Hout Bay

On weekends, crowds of locals day trip to Hout Bay to enjoy its market. Just a ways from the center of town along Chapmans Peak Drive is a working harbor-turned-tourist trap.

Hout Bay_1

Among the colorful boats at Hout Bay are plenty of charters (such as Circe Launches) offering a 40-minute circumnavigation of Duiker Island, or Duikereiland—translated as diver’s island. Next to the ticket offices, crafts spill out from beneath a row of tents. While waiting, you’ll likely be entertained by young men barking to attract and feed fish to the seals (hoping for tips). Or, you can grab fish and chips from Café on the Rocks at the end of the harbor road.

Camera-toting tourists board glass-bottomed boats for a subaquatic and open air view of brown fur seals bathing in the sun. With a colony more than a thousand strong, it’s no wonder this rocky island is often called Seal Island—and easily confused with the other mass actually named Seal Island in False Bay.

Even if you don’t get seasick, beware that your fellow boat passengers might. Though the island is only four kilometers from the harbor, southeasterly winds make these waters are exceptionally rough! If you can stomach it, the short journey makes for a fun photographic expedition.

Hout Bay_2

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