Words: Kit Heathcock
Backed by wild mountain slopes and looking out over the buzzing city centre below, Oranjezicht is a cosmopolitan neighbourhood that appeals to families and professionals of all ages. Steep but quiet residential streets have little through traffic – apart from the daily school runs – and level out lower down towards Gardens Shopping Centre and De Waal Park. The CBD is within walking distance via a picturesque stroll through the Company Gardens, while vibey Kloof Street is even closer, and the My CiTi bus connects residents with the rest of the city if you prefer not to drive. “In beautiful and windy Oranjezicht, you are close to the city, but surrounded by nature,” says one resident, “close to the mountain and to the sea.” A short drive takes you over Kloof Nek to Camps Bay, down to Sea Point promenade or the V&A Waterfront, so you have the best of Cape Town on your doorstep.
Victorian and Edwardian gems line the streets of Oranjezicht, with gardens and street trees adding several shades of green to the already stunning views over the harbour, Lion’s Head and Table Mountain. “Most of the homes are old dames which have been lovingly restored,” says Jacqui McArthur, interior stylist and lifestyle blogger, who moved to Oranjezicht four years ago. “People have kept the original features – think high ceilings and sash windows – and the property sizes tend to be bigger in Oranjezicht that in other parts of the City Bowl.” Apartment buildings cater to young professionals and a number of small gated developments are discretely tucked among the older properties. The suburb shares an active neighbourhood watch with adjacent Higgovale, along with other initiatives such as the Oranjezicht City Farm and Friends of De Waal Park, which connect the local community across the City Bowl suburbs.
Depending on where you live in Oranjezicht – and on your hill-climbing stamina – you might be within walking distance of St Cyprians, Herzlia, or Jan van Riebeeck High School, as well as several pre-schools, and the German International School is close by in Tamboerskloof. “We’re lucky to live a 3-minute drive from St Cyprians,” says Jacqui. “The school is built on beautiful grounds at the base of Table Mountain, with the most beautiful chapel that gives you a sense of the school’s history.” Other families find that it’s an easy school run against the traffic to the renowned Southern Suburbs schools in Newlands and Rondebosch.
Another aspect of Oranjezicht living that appeals to families, is all the green spaces. “Oranjezicht has wonderful parks,” says Jacqui. “De Waal park is great for the kids and if you’ve got pets, this is the place for you. Dogs run wild off their leashes and are totally exhausted after a few minutes. Deer Park is a fenced-in park, so it’s super pet and child friendly, and it has a pretty cool cafe too.” A brand-new running track and outdoor gym has just been completed in the lower section of De Waal Park and another favourite local running route is around the Molteno Reservoir above, a perfect flat loop with fabulous views over the city. Trail runners, hikers and mountain bikers can take to the mountain following trails from Deer Park or the top of Molteno Road, connecting with Tafelberg Road and the rest of the mountain. The Gardens Centre is a treasure trove of boutiques and foodie delights, as well as everyday shopping and services, while nearby Kloof Street overflows with trendy restaurants and shops, so that even without venturing further into the CBD residents have everything they need both day and night.
Oranjezicht is a stone’s throw from buzzing Kloof Street and Bree Street, yet you don’t feel like you’re living in town, with lots of parks and open green spaces. There’s a great mix of people, mostly professionals and young families.
Jacqui McArthur, resident
- The Woodlands Eatery: Italian-inspired food
- Nonna Lina: the Polpette pasta is a must
- Bao Down: Asian fusion
- Deer Park Café: great place to take the kids
- Will’s Cafe and Deli: friendly neighbourhood deli great for breakfast
- The Gardens Centre
- Lifestyle on Kloof Centre
- Oranjezicht City Farm to pick your own vegetables, volunteering and workshops
- Walk or mountain bike along the mountain trails
- Concerts in De Waal Park in summer
- Molteno Reservoir for dog walks and running
- Wembley Square for Virgin Active Gym