Hout Bay is primarily a fishing village and freshly caught fish are sold daily from the quayside and in the fine seafood restaurants. In earlier times, thick forests grew along the mountain slopes, giving it its name (Wood Bay). For a small donation which goes to charity, visitors can buy a “passport” proclaiming themselves citizens of the Republic of Hout Bay, an indication of the pride with which the inhabitants have long since viewed their occupancy of Hout Bay.
Adventure And Sport
Angling: The ocean waters of the village are an angler’s dream. Yellowfin, tuna, swordfish and marlin frequent these waters. Visitors might even get a chance to see how the local fishermen catch their fish. Their age-old fishing method is called ‘trekking’, whereby heavy nets are hauled to the shore.
Walking: Surrounded by the peaks of Sentinel and Chapman’s Peak, this beautiful area is also ideal for taking relaxing walks.
Water-sport: The 1-km beach is popular among hobie-cat enthusiasts, wind-surfers, paddle skiers and surfers.
Art And Crafts
Art and craft shops: Exploration of the village is a rewarding experience, not only because of the natural surroundings but also because of its atmosphere and its many arts and crafts
shops, such as Hout Bay Crafts, which offers ceramics, fine arts and hand-painted cloths for sale. There is also a craft market on the Village Green, which is open on Sundays.
Leopard statue: The bronze statue of a proud leopard stands guard over the holidaymakers on the beach. The statue is the work of Ivan Mitford-Barberton and stands 1,4 m high.
Entertainment And Shopping
Chapman’s Peak: The route along Chapman’s Peak is one of the world’s most spectacular. The drive will literally take your breath away, not only because of the beautiful view, but also because you will be travelling on a road that seems to cling precariously to the mountain sides at a dizzying height above the ocean waves.
Hout Bay Harbour: The harbour offers the old-world atmosphere of fishermen at work on their fishing boats and the novelty of boat trips to Seal Island and Duiker Island. The harbour has many seafood outlets, gift and antique stores and a renowned harbour front emporium.
Hout Bay Market: The market is held every Sunday in Main Road opposite the Post Office.
Mainstream Shopping Centre: The centre offers shoppers a selection of outlets to choose and shop in.
Mariner’s Wharf: The wharf is located in Hout Bay Harbour in Victoria Road, South Africa’s first harbour-front emporium. The seafood is legendary and includes fresh lobsters and snoek smoked the old-fashioned way. Apart from the fresh fish on sale, the fish market itself is quite
an experience and the seafood restaurants and shops sell everything from shells, to gifts and crafts.
Fauna And Flora
Seal Island: The island lies just across the harbour and is home to hundreds of seals and birds. The waters around it are a breeding ground for the great white shark.
Duiker Island: During the summer months, scores of Cape fur seals and black cormorants populate Duiker Island, a seal and seabird sanctuary. Several boat tours are conducted to the island and are a popular tourist attraction. Contact the harbour master for more information.
World of Birds: The home of feathered creatures is located in Valley Road and is one of the largest bird parks in the world. The birds are kept in “walk-through” cages that were designed for the benefit of both visitors and birds.
Whale-watching: Whales visit the shores every year and from June to November visitors crowd to these shores for an opportunity to see them.
History And Architecture
Hout Bay Museum: Located in Andrews Road the museum tells the story of the development of the village and of its forestry, mining and fishing past.
Kronendal: This Cape Dutch homestead is located in Main Road. The historical building was built in 1800 and now houses an exclusive restaurant.
SA Sea Fisheries Museum: Situated in the harbour, the museum focuses on the fishing industry of the area that has provided an income for people for hundreds of years. The displays include models of boats and a computerised marine encyclopaedia.