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The Cape Peninsula - Hout Bay

Houtbaai

Hout Bay, viewing the Atlantic ocean. You can just see a very small part of the town on the right. Picture taken from Constantiaberg.

When Jan van Riebeeck landed in Table Bay in the year 1652, he needed much timber for the construction of ships and the Castle. To the south he found a bay surrounded by dense forests. That is how the bay got its name Hout Bay, Hout meaning Wood. Three decades later, in 1681, the first farms - Ruyteplaas and Kronendal - were established in Hout Bay. A century later commercial fishery, and the opening of a canning factory in 1904, became the pillars of Hout Bay's economy. The fishing industry (tuna and cray fishing) is still important, but today the town's economy depends much on tourism.
The Sentinel, the foremost dark rock in the background, guards the entrance to this bay. Just outside these rock formations is Seal Island, a tiny island behind the Sentinel. It is densely populated by some 6000 seals, and boat trips with viewers leave from the harbor about every 45 minutes.

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