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Hout Bay & Cape Town Attractions

Hout Bay is ideally situated just behind Table Mountain, for all the attractions of Cape Town and the Cape Peninsula.

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Walking through the various aviaries at the World of Birds is a wonderful way to entertain a young family. The Weekend Harbour Market has many market stalls selling local crafts as well as food, drink and live music. From the harbour, you can go out on a deep-sea fishing charter or hire a SUP, surfboard or a kayak.

 

Visit Duiker Island by boat and enjoy being out on the bay. Snorkelling with the seals around Duiker Island is also organised from the harbour.

Chapman’s Peak drive:

Our world-famous scenic coastal road that hugs the cliff edge between Hout Bay and Noordhoek. With a 200 meter vertical cliff on the one side and a 200-meter drop on the other. There are many viewing stops to enjoy the panoramic view as well as dedicated picnic spots along the way.

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Atlantic seaboard beaches: 

The beaches on the Atlantic Ocean side of the Peninsula have spectacular sunsets, refreshing waters for swimming, surfing waves and trendy people. Hout Bay beach is on the Atlantic Ocean side. Llandudno beach for surfing and sundowners, Camp’s Bay beach for restaurants and bars. Clifton beach is the most glamorous beach in Cape Town. It is very popular, so taking the MyCiti bus will alleviate the need to find parking.

The MyCiti bus route connects Hout Bay with the rest of Cape Town on a well laid out network of bus routes.

The ‘Red’ City Sightseeing Hop-on / Hop-off bus route also comes through Hout Bay. This sightseeing bus route will take you via all Cape Town’s tourist attractions, including the lower cable car station on Table Mountain.

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The Two Oceans Oceanarium: 

The aquarium at the Waterfront is a fascinating and highly informative oceanarium which is easily the best in Africa. An enjoyable place to go if the south-easter is blowing or if Cape Town is having a cloudy day. 

The Table Mountain cable car

The view from the top of Table Mountain is superb. There are a number of level walking trails on top of the mountain and if you are energetic and fit, you could also climb the mountain. 

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The V&A Waterfront: 

The V&A Waterfront, with its array of designer boutiques, craft shops, restaurants, boat trips, buskers and entertainment is an enjoyable way to spend your time. For more than 70 years the Waterfront was the very heart of Cape Town (the Tavern of the Seas). Then, after the Duncan Dock was taken into service in 1945, the old Victoria and Alfred basins - the original dockland - gave shelter only to Cape Town’s fishing fleet and occasional other small craft. You can now sit admiring the spectacular view of Table Mountain and take in all the activities of a working harbour. 

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Cape Town city centre: 

When walking down the avenue in the old Company Gardens you will be able to see the Houses of Parliament, the Cultural History Museum, the South African Museum and the South African National Art Gallery. These charming gardens were first laid out by Jan Van Riebeeck, the first Dutch Settler of South Africa in the 1650s, as a vegetable garden. At the top of the gardens is the immensely interesting South African Museum which has an excellent natural history section. The South African National Art Gallery, which is also in the gardens has a growing display of contemporary South African Art.

For a glimpse into the life of the Cape Malay in the 19th century, explore some of the old Cape Malay streets in the Malay district and the Bo-Kaap Museum. In contrast, Koopmans-De Wet house is a museum showing the typical interior of a Cape Town House in the 18th century. Bertram House is another unique Georgian townhouse museum.

The District Six museum is a small museum depicting the history of the "District Six" area in central Cape Town which was a vibrant multi-cultural area in the 1960's. The people of the area were forcibly removed by the apartheid government under the Group Areas Act and this museum brings alive the former residents of this area.

The Castle of Good Hope 

The original fort of Cape Town has now been beautifully restored. It houses the Maritime and Military museum and also the William Fehr Collection of antiques and pictorial Africana. The Castle was built by the Dutch between 1666 and 1679 to replace their original mud-walled fortress that was built in 1652. 

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens: 

The gardens must surely be one of the finest Botanical Gardens in the world. Situated on the lower slopes of Table Mountain, the National Botanical Garden at Kirstenbosch cover 560 hectares of land, stretching up the mountain to its highest point – Maclear’s Beacon. There are several walks that lead through the gardens offering botanists & birdwatchers a variety of habitats. The grounds also contain the Compton Herbarium, a nursery, & a gift shop.

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The Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve. 

This windswept park has many indigenous plant species. Indeed the 7,750-hectare reserve has as many plant species as the whole of Great Britain. The park also has a variety of mammals such as the Chacma Baboon, Cape Mountain Zebra, Bontebok, Red Hartebeest, Eland and Cape Grysbok. Birdlife at first glance seems rather scarce, but over 250 species have been seen here to date.  

At Cape Point, there is a parking area from where you can take a short walk or a funicular ride to the old lighthouse, this affords you with panoramic views that encompass the whole of False Bay and the Boland mountains beyond. Two great ocean currents - the warm fast-flowing Agulhas from the Equator and the slower moving Benguela from the Antarctic - meet off Cape Point. 

Other local attractions on the Peninsula include:

Wine tasting on the Constantia wine route, viewing the African Penguin colony at Simon’s Town, walking on Table Mountain or at Silvermine Nature Reserve with a local trail guide, wreck diving in False Bay, Great White Shark diving, birdwatching at the many nature reserves and simply relaxing on a beach. 

The Cape Winelands: The dramatic backdrop of the Hottentots Holland Mountains and the tree-lined streets with the white gabled Cape Dutch homesteads all blend in tranquil harmony to make Stellenbosch one of the most beautiful towns in South Africa. Here is the perfect opportunity to sample* and buy Cape wine and experience the rich historical and architectural traditions of the Winelands region. 

*Full day and half-day private tours can be organised - through Crane's Cape Travel .

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