Hout Bay

Hout Bay

The bustling ambiance of this attractive resort is enhanced by large fleets of colorful fishing vessels. Fresh seafood is a specialty at Mariner's Wharf. The World of Birds, one of the world's largest bird sanctuaries, is home to a brilliant array of indigenous and exotic birds (some 400 species) which inhabit large walk-in aviaries.

The early Dutch settlers sent a party to explore the bay behind Table Mountain and found a beautiful heavily wooded valley surrounded by protective mountains and good fishing. The trees became the main source of timber for ship building and repairs and it became known as Houtbaai (Wood Bay).

Current residents call it the ‘Republic of Hout Bay’ because they feel aloof from the rest of Cape Town. It is a sociable village with people chatting in cafes and a main street of interesting shops and an excellent craft market on the green every Sunday. The busy harbour is the centre for the tuna and crayfishing fleets with fish and chip restaurants a stone’s throw from the water’s edge. The beach is long and sandy and safe for swimming and watersports like sea kayaking or dinghy sailing. Only 20 minutes drive from the centre of Cape Town this is a lovely place to base your holiday.

Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the most scenic marine cliff drives in the world. It was hewn into the side of the mountain between 1915- 1922, cut on the dividing line of the base granite and sedimentary sandstone. Brilliantly colored layers of red, orange and yellow silt along with dark purple lines of manganese are extraordinarily beautiful, but it is not advisable to take your eyes of the winding road which has a sheer drop to the sea. Luckily there are plenty of viewpoints for photos or a picnic, with spectacular scenery north to Hout Bay and south to Noordhoek and Kommetjie.

Open daily: 09:00 - 17:00. A return boat trip to the island is a pleasant way to spend an hour. In summer, thousands of Cape fur seals, cormorants and seagulls congregate on Duiker Island. From October to April, sunset cruises sail from Hout Bay to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.

Chapman's Peak Drive Hout Bay office
hout bay behind Table Mountain