The historic and picturesque town of Hout Bay has always been a popular holiday destination - even when the round-trip excursion from Cape Town and back (including luncheon at the Beach Hotel) took an entire day. Here below the Karbonkelberg, with the Sentinel Peak and the famous bronze leopard standing guard over the Bay, lies a seaside village that's alive with the sounds and smells of the forests and the sea.
Once known as Chapman's Chaunce, the village's name was later changed to reflect its position on - Hout-baaitjen (the Dutch for Wood Bay) - the name chosen by the colony's first settler, Jan van Riebeeck, who was so impressed by the lush forests of milkwood trees that grew here. Ruined forts and batteries bear witness to the Bay's role in the race for possession of the Cape and the domination of its sea route (although restored and now in working order, the cannon at East Fort have not fired a shot in anger since the Battle of Hout Bay on 15 September 1795).
And this was once a wild place where animals roamed free - but sadly, no more. As a memorial to those far off days, a bronze leopard, sculpted by Ivan Miltford-Barberton, was placed on its rocky pedestal at the foot of Chapman's Peak Drive in 1963 and remains a poignant reminder of the need to preserve the natural history of this especially beautiful place.
As befits its position as a premier tourism destination, Hout Bay has much to offer.
For accommodation in Hout Bay click here.
Hout Bay Climate
Overall, Hout Bay has a mediterranean climate, with hot dry summers days and cold wet winters.
The average summer (October to February) temperature is 25.1°C. To many March to April signal idyllic weather, summers heat subsides and the wind settles. Winter’s (May to July) temperatures range from 7.1°C lows at night and a comfortable 14.9°C by day. However, with the onset of spring (from August to October), the fast-retreating winter merges with the summer sun, bringing forth some of the worlds most spectacular wild flower displays.