Hout Bay Deals, Specials & Catalogues
Hout Bay is a prominent town in the Western Cape province of South Africa, located very close to the major city of Cape Town.
It is an area of some historical value, being one of the first areas to be explored by early European arrivals. It also features highly in the history of the early development of the Western Cape area due to the steady supply of high-quality timber that could be found in the area, from which many early buildings and other necessary items were built. For a time, the town also became an important ship-building and repair port for the same reasons. It is for this reason that Hout Bay was originally given its name, which literally translates from the Dutch for ‘Wood Bay’.
Hout Bay’s history stretches back to the late seventeenth century. Following the establishment of the Dutch colony in Table Bay in 1652, a large quantity of lumber was required to facilitate the building and expansion of the colony itself. Due to inadequate rainfall, large forests were not present in the immediate area, leading the colonists to search elsewhere for this important resource. The wetter valleys that lay on the other side of a low mountain pass to the south were found to be abundant in strong trees, which were felled to provide the newly formed colony with raw materials for its much needed growth and development.
Prior to the foundation of the town itself, the Hout Bay area was mainly occupied by two farms, which over time were subdivided to allow for the construction of houses and the establishment of the town proper. As a natural sheltered harbor well suited for small boats, the town quickly became a prominent fishing village as well as continuing to expand its lumber industry. It was briefly occupied by the French in 1788, and, along with the Cape colony, has changed hands several times since. Today, the self-styled (and unofficial) “Republic” of Hout Bay continues to be a popular town with a unique atmosphere of its own.
Hout Bay is located on the Atlantic Seaboard of the Cape Peninsula, more or less twenty kilometers south of the Cape Town city center. The area is separated from Cape Town by an enclosure of mountains that form part of the Table Mountain range, and can be accessed from the city center via the Constantia Nek pass that runs between the southern end of Table Mountain and the Constantiaberg area.
Hout Bay is home to a number of historical landmarks, perhaps the most colourful of which is the old Hout Bay harbour. The World of Birds, also located in the area, is another popular tourist attraction, while the bay itself, also known as ‘dungeons’ is well known within the surfing community.
Hout Bay is home to around 17,900 people, at a density of approximately 630 per square kilometer.
The majority of the population is White, with English being the most commonly spoken language.