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Gorgeous Hout Bay, with its superb beachfront, rugged mountain backdrop and breathtaking panoramas, is undoubtedly one of the Cape’s most enticing tourist destinations. This small fishing village is situated along Cape Town’s Atlantic Coast, in close proximity to a number of other prominent coastal attractions.
The Hout Bay beachfront is the greatest attraction in the area, drawing locals and visitors alike to enjoy sunbathing, swimming and surfing. The World of Birds is the biggest bird park in Africa, with over 400 species of birds on display, including a number of owls and birds of prey, as well as some mammals and reptiles. A small, serene bonsai garden is located nearby and is well worth a visit.
The small Hout Bay Museum documents the history of the area from the time of the Khoi San ‘strandlopers’. An additional highlight of Hout Bay is the Sunday arts and crafts market, with stalls selling an eclectic assortment of clothes, jewellery and home ware.
At the harbour, you can watch the unloading of the fishing boats, or enjoy a delicious meal of fresh seafood. The Hout Bay Hotel is known for its culinary offerings, with fresh oysters and sumptuous fried calamari on offer. The area offers a selection of quaint shops selling a variety of goods from clothes to traditional African curios. Hiking is popular along Chapman’s Peak and the mountains behind the village.
Hout Bay is located in close proximity to a number of Cape Town’s other major attractions. Chapman’s Peak Drive is an awe-inspiring route which runs along the coast, which drops away to sheer cliffs and crashing ocean. Llandudno, Camps Bay and Noordhoek all have exquisite beaches, while the Constantia wine lands are situated a short drive inland. Hout Bay is also the springboard for boat trips to Seal Island, a small island inhabited by over 6,000 seals. Perhaps the most famous attraction in the area is Cape Point, symbolically the southern ‘tip of Africa’ (though it lies some 150kms Northwest of the true southernmost point at Cape Algulhas). Here you can see two sea currents colliding, and admire the unique Fynbos vegeatation in this National Park as you walk along the knife edged path to the end of this remarkable peninisula.
Hout Bay is most easily reached by car, although it is also served by buses and taxis. The bus route is a long and tedious one, and minibus taxis tend to be poorly maintained. However, the two routes from Cape Town, one along the picturesque coastline the other down the N2 and then over a mountain neck, both provide fantastic views. The closest airport is Cape Town International, about one hour away by car.