés is busy throughout the year. The village is close to many other attractions, yet Camps Bay displays a certain uniqueness which is enjoyed by all its guests – come and experience it for yourself!

History of Camps Bay

Jan van Riebeeck arrived at the Cape in 1652, sent by the Dutch East India Company to erect a refreshment station for the passing ships on their trade route to the East (see History). Shortly after arrival, he started exploring the surrounding area.

He soon ventured over the mountain and discovered a bay with a lovely beach behind Table Mountain. Initially the area was of little interest to the company, being unsuitable for shipping with its dangerous breakers, yet attractive to farmers. By 1700 the area behind Table Mountain was known as Roodekrantz (Red bank) due to the reddish colour of the soil. The area was given to John Lodewyk Wernich, the Mayor of Bismarck, who built a farmhouse and called it Ravensteyn. After his death, his widow, Anna Koekemoer, married Fredrik Ernst von Kamptz, who built a track along the coast from his house to Cape Town. The farmhouse was later used by various British governors, among them Lord Charles Somerset, as a holiday house.

The French defend Camps Bay

When the American War of Independence broke out in 1777, the French and the Dutch sided with America to fight against England. Since the Cape was considered an important trade and supply station, both France and England sent their troops to Cape Town. The troops arrived in 1781, although the French won the race and landed 11 days before the British.

Before long, war erupted between England and the Netherlands, and for the next three years France assisted her allies, the Dutch, in the struggle to protect the Cape. As suggested by the French, a line of fortifications was built from the coast to Devil’s Peak and to the battery on Kloof Nek. Trenches were dug and a battery was built to command the beach, under Dutch command, and von Kamptz’s track to Camps Bay was demolished in the process.

The Bay of Von Kamptz

After the war, von Kamptz returned home to find his farm wrecked and his track destroyed. He lodged an official complaint, but the governor refused to rebuild the track, instead offering to buy the farm. On 31 January 1786, the government paid compensation to von Kamptz and the farm changed hands. Within a few months, two small batteries had been built.

First British Occupation

Dutch power in the Cape was fading by the end of the 18th century. When news of the Napoleonic Wars arrived in 1793, the British decided to secure the Cape. They took control of the Cape settlement in 1795, and finally defeated the Dutch in 1806 at Blouberg. In 1807 Lord Charles Somerset was to use the ‘Round House’ building in Camps Bay as his hunting lodge.

The beauty of Camps Bay eventually became better known, from the many governors who had braved the narrow road to the beach. In 1848 a better road had been completed, named Lady Smiths Pass, after the wife of the governor. It was later renamed to Kloof Road.

General information

Camps Bay is home to around 5500 families, with one of the best high schools in the country. It has some of the most prestigious properties in Cape Town, with priceless views. The famous Clifton beaches are situated nearby.

Camps Bay is probably second only to Table Mountain in its popularity for photographs and postcards. The turquoise colour of the ocean, together with the blue of the sky, the white sandy beach and the famous palm fringed beachfront -it’s just the perfect holiday paradise. The view from Lion’s Head is amazing, and the relatively short hike is well worth the effort.

Attractions in Camps Bay

The main attraction of Camps Bay is undoubtedly the unsurpassed beauty of its lovely beaches. Swimming and tanning under a bright blue sky, or taking a relaxing walk in the soft white sand are pastimes enjoyed by tourists and locals alike. Gourmet restaurants and cafés line the trendy beachfront, offering delicious refreshments and superb views. The famous ‘Theatre on the Bay’ offers delightful entertainment, and there are plenty of shopping opportunities.

A number of sporting clubs are also a source of fun and activity – bowling, cricket, soccer, squash and tennis. The lifesaving club is one of the most established clubs and acts swiftly in emergency situations. Further from the beach, the magnificent mountain range is ideal for walking and hiking, and the opportunities are near endless.

Camps Bay has it all – the perfect setting for a perfect holiday, coupled with first class dining, entertainment, accommodation and recreation, as well as picture perfect sunsets. A popular place to spend a sunny day with Capetonians, and a dream destination for tourists, Camps Bay really does offer everything for everyone.

What The Season Holds For The Tampa Bay Devil Rays

T’is the season: maybe not the season to be merry but definitely the season to eat a hot dog, have a beer, and bask in the sun at your local ball park. Move over Santa, mistletoe, and reindeer poop: baseball season is here.

This sentiment is a particularly great statement for Florida folk: of all the places to be a baseball fan, Florida is one of the best; it was made for fun in the sun.

This year, Florida fans who aren’t rooting for the Marlins may find themselves filling the seats at Tropicana Field to cheer on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

As one of the youngest franchises in baseball, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays have had their sea legs for several seasons: like many new teams, they are just finding their footing. However, it appeared that they had almost found it halfway through last season: at the 2006 All Star break the Devil Rays were only eleven games below .500. With a strong second half, they would have been able to make themselves into real contenders.

Upper management, however, had other plans. Rather than contending for a playoff berth, the Devil Rays traded many veteran players for younger players who could contribute more to the future of the team. The future, as they say, is starting this season.

When the Tampa Bay Devil Rays took the mound for the 2007 opening day, they had the youngest starting lineup since the Minnesota Twins in 1983. Youth, it turns out, didn’t win this one: the Devil Rays lost to the New York Yankees by a score of 9-5.

Yet, the season is just beginning and anything can happen. Fans hope that Tampa Bay will follow the footsteps of the other Florida team and start making their way towards a championship.

As for what the rest of the season will hold, the Devil Rays definitely have their work cut out for them. Not only do they compete in the AL East – a division that include the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox – but many of their players are young and unproven. No one knows for sure which way they will go.

This unknowing, however, is part of the excitement: watching a player grow to greatness is one of the things baseball is all about. Among the Tampa Bay Devil Rays who have to chance to do just that are third baseman Akinori Iwamura, infielder B.J. Upton, outfielder Delmon Young, and shortstop Ben Zobrist.

The strength of the Devil Rays rests on the shoulders of their outfielders: in addition to Delmon Young, Carl Crawford and Rocco Baldelli could also have breakout seasons. The Rays need great outfielders, and ones that don’t mind being busy. That brings us to the weakness of the Devil Rays: the pitching.

Last season, the Devil Ray’s rotation received the fewest wins in the entire league with 36. They were also tied for the most losses at 70. Yet on a bright side sits Scott Kazmir, a man who could become a great pitcher. But he certainly can’t pitch every game: the Devil Rays are going to have to get better armed, and better arms. This young team must also learn how to win on the road. Last year their road record teetered on ridiculous; they had 20 wins and 61 losses.

If the pitching can solidify and the Devil Rays learn to win when they aren’t in Florida, they might have a chance to contend. Playing in the tough AL East is also an issue; one they can only resolve by getting tough as well.

Tampa Bay Office Space

New construction has come to a virtual halt in the Tampa Bay area; over 16 major projects, most of them for hotel and residential space, have been canceled. This trend is also applicable to commercial office space. It is vacancies are up (18.6%) and rental rates are down ($22.73 per square foot). The situation is favorable to business owners looking to change or upgrade locations. Anything from executive suites to mid size office buildings to large scale retail spaces are available. Because of the excess supply, terms to any lease agreement should be negotiated to favor the tenant. In other words, before any move in, business owners need to be stringent and demanding in their property search! Tampa Bay, Florida is actually a multi-county region that is home to 2.7 million people, an increase of 14.8% over 2000. When taken as a whole, unemployment is at 11.7%, and the crime rate is 101 per 1,000 residents. Finding the right Space is never easy, but you can just call us and we’ll help you with the process.

The area has a wide variety of industries supporting its economic base. The defense industry utilizes firms in the area for sea and air electronics, and Tampa Bay is the base of the United States Central Command which directs activity in the Middle East. Medical research is well represented (there are nearly two dozen hospitals and four trauma centers also). The insurance and banking industries also maintain a strong presence in the Tampa Bay region. The region’s three seaports make Tampa Bay a major player in the shipping and cruise line business, and in the state of Florida, the Port of Tampa is second only to Miami. Tourism in general is strong.

Tampa’s government has been working to revitalize the downtown area, encouraging the development of residential properties. Another city project is the Riverwalk along the Hillsborough River, with several museums included in the proposal. A light rail system is also being considered. Nightlife abounds throughout the region. In fact, Tampa, Florida ranks in the top ten nationwide for “partying”. Popular club areas are downtown Tampa, Ybor City (a neighborhood that began as a community of cigar manufacturers), and Channelside. On a side note, the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, the largest such venue in the south, is home to several theaters and halls.

There are many interesting public landmarks in the area. Bayshore Boulevard, which runs south from downtown Tampa, has the longest continuous sidewalk in the world (six miles along the east end). The Sunshine Skyway Bridge spans south Tampa Bay. At five and a half miles, the bridge is a popular site for the filming of commercials. The golf course purchased by Babe Zaharias in 1949 was made a public course in 1974. There is also a variety of museums, including the Museum of Science and Industry, which features a planetarium. Berthed in Tampa, Florida is the World War II victory ship, S.S. American Victory which now serves as a museum. The Salvador Dali Museum is located in St. Petersburg, and the Tampa Bay History Center is in the Channel District.

Just next to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay is Adventure Island, a 30 acre water park. In the Channel District, near the S.S. American Victory, is the Florida Aquarium, home to a large variety of water plants and fish. The Tampa Bay region is represented by major professional sports teams in the MLB and the NFL. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are the local baseball team, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the area’s entry in football.