Berg en Dal Estate is located in Hout Bay, a tranquil valley suburb of Cape Town surrounded by mountains. Jan van Riebeeck, the first Dutch Governor of the Cape of Good Hope noting in his diary that the bay had some of the finest forests, named it t’Hout Baaitjien, which means “the small wooded bay”. This village, now Hout (wood) Bay played a strategic role in the battle for occupation of the Cape Sea Route, by the French, Dutch and the English; the ruins of some of the forts and batteries, built in the 18th century, are still standing complete with their cannons which are fired today for the celebration of special festive occasions.
Today Hout Bay is a popular tourist destination with safe, soft sandy beaches, walking/climbing trails, horse-riding, cycling, arts and crafts, excellent restaurants, coffee shops, as well as wonderful heritage sites. The working harbour was built in 1930 and boats land their seasonal catches of fish and lobster on the quayside where dealers and bystanders can make their choice at bargain prices.
Hout Bay lies in a verdant valley surrounded by dunes and mountains at the edge of the shore. Enjoy the many walking trails – as a casual stroller or as an adventurous hiker along the strenuous routes of the Table Mountain National Park – because there’s something for everyone. Books and maps are available for free at the local Tourism Office (www.houtbay.org).
The climate in winter is mild (8 – 20 degrees Celcius) with rain at times and warm dry summers (15 – 30 degrees Celcius) offer an ideal seasonal mix. The predominant south-easterly wind also known as the Cape Doctor cools in summer ad clears the air of pollution and is supposed to blow-away all ills.
On the way South, from Hout Bay you drive through Chapman’s Peak, one of the most spectacular scenic roads in the world as it winds on its way to Noordhoek and Cape Point, the tip of the peninsula. This drive was opened in 1922 after taking seven years to complete using convict labour, and still today continues to be repaired and reinforced on a permanent basis.
In recent years the Southern Right whales have been seen in increasing numbers in the bay between July and December. Make use of the numerous look-out points along Chapmans’s Peak Drive. Hout Bay falls into the area known as The Cape Floral Kingdom which boasts over 1100 indigenous plant species, making it one of the richest botanical wonderlands. Proteas are among the many fynbos species and varieties of trees including the protected Milkwods which are abundant in this region. Bird life is varied, and although no longer seen in great numbers due to urbanisation, small animals and reptiles add to the diversity the fauna.
When you have seen all that Hout Bay has to offer, why not explore the surrounding beauty spots and tourist attractions such as:
Ten minutes drive to visit the splendour of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens or open air concerts in summer; Camps Bay with its many sidewalk cafes, cocktail lounges, restaurants just across the street from the beach; and the Constantia wine route.
Twenty minutes drive to Cape Town City centre; Convention Centre; Victoria and Alfred Waterfront with multiple 5-star hotels, shopping mall, music, entertainment, seafood restaurants, a viewing wheel, aquarium, harbour, quays, cinemas and african curio shops; and the breathtaking Table Mountain Cableway.
Forty five minutes drive to Cape Point; and diverse coastal and inland wine routes; and the International Airport.