Hout Bay at a glance
Hout Bay (“Houtbaai” meaning “Wood Bay” in Afrikaans) is situated in a valley on the Atlantic Seaboard of the Cape Peninsula, twenty minutes away from the centre of Cape Town. The name, “Hout Bay”, can refer the town itself, the harbour bay on which the town is situated, or the entire valley. Despite urban development, Hout Bay which was formerly a fishing village has maintained its unique and timeless beauty with its fishing harbour and country atmosphere, making it an attractive area to locals and visitors. The gorgeous beach boasts exceptionally spectacular views of the mountains that frame it. Local families love to gather here to enjoy a generous serving of fresh, delicious fish and chips whilst enjoying the tranquil harbour views – especially the playful resident Cape seals. The mesmerizing views of Hout Bay give an impression of protection from the surrounding mountains.
In 1652, the Dutch established a colony in Table Bay. A need arose for a large quantity of decent timber which was, amongst many other purposes, required for construction and shipbuilding. Hout Bay was named by the Dutch explorers who found the wooded valley and the timber were used to help the city of Cape Town as we know it.
Hout Bay is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty in all four cardinal directions, from the mountains to the north, east and west, as well as the southern Atlantic Ocean to the south. Its twenty kilometres south of Cape Town’s Central Business District.
Access to and from Hout Bay is rather limited, comprising only three distinct possibilities, all of which offer an enjoyable scenic drive at the least. Chapman’s Peak Drive is an iconic and beautiful arterial route along the mountain it’s named after, however, toll fees do apply. If you’d like to see an aerial view of False Bay, the road that joins up with the Constantia Wine Route over Constantia Nek, taking you into Constantia Valley provides this. You can also access Hout Bay via the route over Suikerbossie Hill to Llandudno and Cape Town’s other Atlantic beaches.
There are quite a few distinct areas in Hout Bay that have been divided up into neighbourhoods, some of which offer sought-after addresses; these include: Baviaanskloof; Beach Estate; Berg-En-Dal; Bokkemanskloof; Hangberg; Hanging Meadows; Hillcrest; Hout Bay Heights; Imizamo Yethu; Klein Leeukoppie Estate; Kronenzicht; Longkloof; Mount Rhodes; Nooitgedacht; Northshore; Oakwood; Overkloof; Penzance; Ruyteplaats Private Mountain Estate; Scott Estate; Silvermist; Tarragona; Tierboskloof; Victorskloof and several others.
As a result of the high spike in property crime such as house break-ins and vehicle theft that took place in 2003, the Hout Bay community responded by forming an effective neighbourhood watch group that has been proven to reduce crime in the valley. The neighbourhood watch’s initiatives include further policing, roadblocks, closed-circuit television (CCTV) monitoring, radio networking, patrols during the day and night as well as a 24-hour emergency call centre.
Hout Bay is always bustling with tourist activity, especially throughout the Christmas/Summer holidays. The lively Hout Bay Fishing Harbour is a working harbour for the tuna and crayfish industries that also offer a lot of activities for tourists including boat trips, diving and fishing.
Accessible by a 15-minute boat-ride from the Hout Bay Harbour is Dungeons Beach, known as the most extreme surf beach in South Africa and one of the sixteen recognized big wave spots in the world. It hosts the annual Red Bull Big Wave Contest every winter where the world’s top national and international contestants compete by invitation only. The beach comprises shallow open reefs and high impact zones with waves reaching up to 47 feet (14.3m). Located at the base of the Sentinel Mountain cliffs, this danger zone attracts seasoned professional surfers and daredevils. Without a group and co-ordinated jet-ski backup teams, the rough, icy, unpredictable waters of the Atlantic should never be attempted due to the dangerous marine life and hazardous conditions.
Chapman’s Peak Drive
Chapman’s Peak is the mountain on the Western side of the Cape Peninsula, between Hout Bay and Noordhoek. A remarkable road that hugs the almost vertical face of the mountain is known as Chapman’s Peak Drive which was hacked out of the face of the mountain between 1915 and 1922. It was considered a major achievement in the field of engineering but was closed in the 1990’s after a rockfall caused a death which resulted in a lawsuit. It was later reopened as a toll road in 2005 after being re-engineered to prevent motorists from falling rocks.
Bay Harbour Market
Situated on the water’s edge in an old fish factory, the Bay Harbour Market is buzzing with activity on weekends with over 100 stalls offering plenty choices of food, fashion, art, crafts, décor and live music. There atmosphere is filled with south African culture and flavour and there is secure and ample parking available. The market is part of an upliftment project that provides an opportunity for the Hout Bay local community to develop entrepreneurial skills for sustainable business.
World of Birds
A trip to Hout Bay is incomplete without visiting the largest bird park in Africa, home to over 3000 birds of over 400 different species in this tropical garden sanctuary. There are also various other mammals and reptiles on show.
Llandudno is a secluded upmarket residential suburb on the coast of Hout Bay, nestled in a peaceful cove roughly eighteen kilometres from the centre of Cape Town. It can only be accessed via Victoria Road which offers a scenic drive over Suikerbossie Hill from Hout Bay, or from Camps Bay in the other direction. The gorgeous Llandudno Beach is undoubtedly one of the most photogenic seashores of Cape Town, renowned for its vast stretch of white sand, deep blue waters and large boulders. It’s a preferred spot for family picnics, watersports and seaside games.
Although Llandudno is the smallest suburb on the Atlantic Seaboard, with roughly 400 properties only, this exclusive region is home to some of the most expensive properties on the South African market. The Llandudno property market has been continually thriving and had even weathered the real estate crash of 2008 impressively, recovering in record time of just 2 years. It’s one of the most stable markets that offers investors a significant return on investment. Sought after addresses that consist of breathtaking vistas include Fisherman’s Bend, Leeukoppie Road, Bosman Avenue and Apostle Road. Further down towards the seaside include Sunset Avenue, where beach houses can sell for up to R50 million.
Unfortunately, there are no shops of any kind in this secluded suburb, however, Hout Bay which is just a mere five-minute drive away boasts an array of restaurants, upmarket shopping centres and tourist attractions – locals and visitors are spoilt for choice and find it hard to run out of things to do.
Hout Bay and Llandudno have attracted more and more buyers who desire the sought after lifestyle of the harbour’s village and proximity to the city. Convenient amenities, fun activities, great attractions, top class schools and other facilities have tremendously added to its appeal. Knight Frank’s skilled team of area specialists can help you find the ideal home or investment opportunity in these gorgeous suburbs of Cape Town.