Things to Do in Hout Bay: A Quick Guide to What to See, Do, Eat & Enjoy!
Nestled in a valley, just a 20-minute drive from Cape Town’s CBD, lies the suburb of Hout Bay. This close-knit community has at its fingertips all the best things in life – mountains, beaches, good food and a strong community spirit. A visit to Cape Town would not be complete without a trip to Hout Bay. Here are our favourite things to do in Hout Bay.
The valley is surrounded by mountains with innumerable hikes to suit all levels of fitness. The views from the tops of the mountain over the bay are spectacular and well worth the effort. The beach forms the heart of the community – a place for kids to build sandcastles, dogs to be walked, waves to be surfed and for long lazy summer days to be enjoyed.
Things to do in Hout Bay
Sandy Bay Shipwreck Hiking Trail
The walk starts at the Hout Bay Dunes car park (-34.027223, 18.342180) where you will see the boom across the road, with the signboard for Sandy Bay. You can either walk up the brick road or venture into the bush on the left until you reach the sand dune (this is more difficult). This giant sand dune is used by many for sandboarding.
There are two ways to reach the Oude Skip (Old Ship). When you reach the saddle at the top, turn left and follow the path down to the beach, cross over the beach, through the bushes and continue along the path parallel to the sea. Or from the saddle, you can continue walking along the easy contour path.
The contour path is very popular with local residents and dog walkers, while Sandy Beach is Cape Town’s only nudist beach, which could make the beach version slightly more interesting, depending on the time of year!
Location: Hout Bay Dunes Car Park (-34.027223, 18.342180)
Duration: 1.5hrs or longer if you want to swim and enjoy the beach
Hout Bay has not one, but three stunning beaches! The main being Hout Bay beach, situated in the heart of the Bay and should be on everyone’s list of things to do in Hout Bay. There is also Sandy Bay, Cape Town’s only (unofficial) nudist beach, for those wanting to get one with nature. And last but definitely not least, there is the magnificent Llundudno beach. Follow the road over Suikerbossie Hill, towards Camps Bay and Llundudno will be on your left just after the hill. Parking is limited so be prepared to walk a fair distance, but it will be oh so worth it!
Hout Bay Beach – Harbourside parking lot (-34.046767, 18.349146) or Chapmans Peak parking lot (-34.047105, 18.359338)
Sandy Bay Beach (-34.022978, 18.331749)
Llundudno Beach (-34.008125, 18.340841)
World of Birds Wildlife Sanctuary and Monkey Park
The largest bird park in Africa with over 3000 birds and small animals, the World of Birds is an absolute must for kids as well as adults! There are more than 100 landscaped aviaries through which to wander and get up close and personal with birds, monkeys, meerkats, tortoises, lizards, iguanas and more. I’d recommend 3 hours to explore all there is to see. Drinks and snacks are available, as well as a playground for the little ones.
Location: Valley Road, Hout Bay (-34.016541, 18.361939)
Opening Times: 09h00 – 17h00 for 365 days of the year
Costs: Adults R120 – Children R45 – Pensioners and Students (with card) R75
Feed the Seals in Hout Bay Harbour
Another fabulous thing to do in Hout Bay is to feed the seals. There is a large population of seals that call Hout Bay Harbour home. The seals have come to associate people with food, as the fishermen clean and gut the days catch and then toss the offcuts into the water for the seals to greedily gobble up. Over the years the seals have become very tame and now leap out of the water and onto the harbour wall to receive their tidbits. Some locals have started using the feeding of the seals as a local attraction for the tourists, hoping for a tip at the end of the “show”. We even saw one guy feeding a seal from his mouth! The seals get food, the locals make a few pennies and the tourists get to see something amazing, so a win-win for all.
Location: Along the harbour wall (-34.048926, 18.346852)
Bay Harbour Market
Situated on the water’s edge, looking across to Chapmans Peak, the Bay Harbour Market was an old factory which was converted to house over 100 entrepreneurial traders. There is an extensive range of food, from seafood platters, sushi, Indian, pizzas, speciality soups and lots more. Grab a beer, wine or even a cocktail. Only the most innovative and creative traders are chosen to ensure a broad range of art, craft, fashion and décor to choose from. Parking is ample, they even have live music on a Friday night and there is even a little playground for the kids!
Location: 31 Harbour Road, Hout Bay (-34.054868, 18.347146)
Times: Fridays 17h00 to 21h00, Saturdays & Sundays 09h30 to 16h00
Drive Along Chapmans Peak
Stretching from Hout Bay to Noordhoek, Chapman’s Peak Drive has to be the most spectacular marine drive in the world. Affectionately known as Chappies, this is a must-see for any visitor to Cape Town.
Location: The starting point is just past the Chapmans Peak Hotel (-34.048426, 18.361183)
Toll: R45 for a car
Where to Eat in Hout Bay
Eat at Fish on the Rocks
The local “chippie” that has stood the test of time! You ain’t had fish ‘n chips till you’ve tried it from Fish on the Rocks! Eat you prawns, lobster (crayfish), calamari or fried fish at the wooden tables outside, while the seagulls circle overhead. It is also right on the water’s edge, right next to the Bay Harbour Market.
Location: 1 Harbour Road, Hout Bay (-34.054903, 18.347808)
Opening Times: Open 365 Days in Summer (9am – 8:30pm) and in Winter (9am – 8pm)
This family-run restaurant is the perfect place to bring young kids. The playground is a giant sandpit with a big jungle gym and swings. The food is good, there is always a vibe and the view across the beach is breathtaking.
Location: Beach Crescent, Hout Bay (-34.045328, 18.358333)
Chapmans Peak Hotel
There is nothing quite like a nice glass of South African wine and a skillet of calamari while watching the sunset from the balcony of the Chapman’s Peak hotel. Established 25 years ago, Chappie’s Hotel is world famous for its calamari and seafood and it’s stunning outdoor setting, looking over the bay.
Location: 6 Main Road, Hout Bay (-34.046825, 18.361698)
This fabulous Mediterranean restaurant has something for all age groups. There is a whole room dedicated just to the kids, with rails of fancy dress clothes, books, toys and beanbags for them to relax in while watching Cartoon network. The doors lead out to a play area with a wooden jungle gym and dream catcher style swings. There are always two childminders on duty to help the kids eat, oversee them in the play area and make sure that the kids are happy. The best part about having the kids happy and entertained means the adults get to enjoy their meal in a more “adult” way. If you wanting something a little more festive, there is a bar in the back courtyard with live music and a fun atmosphere.
Location: 30 Main Rd, Hout Bay (-34.044725, 18.361049)