Hout Bay

Few visitors driving through Hout Bay on the way to Chapman’s Peak Drive will have failed to notice in the sea below the road a curious concrete and steel jetty - usually the resting place of a number of cormorants drying themselves in the sun! This marks the most immediately visible remnant of one of the Cape’s most remarkable early mining ventures, the Hout Bay manganese mine.

 

Hout Bay is the third oldest surviving formal settlement in South Africa, only Cape Town and Simon’s Town are its seniors. Its early existence was largely due to its abundance of timber, however, that valuable resource disappeared within 30 years of van Riebeeck’s arrival and agricultural activity was quickly established as a sustainable living for those who settled there.

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