Hout Bay appears to be a little harbour village but is actually a suburb of the South African metropole Cape Town.
Hout Bay is situated at the west side of the Cape Peninsula. You can get there by car, following the road along the west coast of Peninsula. From the Cape Town city centre drive to Camps Bay and from there all along the sea. You can also get there from the east side of the Peninsula and from the Cape of Good Hope.
Park your car at the parking lot by the harbour.
Republic of Hout Bay
Hout Bay is not only famous for its fresh fish and harbour, but also as the "Republic of Hout Bay". Back in time, someone made up his own passport of the Republic of Hout Bay and travelled to many countries in the world, without anybody noticing his false document. (Urban legend: The passports were actually made, as a publicity drive, but there is no reliable record of any of them being actually accepted by any foreign customs post as genuine)
The harbour itself is the main attraction. It is quiet and full of bustling fisher boats at the same time.
Spectacular sunset from Chapman's Peak Drive
Watch the fisherman unload their fresh fish, old ladies repairing the nets or go on a trip to Seal Island to see the local seal colony.
A visit to Hout Bay is incomplete without a visit to the World of Birds, a wonderful bird park, touted to be the biggest in the western cape. Make sure that you time your visit to coincide with the feeding of the Squirrel monkeys.
Chapman's Peak Drive starts just south of Hout Bay. This toll road offers spectacular views, especially at sunset. If you're a world class big wave surfer, Hout Bay is the location of Dungeons home to some of the worlds biggest surfable waves in winter.
There is an antique store next to the restaurant, which is definitely worth a visit!
- Dolce & Banana, 5 Main Road (Chapman's Peak Drive), ☎ +27(0) 21 790-0802, . 9:30AM-5:30PM. Unique shop where all products are made in Houtbay from quirky decor items to exquisite fashion jewellery and accessories. R50.
- Original T-Bag Designs, Klein Kronendal 144 Main Road (200 mtrs from Imizamu Yethu traffic circle), ☎ 0217900887, . weekdays only. Visit a workshop that uses recycled tea bags to create jobs for the local township.
- Rock Chic, Main road Hout Bay. For any gem you could wish to find in South Africa! An awesome shop with ready made jewellry, and if you wish to make your own, all the trappings and tools!
- Hout Bay Gallery. www.houtbaygallery.co.za
Taste fresh lobsters or other seafood and fish at the local restaurant. It is cheap compared to prices in inner Cape Town, but can be bought for less at more quiet places.
- Fish & Chips at Mariner's Wharf, Hout Bay Harbour, ☎ (+27) 21 790 1100, . Very good Fish & Chips. Sometimes overcrowded but worth waiting in the queue. R 35.00.
- Lookout Deck, Hout Bay Harbour. Visit them for a perfect seafood platter.
- Dunes Restaurant, 1 Beach Road, ☎ +27 (0)21 790-1876. Good food and excellent views.
- Original T-Bag Designs, Klein Kronendal 144 Main Road (Aprox. 200 mtrs from Imizamu Yethu traffic circle), ☎ 0217900887, . weekdays only. Art and cracft items are decorated with handpainted recycled tea bags. Creating jobs for the local township. Tours of the workshop Monday to Friday. On site shop.
- Visit the Chapman's cigar bar at the foor of Chapman's Peak for a sun-downer, you would also be making no mistake tasting their pan-fried Calamari, possibly the best in the world!
- Try the local sushi restaurant run by Bruce and his wife.
- The Pirates den has DJs some nights, but many locals steer clear and thus the place can be very empty.
- A local gem is the Work Shop, claimed to be the smallest (licensed) pub in Africa is serves as a good meeting place when the weather is good, drink is cheap and the local young folk enjoy meeting new people and will always talk to any new faces. Talk to William the resident barman for an introduction to the local crowd.
- Renaissance Courtyard Cafe, Mainstream Shopping Centre, Main Road, ☎ 021 790 7202, . A truly beautiful coffee shop with its enclosed garden and French café atmosphere.
- luigi's. Local Italian restaurant, A M A Z I N G ambience, and better food.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
|| Under R500
|| R500 to R1000
|| Over R1000
Accommodation in Hout Bay consists mainly of smaller guesthouses and bed and breakfasts, prices vary and it is worth shopping around for the best option. Try searching to find accommodation to fit your budget and requirements, as more establishments offer their own websites and direct online booking facilities, securing the right accommodation is much easier. Booking in advance is essential over the peak periods and in particular over December and January.
- The Bay Lodge. Overlooks the bay and surrounding mountains. It offers continental and cooked breakfast. From R190pps.
- Howberry Farm, (close to the Mandela Park development). It is ideally situated for informative tours of this settlement, allowing a unique view and understanding of the opportunities and problems presented by life in the new South Africa. Very popular with long-stay 'Gap Year' students R125pps.
- Le Marais, 2 Harold Close, Oakhurst Estate (Just behind the Oakhurst Farm Stall), ☎ +27(0)21 790-9562, . B&B and selfcatering, run by French hosts, Patrice and Denis, with a superb interior design. From R250pp.
- Shambala Guest Lodge, 7 Little Lions Head Road, ☎ +27(0)21 790-4328 ([email protected]), . Set in a lush and tranquil garden on the sunny slopes of Little Lion’s Head mountain, overlooking the valley of Hout Bay. Offers a selection of one and two bedroom self-catering suites. Breath taking views and beach access close by. From R250pppn.
- Villa Romantica. Situated directly at the beach, opposite the waterfront, allowing easy access. Rates start from around R300.
- Hout Bay Apartments, ☎ +27(0)12 668-1069 ([email protected]), . Bordering the nature reserve on the mountain slopes above Hout Bay. Spectacular views of Chapman's Peak and The Sentinels. Apartments are fully serviced daily : From R500 per apartment per day.
- La Dolce Vita, 17 The Village Square, . A four-star luxury two bedroom apartment with stunning sea and mountain views that sleeps four, in a modern building with swimming pool, just minutes from the beach. From R700pn.
- Hout Bay Manor. Offers continental breakfast and despite all the normal facilities complimentary use of the local gym and internet access. From R610pps.
- The Pearl of Hout Bay (The Pearl), Victoria Road, ☎ (021) 791 3138, . checkin: 2pm; checkout: 10am. A modern contemporary style hotel offers daily breakfasts and a Mountain view. From R1250.
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!