A visit to Cape Town is not complete without a trip to beautiful Hout Bay. A suburb surrounded by mountains and the ocean, Hout Bay really does have something for everyone.
The scenic drive from the city centre will set the mood for your day as make your way through the leafy Southern Suburbs and eventually reach to the seaside splendour of Hout Bay.
The smell of the ocean and the sounds of seagulls flying above could be enough for some – take along your picnic basket and spend the day by the seaside, working on your tan and splashing and cooling off in the Atlantic ocean. But there’s so much more to do in this suburb than sit by the ocean.
Here’s a round up of all the things you can do, places you can see, and food you can eat in this historic fishing village.
See the seals in their natural habitat by taking a trip to Seal Island is perhaps one of the most enjoyable activities in Hout Bay. Drumbeat Charters calls the 40-minute cruise Hout Bay harbour to Duiker Island the Seal Colony “exciting and child friendly”.
Learn to paddleboard
You’re never too old or young to learn a new skill and what better place to learn how to have fun on the water and get fit at the same time? Cape Town Surfing offers paddleboarding lessons that “include water safety, beach introduction and the ABC of SUPing.”
If the intensity of water sports doesn’t appeal to you, perhaps tapping into your creative side will tickle your fancy. Clay Cafe invites you to “spend a leisurely few hours painting in a relaxed environment” creating crockery that will tell your personal story. BONUS: The café offers delicious farmstyle breakfasts and lunches.
World of Birds
A visit to the largest bird park in Africa is any nature lover and photographer’s dream. World of Birds is home to more than “3 000 birds (and small animals) of 400 different species”. Children and adults can be at one with nature and learn more about birds and supporting conservation. There’s a play area for children and space to picnic – just bring your own picnic basket.
Original T Bag Designs
“Original T-Bag Designs makes ‘Functional Art’ out of recycled tea bags. Used tea bags are dried, emptied, ironed then painted,” says their website. The story of how this business came to be is one of community upliftment and shows how helping one person develop a skill can have a positive knock-on effect.
Hout Bay Harbour Market
If you’re in Hout Bay over a weekend, a pop in at the Hout Bay Harbour Market is a must. The market offers a variety of traders. Whether you’re browsing for arts and crafts, or fashion, or health and wellness, you will find something you didn’t know you needed.
When people say let’s go for fish and chips in Hout Bay, the iconic Mariner’s Wharf building that sits beside the beach is the first thing that pops into many minds. It’s been around for more than 30 years and has cemented its place in the hearts and bellies of South Africans and foreign visitors. Be prepared for long queues during the busy season but it’s well worth the wait.
Snoekies and Fish on the Rocks
The number of seafood eateries shouldn’t come as a surprise in a seaside fishing village and queues at Snoekies and Fish on the Rocks often match the ones at Mariner’s Wharf. But nothing beats eating fresh fish at the ocean. You’re really spoilt for choice.
The Indian Oven Hout Bay
If you’re keen on something other than fish, try The Indian Oven, a cozy restaurant selling authentic Indian dishes. A perfect place to get warm, hearty foods if you’re visiting in winter.
For lovers of all things pizza and pasta, there are plenty of Italian places to chooses from. Dario’s Cafe, Posticino, and Massimo’s are listed among the top restaurants in this area.