An African Villa

Tamboerskloof, Cape Town, South Africa Book from Book from £111 per night

Excellent value, spacious and contemporary-styled guesthouse created from 2 Victorian terraced houses
You may be forgiven for thinking that some clever illusion has been played out when entering the front gate of this friendly guesthouse, only 7 blocks from the city centre. The outside seems conventional enough: a terrace of charming 19th-century houses featuring original wooden balconies and wrought-iron railings; but open the door and you’re catapulted into a 21st-century urban safari. The interior yields spaces on a grand scale, with décor as up-to-date as this morning’s news. Some describe the design as 'African-Scandinavian'; others, 'African-Zen'.

The owners have interlinked 2 'grand old Victorian ladies' to create 7 guest rooms and a disarmingly cosy environment. The chic African style features classy warm colours with splashes of tribal red, and an eclectic mix of weird and wonderful artefacts, many of which are for sale. In summer a tranquil courtyard with a rectangular plunge pool, tables and loungers invites you to soak up the sun after a morning’s sightseeing. The soothing atmosphere continues indoors to a library, a dining room and lounge, all with fireplaces awaiting the crackle of a winter blaze: the perfect setting for your complimentary sherry or port.


  • We loved the tribal-arty adornments: papier-mâché elephant-head lights, fertility dolls from Ghana, ostrich eggs painted burnt orange...
  • We stayed in a Platinum Room during our last revisit, and found it to be generously-sized and very comfortable
  • Relaxed, informal atmosphere with helpful staff. Usually one of the owners will sit down with you over a cup of coffee and help you plan your stay
  • You'll also meet the owners' 2 dachshunds, Monty and Taylor, who add an idiosyncratic quirkiness to the place
  • Located in Tamboerskloof: a quiet, leafy residential neighbourhood, yet within walking distance of some of the city's best restaurants


  • Sheer popularity makes it difficult to get in during high season
  • Not all rooms have mountain views, some have street or courtyard facing windows
  • No real garden - potted trees in a tiled courtyard
  • The pool is only big enough to cool off in
  • Some ‘house noise’ (mostly creaking floorboards) - a reminder that you're sharing an old home

Best time to go

All year round. High summer is from late September until the end of February, and March is delightful. April to September is referred to as the Green Season in the Cape (it sounds better than the rainy season) but days can be as hot as British summer time, without the fierce sunshine.

Our top tips

Owner Louis told us that, having stayed in hotels all over the world, he hated the thought of giving his guests a key and a map and then leaving them to their own devices. He likes to sit down with you upon arrival and give as much information as you need, so pick his brains to make the most of your time in Cape Town.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
City Style
  • Boutique Guesthouse
  • 7
  • Breakfast only
  • Over 12s Welcome
  • Open all year
  • Plunge Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym


One of the major advantages of linking 2 Victorian terraced houses is that the guest rooms are all generously proportioned with high ceilings and solid walls. Now beautifully decorated in what the owners refer to as restrained 'African Renaissance' style, all rooms are ensuite, with kingsize beds (or twins if you prefer) dressed in the softest white cotton percale linen. There are nice, firm mattresses and good hot showers. Each room is decorated individually with traditional Zulu wedding hats, funky lighting and a careful application of colours ranging from subtle creams to warm reds.

We stayed in one of the upper-floor Platinum Rooms - these are the largest rooms in the house yet they're eminently affordable. Those at the front have big private balconies with rattan furniture overlooking a quiet street; those at the rear have smaller balconies but good views of Table Mountain. The larger of these rooms can take 1 extra bed, too.

Of the cheaper rooms, the Gold Room comes with a bathtub and an overhead shower, and leads directly out onto the courtyard. Silver Rooms are on the ground floor and are smaller, with showers only.

All rooms have telephones, flatscreen satellite TVs, security boxes, air-conditioning, free WiFi, hairdryers and tea/coffee stations.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • CD player
  • Central heating
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Extra beds
  • Fan
  • Fireplace
  • Hairdryer
  • Honesty bar
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Plunge pool
  • Safe box
  • Satellite TV
  • WiFi


Breakfast at An African Villa was probably one of our favourite things about our stay. Cereals, fruit salads, yoghurts and various homemade breads are laid out for guests to help themselves. Once settled at one of the tables (in the large dining room or out in the courtyard) there are endless deliveries of toast, pancakes and tea and coffee, while you choose from the English-style cooked breakfast menu: eggs, bacon, sausages, mushrooms, tomato, hash browns and surprises like smoked salmon, tomato tart or pancakes with syrup.

No other meals are served, but there are dozens of excellent restaurants within walking distance - trendy Kloof Street, Cape Town's "dining golden mile", is a 5-minute stroll away. Limited kitchen facilities are also available for guests' use on those evenings when a sandwich or salad and glass of wine at home are more inviting.

Sherry, port, tea and coffee are complimentary. A range of other drinks are available from the honesty bar. You're also welcome to bring your own drinks and keep them in the guest fridge.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Coffee / tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby


  • It's within very easy reach of Cape Town's major tourist attractions - the city centre is virtually on the doorstep (15 minutes' walk or 5 minutes by car), while Table Mountain, the V&A Waterfront and the Cape Town International Conference Centre are all a matter of minutes away by car or taxi

  • A well-planned written guide to life in the city, restaurants and other places of interest on the peninsula is provided for all guests, as well as a walking tour that takes you past all the key sights in the centre of the city - which we can recommend

  • The hotel's courtyard is sun-drenched in the summer, although the small plunge pool is really only large enough to cool off in. The library beckons with books left by past guests

  • Tours and car rentals are happily arranged by enthusiastic and well-informed staff

  • The city’s famous Atlantic beaches are a 10-minute drive away

  • Lion’s Head looms behind the house, inviting the fit to attempt its spiralling ascent

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets
  • Traditional cultures
  • Wine tasting


Children over 12 years old are accepted. A third person can be accommodated in one of the larger Platinum Rooms for an extra cost.

Family friendly accommodation:

Extra Beds Available

Kid Friendly:


An African Villa is situated in Tamboerskloof, in the heart of Cape Town, right below Table Mountain.

By Air
Cape Town International (20km) is the closest airport.

From the Airport
It is only a 25-minute taxi ride. A special transfer rate can be arranged through the hotel.

By Car
An African Villa is easy to find for those self-driving - but call ahead if arriving late at night. There's free street parking in front of the house, and the entire street is protected by a car guard (hired by the residents) in the evening. For car hire see our car rental recommendations.

Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.


  • Cape Town International 20.0 km CPT


  • Beach 5.0 km
  • Shops 1.0 km
  • Restaurant 1.0 km

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 6 independent reviews from i-escape guests


A lovely location in the shadow of the mountain and close to some excellent restaurants.
Louis and team were excellent, so friendly and helpful in giving guidance on trips and dining. We loved our room and the decor. The drought is a real issue in South Africa at the moment so when we had some rain we were actually pleased for the locals!


Interesting, stylish interior. Good location with plenty of things to see and do. Welcoming hosts. Honesty bar a welcome option.


A wonderful stay. We arrived at midnight but had a warm welcome and were immediately made to feel at home. There were lots of small touches (including complimentary sherry and port in the afternoons) and attention to detail which made our stay great.


Really great place - fantastic helpful service. Ideal when arriving from Cape Town airport.


Super spot, tucked away but within walking distance of so much. Just 20 mins to the waterfront with good coffee stops along the way. The team were helpful and knowledgeable, full of tips to help me get the most out of my stay in Cape Town. Very well equipped room.


A lovely, friendly hotel in a quiet, residential part of Cape Town. Bedrooms and communal areas very clean and well fitted out. All staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome. Breakfasts offered variety and the honesty bar well stocked.


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