The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Hout Bay

Afrikaans name: Houtbaai

Hout Bay

Hout Bay harbour

Photo © Steven Herbert

Western Cape

Hout Bay is a picturesque town on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Cape Peninsula. It is also the name of the bay itself. The town is situated around 20km south of the Cape Town CBD.

Hout Bay weather


The name originates from the Afrikaans word for wood (hout). In the 17th century the Dutch had settled in the area of modern day Cape Town and needed large amounts of timber for building. Apparently Jan van Riebeeck said that the most beautiful forests that he had ever seen were to be found at Hout Bay.

The harbour is one of the main attractions in the area and a boat trip to nearby Seal Island is a must. The harbour itself is the 9th most popular tourist destination in the Cape Town region.

References and further reading

Things ewe never knewe about South African place names - Author: Ann Gadd - Published: 2015 - Page: 101

The Pictorial Motoring Atlas of South Africa - Author: Maxwell Leigh - Published: 1987 - Page: 24

Places to Visit in Southern Africa - Author: AA RSA - Published: 1995 - Page: 289

Readers Digest Illustrated Guide to Southern Africa - 4th edition - Author: - Published: 1986 - Page: 33

On Route - A region by region guide to South Africa - Author: B.P.J. Erasmus - Published: 1995 - Page: 12

Country Life - Issue 276 - Author: - Published: 2019 - Page: 64

Hit the Road - 2nd Edition - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2018 - Page: 22

Country Life - Issue 218 - Author: - Published: 2014 - Page: 64

Book of the Road - 4th edition - Author: MapStudio - Published: 2019 - Page: 123

Conollys Guide to Southern Africa - 2nd edition - Author: Denis Conolly - Published: 1982 - Page: 38


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