Hout Bay in South Africa: the 9 best activities in this neighborhood of Cape Town!

The beautiful town of Hout Bay (Houtbaai) is located near Cape Town. It is a friendly village, surrounded by rugged mountains, near Cape Town and on one of the most beautiful bays in the world! With vineyards nearby, fine restaurants, and a friendly atmosphere, Hout Bay is a wonderful base for when you travel through South Africa (with children). In this blog, you can read all you need to know about Hout Bay. We will tell you more about the best things to do in the Hout Bay area and share the best tips!Houtbay beach

Hout Bay: child-friendly suburb of Cape Town!

Hout Bay (or Houtbaai as it is called locally), is adjacent to Cape Town and perfect for when you travel to South Africa with a family. It is aimed at families, but Hout Bay is also a wonderful place for couples to stay (a little longer).

Hout Bay is located on the sea, which ensures that it has a wonderful temperature even in the warm summer. It is a relatively safe part of South Africa and you can just walk around. From Hout Bay, you can drive to the center of Cape Town in 20-30 minutes, ideal! Hout Bay is actually a village attached to Cape Town, which makes it feel like you are in a quieter part of the city. And that is super nice.Houtbay, Cape Town 2

How many days do you need for Hout Bay?

The village itself is not large, but there is plenty to do in the area. We stayed in Hout Bay for a week and we were definitely not done exploring. If you are traveling without children, I would recommend at least three days for Hout Bay. With children (and therefore a slower pace), five days are recommended. If you also want to see the highlights of Cape Town, we recommend at least a week, there is so much to do!

Cape Town versus Hout Bay: which location is nicer?

We get this question quite often: “What do you recommend, a stay in Hout Bay or Cape Town?” The answer to this of course depends entirely on your needs and traveling companions. Do you like to party, hike multiple mountains within Capetown and fancy some shopping? Then we recommend you stay in the center of Cape Town. If you are traveling with a family or need a quiet base near the beach with the option to take trips to Cape Town and the surrounding area, then Hout Bay is the perfect location.

The 9 best things to do in Hout Bay!

Even though Hout Bay is a lot quieter than the center of Cape Town, there is more than enough to do here! Below we describe nine activities and sights for when you are in Hout Bay.

1. Things to do in Hout Bay: drive Chapman’s peak

If you only do one thing in Hout Bay, let it be Chapman’s Peak Drive! This beautiful route of nine kilometers goes from Hout Bay to Noordhoek, making more than 114 bends while having the most beautiful views in the world. Chapman’s Peak Drive is a toll road (€3) with the ocean with its steep cliffs on one side and the high red rocks on the other. There are plenty of picnic areas where you can stop and take beautiful photos.

Tip: Combine the Chapman’s Peak drive with a wine tasting at Capepoint Vineyards (see point 3), the beautiful beaches (see point 4), Noordhoek Farm (point 5), Silvermine Dam (point 6) or drive all the way to the Cape of Good Hope (read more in our Cape Town blog).

Tip: Do you want to rent a car without hassle? Then rent a car through SunnyCars. We often book rental cars with Sunny Cars within and outside Europe because they have you fully covered in terms of insurance and you can contact them 24/7 with all your questions!

2. Visit the Bay Harbor Market in Hout Bay

A really fun activity in Hout Bay is the Bay Harbour Market. In an old warehouse, there are all kinds of small shops/stands selling souvenirs, clothing, and toys. And there is a food section where you can taste the most delicious dishes from all over the world. We went (even though it was 11 am) for Dim Sum and fresh Spring Rolls, followed by a smoothie.

Admission to Bay Harbor Market is free. Please note, that the market is only open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. On the same street, there is also an art gallery, several restaurants, and the popular Fish on the Rocks restaurant. Fish and chips while looking out over the bay.

3. Go wine tasting in Constantia or have a wine picnic with a sea view

Not far from Hout Bay, you will find the Constantia wine valley. Beautiful wineries are hidden in this green area where you can taste wine but also have lunch, a picnic, or a luxurious dinner.

At the very top of the valley is Beau Constantia. A vineyard with the most beautiful view. We did a tasting, and I especially loved the red wines here! Also recommended is the cheese platter, Floris and Ries went all out with this! Beau Constantia also has Chef’s Warehouse restaurant. We ate at a Chef’s Warehouse branch in Franschhoek and it was amazing! Beau Constantia does not offer picnics and there is less play space for children. If you are looking for a place in the Constantia Valley that is a little more child-friendly, consider going to Buitenverwachting, Constantia Uitsig, or Constantia Glen. You can have a nice picnic here.

The Constantia wine valley continues to Noordhoek, where the beautiful Cape Point Vineyards winery is located. From this winery, you have a great view of the sea. We had a picnic here and it was great! You can also do tastings here or have an extensive lunch. There is a playground and a pond, and every Thursday there are food trucks with delicious food.

In high season (December-February) it is advisable to make a reservation for a tasting, picnic, or lunch/dinner because most wineries fill up quickly.

Planning to taste wine in the Cape Winelands? We wrote several blogs about this: the nicest wineries in Paarl, the 9 best wineries in Stellenbosch and the 9 most beautiful wineries in Franschhoek!

4. Visit the beautiful beaches near Hout Bay

There are a lot of beautiful beaches around here. Below we list a number of beaches that we liked best.

1. Hout Bay Beach:

This is the beach of Hout Bay itself. It is beautifully spread out and there are several restaurants/coffee shops nearby. What makes this beach so beautiful are the green mountains that start just behind the beach. This gives you a bit of a Rio de Janeiro feeling.

The sea here is quite rough and above all very cold, and the water is not always completely clean. Not really suitable for swimming. You do see a lot of surfers here. We found Hout Bay Beach perfect for a morning walk or to get some fresh air.

2. Llandudno Beach:

The wealthy Llandudno district is a 10-minute drive from Hout Bay. Here you will see the most beautiful villas built against the rocks. You will also find a beautiful beach here, hidden between the rocks and greenery. The wind is a lot less strong than in Hout Bay, and the sea is also a bit calmer. The water is still very cold and there can be a rip current that can pull you into the sea. So be careful. Sunbeds and parasols can be rented on the beach.

Llandudno Beach, Cape Town 1

3. Noordhoek Beach:

The Noordhoek district is a 20-minute drive from Hout Bay. Here you will find one of the most beautiful and rugged beaches in Cape Town. The beach is very wide, with huge rocks at the edges. This beach is perfect for long walks or watching the sunset. You can also enjoy horseback riding on this beach. Because it is very wide, the wind sometimes blows very hard here, so lying quietly on the beach is not an option.

4. Kommetje beach:

The quiet beach of Kommetje is a 30-minute drive from Hout Bay. This is the perfect place to lay a towel on the sand and relax. You will find many families here, but it is still a quiet place. There is a small café on the beach where you can really get the best egg and bacon sandwiches! I still dream about them! Also nice, when we were here, a seal crawled onto the beach. The sea is cold and the waves can be high. We saw a lot of surfers here.

Finally, Fish Hoek Beach and St James Beach also seem to be very beautiful. Because they are not located on the Atlantic Sea, but on the Indian Sea, the water is a lot warmer here.

5. Fun with children in Hout Bay: World of Birds bird sanctuary

World of Birds is a reserve for birds and some other animals such as monkeys. They are taken care of here when they get injured, there is a hospital and it is also just a zoo with all kinds of birds. You can walk through some enclosures so that the birds are very close, other birds are in cages that you can view from outside.

I personally have some mixed feelings about this and I prefer to be honest about it. I’m not really into zoos, because it doesn’t feel natural. On the other hand, the animals are cared for here and patched up when they are sick or injured. In addition, the rusty fences and bird droppings that you smell and see everywhere provide a bit of a feeling of faded glory. That being said: Floris and Ries loved it. Floris is 1 year old and loves birds, he was amazed. The flamingos, peacocks and pigeons (yes he especially loves pigeons) were particularly popular. There is a playground, free walks with guides and you can attend the feeding of various animals.

Conclusion: not my thing, but kids love this. Spending a few hours in World of Birds is not a bad idea. Admission is 130 rand per person, children (3-16 years) 50 rand and under three years free.

6. Visit the Noordhoek Farm Village

Something typically South African is the many “Farms” that you encounter. These are not real farms, but small communities with shops, restaurants and playgrounds. Perfect to let your children run wild, but also to buy cakes or look around the beautiful boutiques.

In Noordhoek, a 15-minute drive from Hout Bay, you will find the Noordhoek Farm Village. A very nice farm with a large playground, good restaurants and apparently (we only heard it after we had already left), the best ice creams in South Africa. Definitely worth a stop!

Tip: here you will find our Garden Route itinerary!

7. Walk around Silvermine Dam (also suitable for strollers)

Yes, there are a lot of beautiful hikes in the Hout Bay area, but to be honest, we usually can’t do them with a child. One of the beautiful nature parks in the area is Silvermine Dam. This rugged area is spread over several hills and mountains.

There are several long walks that you can do here and there is also one route that is completely stroller-proof. Perfect for when you travel with children. This walking route goes around the dam itself, you can be around in 20 minutes. If it is very hot, you can cool off in the water of the dam. Bring something to eat and have a picnic at one of the beautiful places on the water. Click here for the location of this walking tour. Larger hikes of 1.5 or 2 hours also depart from here (not suitable for strollers). You pay 160 rand (8€) per person to enter the nature reserve.

8. Rent an (electric) mountain bike and explore the surroundings of Hout Bay

Would you like to do something active? Ries rented an electric mountain bike for an afternoon and cycled from Hout Bay, via Chapmans Peak to Noordhoek, then past Silvermine Nature Reserve and past the Constantia vineyards back to Hout Bay. This route is about 45 km and an electric mountain bike is a must because of all the hills and mountains. This took him 2.5 hours, but definitely allow some extra time (four hours) because you definitely want to stop at one of the restaurants or vineyards along the route.

Ries rented a mountain bike through Capelion. This is not a physical store, so please call/email in advance (see details on the website). You pay about 25 euros for half a day’s rental.

Tokai Natational Park, mountainbike, Cape Town

9. Take trips to Cape Town from Hout Bay

Most of the sights mentioned above are in the Hout Bay area. However, if you want to see more of Cape Town, read our Cape Town blog. There are more than enough great tips here to enjoy yourself in Cape Town.

Traveling with children tip: We were in South Africa during high season and that meant long, long lines for Table Mountain (1-2 hours of waiting is not uncommon). We therefore decided to buy Fast Track tickets for the Table Mountain cable car. No lines, and on top of the mountain in just a few minutes. It costs more money (we paid €100 for two adult tickets), but for us it was absolutely worth the money. Click here for more information.

Table Mountain view, Cape Town

Other things to do in Hout Bay that we didn’t do:

In addition to the above nine sights in Hout Bay and the surrounding area, there are a number of other activities in Hout Bay that we didn’t get too (as we said, even a week was not enough time to do all) but that we got recommended.

A visit to Clay Café Hout Bay seems to be a lot of fun. Here you can bake and paint your own pots. Please note that due to power outages it often takes 4-6 weeks for your creation to be baked, which is the reason for us not to go here because we would not be able to get the baked goods.

It is also possible to sail by boat to a large seal colony or even go snorkeling with seals. And finally, Hout Bay is ideal for kayaking. This is possible (guided) via this tour.

Het Kommetje beach, Cape Town

Read our South Africa travel tips blog, full of tips about traveling and tripping through South Africa!

Nice hotels or apartments in Hout Bay

Below are three great hotels or apartments in Hout Bay. The first one is perfect for when you’re traveling with a family. The others are nice if you are traveling through Hout Bay as a couple. You can find other hotels in Hout Bay here.

Airbnb Appartement €

Houtbay, Cape Town 2 2

We stayed in Darren’s lovely apartment. With two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a kitchen, this was the ideal place to stay with children. There is a small, communal (unheated) swimming pool and you can walk to the beach in 10 minutes. Highly recommended this place for families in Hout Bay! You can stay here from €90 per night (low season).

More information

Mooibaai €€


The luxurious Mooibaai hotel is located a little further from the beach, but with great views. The spacious rooms are beautifully decorated and there is a large swimming pool. In the common area you can cook yourself. This is a nice place if you are traveling as a couple and fancy tranquility. From €120 per night (low season) incl breakfast.

More information

Hout Bay Manor Hotel €€€

Houtbay Manor

The five-star Hout Bay Manor Hotel is located near the sea. You can walk to the beach in 10 minutes. The rooms are the epitome of South African luxury and you can sleep in a lovely four-poster bed. There is a swimming pool and the restaurant is very good for breakfast, lunch and dinner. From €155 per night (low season) including breakfast.

More information

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