Top 10 Activities in Hout Bay

Hout Bay is a wonderful place for locals and visitors to Cape Town alike to enjoy. Almost its own republic, this part of the city offers a laid-back vibe, beautiful stretches of beach and coastline and above all, a host of fun, largely sea-orientated activities to enjoy.

So, if you are looking for some fun and excitement by the sea, look no further than these top Hout Bay activities:

#1 See the seals with Drumbeat Charters

Arguably one of the biggest attractions near Hout Bay is taking a boat trip out to see the seal colony that lives a few km offshore on an island.

At Duiker Island – also known as ‘Seal Island’ – you can enjoy photographing and watching the mass of Cape Fur seals, who swim in the ocean and move about on the island, from a close, yet safe distance.

To enjoy this experience, book a trip with Drumbeat Charters. They have been consistently operating since 1989 and their vessel is secure and safe. What’s more, with them, the experience is always a fun and educational one!

The boat trip lasts some 40-minutes and, as it is child-friendly, it is suitable for the whole family to enjoy.

Contact: (082) 658 7055, hello@drumbeatcharters.co.za

Website: drumbeatcharters.co.za

Address: Drumbeat Charters, Hout Bay Harbour, Hout Bay, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

#2 Visit Hout Bay Beach

While it may not be the most glamorous or densely populated beach in the Mother City, there is no question that Hout Bay Beach is a beautiful, lovely beach to visit with your family. It is also popular among dog walkers and kayakers.

Hout Bay Beach offers a protected bay, with calmer waters and shelter from Cape Town’s ever-changing weather patterns and wind.

There are plenty of shops and restaurants nearby too. So, when you’ve had your fill of this pretty beach, go enjoy some shopping or grab a bite to eat!

Contact: n/a

Website: n/a

Address: Hout Bay Beach, Hout Bay, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

#3 Drive along gorgeous Chappies

Nothing says experiencing Hout Bay (and Cape Town) to the fullest like a drive along the world-famous – and much loved – Chapman’s Peak Drive.

This engineering gem is also a natural marvel, complete with incredible views of the mountains and ocean, exhilarating corners and curves, and some stellar picnic spots. These are especially perfect for a quick pit stop or for enjoying the incredible sunsets afforded to one here.

Chappies remains a life-changing drive – and one that everyone who resides in or visits Cape Town should experience at least once in their lives!

Note: If you venture far enough along Chapman’s Peak Drive (and we recommend that you do!), you will have to pay a minimal fee per vehicle to enjoy it. Also, ‘Chappies’ – which has a trying past – may not always be open. This is usually due to severe weather conditions or rock falls, so just check in advance to make sure!

Contact: +27 (021) 791 8222

Website: www.chapmanspeakdrive.co.za

Address: Chapman’s Peak Drive, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

#4 Go sea snorkelling with Animal Ocean

sealsnorkeling.com
sealsnorkeling.com

Because seeing the seals from afar just isn’t enough for everyone, visitors to Hout Bay can also enjoy: sea snorkelling!

This incredible ocean experience allows you to get up close and personal, with these cute and playful creatures. Brave the cold Atlantic waters with Animal Ocean and snorkel among the Cape Fur seals… Or, if you prefer, stay on the boat and still enjoy a wonderful experience and boat trip.

The rates for 2018/2019 – valid from 1 September onwards – are R900 (sea snorkelling) and R600 (boat riders).

The trip lasts for some three hours, with participants spending an average of 45 minutes to an hour in the waters with the seals. You don’t need to be a professional – but good swimming capabilities are a must.

Note: Be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes before your trip’s booked time.

Contact: 072 296 9132, info@sealsnorkeling.com

Website: sealsnorkeling.com

Address: (meeting point) 8 Albert Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

#5 Enjoy beer with Urban Brewing Co

There’s nothing like good craft beer to hit the spot… and fortunately for us, the Mother City is blessed with some of the best craft beer breweries around – including Urban Brewing Co!

Drawing their inspiration from the environment and sourcing their natural spring water from the Hout Bay Mountains, Urban Brewing Co takes craft beer to the next level… The result? A new class of craft for you to enjoy!

Visit them in the Hout Bay Harbour district, where you can enjoy great service (with cool explanations), touring their brewery – and of course, sipping some quality beer(s)!

Contact: +27 (021) 791 1130, contact@urbanbrewing.co.za

Website: urbanbrewery.co.za

Address: Urban Brewing Co, 31 Harbour Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

#6 Catch a ride with City Sightseeing

City Sightseeing offers some of the most memorable and popular ways to enjoy the Mother City… And one of their best tour options is undoubtedly their Blue Mini Peninsula Tour, which provides travellers with a choice between 14 excellent city stops.

This fun bus tour takes you from the V&A Waterfront, through the inner city, past Kirstenbosch (where you can hop off for a few hours) and Constantia Nek too, before it curls along the coastline, through Hout Bay and beyond!

At any of the stops, you can get off and enjoy some good, separate meals, activities and more – or simply stay on the bus and enjoy a wonderful scenic drive, the choice is yours.

Notable Hout Bay stops run as follows: World of Birds, Imizamo Yethu Township and Mariner’s Wharf. Once you’re done, just hop back on and head home to the city – it’s as easy as that!

Note: Tickets can be purchased online or at their tour offices, located in V&A Waterfront, Long Street and Camps Bay. Tour buses arrive and leave every 25-35 minutes.

Contact: (021) 511 6000, info@citysightseeing.co.za

Website: www.citysightseeing.co.za

Address: City Sightseeing Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

#7 Head to the market

Bay Harbour Market via Facebook
Bay Harbour Market via Facebook

Bay Harbour Market – Hout Bay’s own vibrant market – has been a hit for many years now – and if you want to really immerse yourself in Hout Bay’s cultural heart and feel like a local, then be sure to head to the market!

Here, one can enjoy happy shopping, local live music entertainment, gourmet food offerings and a whole host of handcrafted goods up for sale too! There are over 100 traders, so you really are spoilt for choice too.

Visit this buzzing market – found at the Hout Bay Harbour in a cool, restored factory – every Friday (evening), Saturday and Sunday.

For more information and times, please contact Bay Harbour Market directly or visit their website and social media pages.

Contact: 083 275 5586, info@bayharbour.co.za

Website: bayharbour.co.za

Address: Bay Harbour Market, 31 Harbour Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

#8 Hop into a sidecar with Cape Sidecar Adventures

With Cape Sidecar Adventures, you can experience amazing sidecar activities across the city (and province) – but one of their best trips has to be the Atlantic Seaboard and Chapman’s Peak Drive offering.

You get to enjoy a rich and wonderful trip along the Atlantic Seaboard, as you head to Chapman’s Peak lookout via Camps Bay and Hout Bay.

After a brief stop for photos, you will return to the city, passing through Constantia Nek and the Southern Suburbs beyond.

Soak up the scenery and enjoy the pleasure of being driven through some of the most gorgeous places in the Mother City… and don’t forget to pack a camera!

Note: Cost is R 1 050.00 per person with driver, and a minimum of two passengers per booking is required; rates do not include any additional fees, like toll, tasting or entry fees. Also, Cape Sidecar Adventures is a disabled-friendly experience.

For more information on this and other trips, please get in touch with Cape Sidecar Adventures or see their website.

Contact: +27 (021) 434 9855, info@sidecars.co.za

Website: www.sidecars.co.za

Address: Cape Sidecar Adventures, 1 Dickens Road, Salt River, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

#9 Explore World of Birds

Africa’s largest bird park, World of Birds, is a place that city explorers should definitely visit when in Hout Bay.

Filled with a rich array of over 3, 000 bird species and small animals, this incredible bird park makes for an insightful, educational and colourful experience, ideal for young and old.

World of Birds is especially great for nature lovers, travellers and photographers – and because it is also child-friendly, it is the perfect experience for family outings and school trips too.

Contact: +27 (021) 790 2730, info@worldofbirds.org.za

Website: www.worldofbirds.org.za

Address: World of Birds, Valley Road, Hout Bay, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

www.citysightseeing.co.za
www.citysightseeing.co.za

#10 Visit Mariner’s Wharf

This harbour-front emporium offers Hout Bay visitors lovely ocean views, great restaurants and takeaway spots, markets and shops.

Browse for local crafts, walk around the harbour in between the colourful boats, or simply enjoy a delicious meal with your loved ones.

Whatever you do, you can’t go wrong with a few, fun hours at the popular Mariner’s Wharf!

Contact: +27 (021) 790 1100, garthd@marinerswharf.co.za

Website: www.marinerswharf.co.za

Address: Mariner’s Wharf, Hout Bay Harbour, Harbour Road, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.

These are just some of the great attractions and memorable experiences in Hout Bay… Which will you try first?

Top Must-do Activities in Cape Town 2017.

Cape Town is a city that offers both indoor and outdoor activities to suit all tastes, senses of adventure and travel budgets… but some are just too iconic or unusual to miss out on!

So, here are our top 20 Mother City picks for 2017:

#1 Catch the Cable Car (and abseil down) Table Mountain

Table Mountain is one of the city’s crowning glories, and as such, it’s a must-visit for tourists and locals alike. If you’re not up for a hike up the Table, why not catch the cable car up and then abseil back down?

Abseil Africa is one of the best companies around. You’ll have to follow a rope 112 metres or so down, in what is a safe, guided abseil, which is, coincidentally, the world’s highest commercial abseil offering. It costs R995 per person (excluding Cable Car ticket).

Contact (Abseil Africa): (021) 424 4760

Website: http://abseilafrica.co.za

Address: 297 Long Street, Cape Town

Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Abseil-Africa via Facebook

#2 Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium

No visit to Cape Town is complete without experiencing the world-renowned Two Oceans Aquarium. Adults and children alike will delight in the wonders of the sea. Find Nemo, see the penguins or go for a dive… either way, you’re in for a fun and educational underwater experience!

Tickets are R135 (adults), R100 (children 14-17 years, pensioners and students) and R65 (children 4-13 years).

Contact: (021) 418 3823

Website: http://www.aquarium.co.za

Location: Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

#3 Walk the Museum Mile

Located within and near to the city’s well-loved, historic Company’s Gardens, you will find the South African National Gallery, Houses of Parliament, Iziko South African Museum, Planetarium and Slave Lodge.

All are worth a visit and on certain days, such as Heritage Day (24 September), you can enjoy these wonderfully historic and engaging places for free.

Contact (Iziko Museums): (021) 481 3800

Website: http://www.iziko.org.za

#4 Experience Cape Town’s art scene

Woodstock is fast becoming the Mother City’s go-to art hub, as buildings are being restored, warehouses transformed and artists descend on the area like never before.

Here, why not visit the likes of the international-influenced Stevenson Gallery, among others, for some sophisticated and unique art appreciation?

Contact: (021) 462 1500

Website: http://www.stevenson.info

Address: Buchanan Building, 160 Sir Lowry Road, Woodstock, Cape Town

Photo credit: www.stevenson.info

#5 Helicopter flights with NAC Helicopters

Experience the Mother City from the air as you choose from several amazing flight options, including: Hopper, Atlantico, Two Oceans, Robben Island, Three Bays and Cape Point Tours.

Costs range from R3, 240–R25, 800.

Contact: (021) 425 3868

Website: http://www.nachelicopterscapetown.com

Address: East Pier Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

#6 Learn to surf in Muizenberg

Surfing (be it traditional surfing, or kite/wind surfing) is very much a popular Cape Town activity and surfers’ haven, Muizenberg, is considered the best spots to learn to surf in South Africa.

Although you will no doubt find a number of local surfing schools, Learn 2 Surf is a good bet, as they are ideally based at Muizenberg Beach. They offer small group or private lessons, weekly, and are open every day of the year, weather permitting.

All equipment is included in the fee. To enquire after Learn 2 Surf’s prices, please fill out the ‘Prices & Info’ form on their site and buy/book your lessons confidentially online.

Contact: (083) 414 0567

Website: http://www.learn2surf.co.za

Address: 165 Main Road, Muizenberg, Cape Town

#7 Kayak with seals and dolphins

Cape Town-based Kaskazi Kayaks offers wonderful kayaking experiences and close encounters with sea birds, seals, dolphins and during whale season (July to December usually), you can even see the whales too!

Their shop is based in Three Anchor Bay and from there, they embark on a 3-5 km journey towards either Clifton Beach or Granger Bay. Trips are approximately two hours long. If you have prior kayaking experience, you can arrange a half-day trip too.

Booking is essential and all trips are weather-reliant. To find out the cost per trip, please contact Kaskazi Kayaks directly.

Contact: (083) 346 1146

Website: http://kayak.co.za

Address: 179 Beach Road, Three Anchor Bay, Cape Town

#8 Enjoy whale watching in False Bay

Of course, the whale capital is Hermanus – but that’s not the only place in the Western Cape to see the wonderful whales.

Areas along the False Bay coastline are also prime whale watching spots and the best part is, you can view the whales from land or shore for free!

Recommended spots along the False Bay coastline include: Muizenberg, Kalk Bay, St James, Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town, as well as Cape Point.

#9 Ride a bicycle along the Promenade

This activity has certainly grown in popularity and is great for both children and adults alike.

Up Cycles is your recommended service provider; they charge R60 (per person) for one hour and R90 for two etc. You can cycle as far as the Waterfront, if desired – and helmets and locks are included.

Ride along the Sea Point Promenade at a leisurely pace and maybe even catch the sunset.

Contact: (076) 135 2223

Website: http://upcycles.co.za

Address: The Pavilion, Sea Point Promenade, Sea Point, Cape Town

Photo credit: Basil Parker, upcycles.co.za 

#10 Snorkel with the seals

Experience the fun and beauty of snorkelling with Cape Fur seals on the city’s Atlantic side, at Duiker Island, Hout Bay.

Join Animal Ocean (particularly during summer) for 1-5m depth snorkel. No experience is needed but participants must be competent swimmers. (Afterwards, you’ll even be treated to hot chocolate and biscuits!)

Cost is R550 (per person) to view and R800 (per person) to snorkel.

Contact: (072) 296 9132

Website: http://animalocean.co.za

Address: Hout Bay Harbour, outside NSRI Station 8 Building, Hout Bay, Cape Town

#11 Hop on, hop off the CitySightseeing Bus

CitySightseeing bus tours have grown in popularity and numbers in recent years and now offer an excellent array of tours.

These include (to name a few): Harbour Cruise Tour, Purple Wine Tour, Sunset Bus Tour and even a Cape Point Explorer Tour!

Cost varies depending on tour but can be anything between R40–R550 per person (adults).

Contact: (021) 511 6000

Website: http://www.citysightseeing.co.zaa

Address: 81 Long Street and The V&A Waterfront, near the Two Oceans Aquarium, Cape Town.

#12 Ride a Harley along Chappies

Photo credit: www.capebiketravel.com

Drive the world-famous Chapman’s Peak Drive on one of the world’s most iconic motorbikes: the Harley Davidson when you opt in for the Cape of Good Hope Tour. It covers approximately 180km, stretching from Hout Bay to Simon’s Town, and is weather dependent.

With Cape Bike Travel, you can rent and drive a Harley yourself, or enjoy a chauffeured ride. Cost for self-driven trip is R2500 per rider, while chauffeured rides cost either R1, 600 (half-day) or R2, 100 (full day).

Contact: (021) 424 5013

Website: http://www.capebiketravel.com

Address: 125 Buitengracht, City Centre, Cape Town

#13 Experience high tea in the city

The Mother City has a number of hotels, which offer “high tea” (more commonly referred to as afternoon tea these days). They are hugely popular and are great fun for adults (and teens).

Costs vary but you can generally expect to pay R200-300 per person as you feast on savouries, an assortment of tea (or coffee), macaroons, cakes and so much more in a luxury setting.

The Belmond Mount Nelson, The Taj Hotel, One&Only Cape Town, Cape Grace Hotel and 12 Apostles Hotel all offer excellent high/afternoon teas.

For more information, contact the above-mentioned hotels directly or visit their websites.

Cost: R95–295 (generally)

#14 Horse ride along Noordhoek Beach

Situated at the charming, historic Imhoff Farm, near Kommetjie, is the Imhoff Equestrian Centre, where you can enjoy beach horse rides.

These two-hour-long rides take you along the pristine Noordhoek Beach. They cater for those who have never ridden, as much as experienced riders. (Maximum age is 12 years and maximum weight is 100 kg.)

Booking is essential. To enquire after the cost per person, please contact them directly.

Contact: (082) 774 1191

Website: http://www.horseriding.co.za

Address: Imhoff Farm, M65, Kommetjie, Cape Town

Photo credit: www.imhofffarm.co.za 

#15 Visit the Boulders penguins

Simon’s Town is home to the beautiful Boulders Beach. Here, a colony of African penguins have taken up permanent residence.

Boulders is one of the few places in the world where you can walk among and swim with these tuxedoed dudes.

Boulders Beach is a protected SANParks beach so there’s an entry fee. Current costs (valid until 31 October 2017) are R70 (per adult) and R35 (per child).

Contact: (021) 428 9111

Website: http://www.sanparks.org

Address: Kleintuin Road, Simon’s Town, Cape Town

#16 Head to Cape Point

Lying at the southern section of the vast Table Mountain National Park (or TMNP), Cape Point is a truly life-changing destination. Visit the historic, old lighthouse, see the Chacma baboons, dine at the scenic Two Oceans Restaurant or explore the Cape of Good Hope.

Whatever you choose to do, you’re sure to enjoy a day of true Cape adventuring in one of the most beautiful spots on the globe.

Cost is R135 (per adult) and R70 (per child, ages 2-11).

Contact: (021) 780 9010

Website: www.capepoint.co.za

Address: Cape of Good Nature Reserve, near Simon’s Town, Cape Town

#17 Explore Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

The amazing Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is one of the city’s proudest and most well-loved public spaces. It’s a wonderful, vast place to explore with friends and loved ones alike.

Enjoy a picnic, Summer Concert or strolling among the plants in this 528-hectare reserve.

Entry fees are: R60 (adults), R30 (SA students) and R15 (children 5-17 years).  Free to pensioners (with ID), except on public holidays.

Contact: (021) 799 8783

Website: http://www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch

Address: Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town

#18 Hike up Lion’s Head

The (free) hike up Lion’s Head is one of the city’s most popular activities now.

Perfect any time of day (though it’s best at sunrise and sunset), even during full moon, this 1-2-hour-long hike is a must. Reach the summit or see if you can discover one of the mountain’s cave, particularly the well-loved Wally’s Cave.

There are two routes as you near the summit… so opt for the one without the staples and ladders if you’re afraid of heights.

Address: Lion’s Head, Cape Town

#19 Visit Robben Island

The former prison, where late, former president Nelson Mandela and so many others were held captive during the Apartheid Era, is one of the Mother City’s chief tourist destinations.

Boats leave daily from the Waterfront. The guides will provide you with an insightful tour, especially as so many of them are former prisoners themselves. Cost is R300 per person.

Contact: (021) 413 4200

Website: http://www.robben-island.org.za

Address: Robben Island, Cape Town

#20 Be part of First Thursdays

Photo credit: Laura September via Instagram

On the first Thursday evening of every month, the city’s art galleries in Bree and the CBD come alive, opening to the public, permitting free entry and fun exploration.

This highly popular event now sees many restaurants and cafes joining in on the fun, so you can enjoy a tasty meal with the art.

Each month brings exciting changes, new participating venues and fresh exhibitions – so save the date!

Galleries are open from 5pm – 9pm (if not later) and remember: entry is free!

Website: http://www.first-thursdays.co.za/cape-town

These are just some of the amazing activities you can enjoy in the Mother City, whether you’re a culture vulture, adrenalin junkie or nature lover… there’s something for everyone to enjoy experiencing, both indoors and out, in 2017.