Hout Bay is a fishing village on the Atlantic coast lying between the peaks of greater Table Mountain’s Karbonkelberg and Constantiaberg. It is rich in cultural heritage, with sites dating back to the Stone Age, ruins of 18th century coastal forts, historic farmsteads and a working harbour.

Several sites contain evidence of early inhabitation by Khoi people. These include Judas cave on Geelklip Buttress, fish traps near Seal /Duiker Island, and middens at Sandy Bay.

Hout Bay got its current name from the Dutch settlers of the 17th century who cut down the indigenous forests that once spilled down the mountain slopes to the bay and used the wood (hout) for their commercial vessels and war ships. In 1652 the Dutch commander Jan Van Riebeeck described the forest of Houtbaaitjen as being the finest in the world. Most of the Yellowwood was gone 30 years after the settlers’ arrival.

Hout Bay was also once known as Chapman’s Chaunce, after John Chapman, a master’s mate on the English boat, Consent, which becalmed at the entrance to the Bay in 1607. Chapman’s was the first written account of the bay, then inhabited by the Khoisan who traded with passing ships. Hout Bay’s famous peak is named after him.

Hangberg is a coloured community of about 30 000 people at the base of Sentinel Peak, below the Karbonkelberg (Carbuncle Mountain) facing the Atlantic Ocean.

Imizamo Yethu (IY for short or Mandela Park) is a township established in the 1990s as a place for black residents who had been living a ‘clandestine existence’ occupying backyard shacks in Hout Bay.