Hout Bay, a historical fishing harbour with an attractive beach, attracts swarms of South African families during peak season. Most come for the seafood restaurants and boat trips, but the best reason for heading here is for spectacular Chapman’s Peak Drive , which begins just outside town. As the sun sets in the summer months every pullover along the road is filled with spectators, drink in hand.
Hout Bay itself is fairly attractive, with a busy fishing harbour at the western end of the bay; at the other end is a collection of shops and popular restaurants. By the harbour is a commercial complex known as Mariners Wharf, a popular attraction, although looking a little wind-worn these days. It is based upon Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, with a whole string of fish ‘n’ chips restaurants, souvenir shops, boats for hire and a fish market known as Snoekies Fresh Fish Market, close to the harbour gates. Even if you’re not intending to buy anything it is worth a quick look to see the huge variety of fish that are caught off this coast. Boats run from here to see the seals on Duiker Island .
Back in the town, next to the tourist office T021-791 8380, www.tourismcapetown. co.za, Mon-Fri 0830-1730, Sat-Sun 0900-1300, is the Hout Bay Museum 4 Andrews Rd, T021-790 3474, Tue-Sat 1000-1230, 1400-1630, R5, with displays on the history of the area, aimed at visiting school groups. More popular with families is The World of Birds Valley Rd, T021-790 2730, http://www.worldofbirds.org.za, daily 0900-1700, R59, children R37, with over 400 species of birds housed in impressive walk-through aviaries. There’s also the Monkey Jungle, populated with squirrel monkeys.
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