Hout Bay is the Coastal Neighbourhood that calls itself a Repubic, because it's a special enclave with a great sense of community. Hout Bay is a microcosm of South Africa as it includes both wealthy and poor communities who strive to live in harmony with one another.
Hout Bay means Wood Bay and the name comes from its once-lush forests that existed before Europeans arrived here in 1652. It’s a popular tourist attraction that also happens to be a residential suburb, a mere 20 kilometres from Cape Town’s CBD.
Hout Bay boasts a beautiful white sandy beach where locals love to walk their dogs and enjoy breathing in the fresh sea air. It also has a bustling waterfront, restaurants, and a working harbour that serves tourists and a fishing industry. It’s enveloped by picturesque mountains, making it one of the most photographed places in Cape Town.
The township of Imizamo Yethu is also found in Hout Bay. You may take a tour and visit the home of locals and visit some community projects.
There’s lots to do in Hout Bay:
So take your pick of great things to do in Hout Bay. Let us tailor-make a Hout Bay experience for you which is sure to do the trick.
Hout Bay Beach is a great place to stretch your legs and inhale the ocean breeze. Walk there and back between Chapman’s Peak Hotel, the harbour pier and Mariner’s Wharf, an easy 2 km.
Boat Trip to the Seal Island
Take a 40-minute cruise from Hout Bay harbour to Duiker Island to view thousands of wild Cape Fur Seals, close up in their beautiful natural habitat. Alternatively, a 1-hour cruise offers the same visit to Duiker Island and then continues below the Kabonkelberg mountain range to Moari Bay notoriously known for its Shipwrecks.
Kayak to Chapmans Peak:
Explore one of Cape Town’s most iconic shorelines during a fun-filled Kayaking adventure. You may be lucky to come across a pod of dolphins or to observe whales in season.
Hiking the Hout Bay Mountains
This region is well known for its beautiful mountains that surround the Bay. It offers some great hikes like Chapmans Peak, Blackburn Ravine and Karbonkelberg.
Our local guide will lead you up the mountains, promising good exercise and awe-inspiring views of the Bay with its ever-present backdrop of mountains.
World of Birds:
Africa’s largest bird park, with over 3 000 birds and small animals, is a veritable Eden for nature lovers and children. More than 100 walks through landscaped aviaries allow you to get close to the birds – and because they are used to humans, you will get to see some species that you would not normally see in the wild.
Bay Harbour Market
It’s one of the most popular markets in Cape Town - housed in a revamped old fish factory. This vibrant space brings together local craftsmen, artists, foodies and musicians. There are over 100 stalls, from fashion and footwear to jewellery and décor and when you’re done with those you can sit down to enjoy some of the tasty food and drinks on offer.
Whether it’s Fish and Chips, a sought- after dining experience or sundowners at the beach, you’re spoilt for choice in this scenic beach-side place.
As a long time resident of Hout Bay, these are some of Jacqui's favourites:
Fish and Chips - Photo Credit Cape Town Tourism- Estee de Villiers
Brunch at Deli Delish
This eclectically decorated restaurant in the heart of Hout Bay offers wholesome all-day breakfasts and delicious lunches in a warm and wonderful family-friendly atmosphere.
Fish and Chips on the Rocks
This order-and-eat fish restaurant on the harbour’s edge is a Hout Bay landmark offering unpretentious, tasty, get-your-hands-dirty food. With over 30 years in the making, it still has queues of hungry visitors lining up to get their fish.
Dine and Drink at Dunes Restaurant and Bar
Perched on the sand dunes right next to Hout Bay Beach, this casual locale is the ideal spot for lunch, dinner or just sundowners. Enjoy the stunning view while the kiddies let off steam in their own sand dune play area.
Sundowners at Look Out Deck
This harbourside restaurant, with lovely views of the surrounding mountains and fishing harbour, is a great meeting place for sundowners and a meal with friends. Sit at the edge of the deck and watch the boats returning with their catch while the seals splash in the water below.
HOUT BAY TOWNSHIP TOUR:
Hout Bay is like a microcosm of South Africa, where well to do, mostly white residents live alongside poor communitites. Imizamo Yethu or Mandela Park, as it is referred to, is one of Cape Town's newer townships which arose in the early 1990’s, out of the need for housing nearer to places of work, for people south of the City of Cape Town
You local guide will take you on a tour which could include:
A visit to preschool, day care, barber shop, auto shop, orphanage, grocery store and local pub. Many locals will also invite tourists into their homes where they sell hand-made bead work and jewellery.
If you love traditional food an evening at Imizamo Yethu Township, in Hout Bay, is an opportunity for you to tuck into a hearty African dinner, during a fun filled evening with African music. Expect dancing and plenty of partying with the locals. Proceeds go to NGO community projects such as African Choirs and other various organisations.