Hout Bay, surely South Africa’s most scenic fishing village, is situated along a coastline which Sir Francis Drake, almost five centuries ago, described as the most beautiful Cape in the whole wide world.
Yet it wasn’t that long ago when Hout Bay was regarded as Cape Town’s outback, and apart from visiting tradesmen, only a few people used to visit.
However, times have changed and Hout Bay has taken its rightful place as a premier tourist destination, welcoming tens of thousands of visitors a day in season. It has also become a scheduled stop-off for the MyCiti and City Sightseeing buses.
In no small way, this has been due to the vision and efforts of Stanley Dorman, a fourth generation Hout Bay local. Virtually single-handedly, after a decade of travel and research to ports of call and themed villages around the world, he designed and built Mariner’s Wharf, Africa’s first harbourfront emporium, which opened in 1984.
Thanks to Stanley’s initiative, Hout Bay’s fascinating history with the sea has been preserved for posterity. And, besides the hundreds of artefacts weaved into Mariner’s Wharf’s displays, Stanley’s contribution is also evidenced by what he has created at Fisherman’s World and Mainstream Village and Malls, which three projects amount to a remarkable showcase of the area and its past.
For more information the book “Embracing Hout Bay” on sale in selected local shops, is recommended as a historical guide and highlights pertinent sagas in Hout Bay’s development over the centuries.