Fish Hoek, Cape Town, South Africa

View of Fish Hoek shore, Cape Town.
by Zola Miller

This small, friendly coastal town is located some 35km from Cape Town. Until the mid 1990's, it was the only absolutely "dry" town in the country, as the prohibition of the sale of alcohol dates back as early as the 19th century. Lord Charles Somerset stipulated in the title deed that "no public wine houses" were to be established in Fish Hoek.

It was only settled in 1818, although its name appears on maps long before that time. Fish Hoek nestles in a sandy glen which cuts across the southern Peninsula. Thousands of years ago, the sea washed through the valley, leaving behind the distinctive sandy floor base.

"Peer's Cave" is renowned as the place where the skeleton, "Fish Hoek Man" was discovered - the skeleton antedates the Neanderthal and was found in 1927 by Victor and Bertram Peers. A number of "retirement villages and homes" make this the ideal place for those "in their golden years" to live safely, and meet their friends for a variety of exciting reasons.

Churches are well represented, as are golf, bowls and athletics facilities. A wide range of accommodation is offered, from local homes with exhilarating views, to the more expensive types of holiday accommodation. Outstanding white sandy beaches have the reputation of providing some of the safest bathing areas in the whole Peninsula.

Added to this, Fish Hoek is known as a low crime area, where tourists are welcome to return to walk amongst the local people and enjoy the amazing scenery. The long, broad beach has a "cat walk" with seats at regular intervals for those who wish to relax and enjoy the sights.

The local sports shops provide new and used sporting equipment for every type of water sport, as well as unique clothing to suit each occasion. Between August and November whales, seals, dolphins and marine bird life can be viewed from the numerous viewing spots.

The Main Road runs through the busy town centre where shops are small, personal and very friendly - even now, no longer a little village, the town of Fish Hoek still has that same friendly attitude, where everyone has time for a chat, particularly with visitors. Some of the shops were opened by family members many years ago, and still believe in the motto that "the customer is always right!"

A short distance from the centre of the little village there is the Longbeach Shopping Mall. Numerous memorable gifts can be purchased for that "someone special" back home, and there are a few shops that represent the "local artists", showing off their many varied crafts.

Fish Hoek has much to offer, and a more friendly settlement would be difficult to find.

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