Hout Bay is the name of a coastal suburb of Cape Town, South Africa. It lies in a valley on the Atlantic Seaboard of the Cape Peninsula and is twenty kilometers south of the Central Business District of Cape Town. The name Hout Bay can refer to the town, or the bay on which it is situated, or the whole valley.
When the Dutch established a colony in Table Bay in 1652, they required a great quantity of good timber for building and other purposes. There were no large forests in the immediate vicinity of the settlement, mainly because the rainfall was not high enough. It was soon apparent that the colonists would be able to get the wood they needed in the wetter valley that lay on the other side of a low pass (called Constantia Nek) between the southern end of Table Mountain and Constantiaberg. The area was originally made up of two farms, which were slowly subdivided to make way for urban expansion. While still maintaining its rural feel the area now has more than 12 000 residences inhabited by a population of about 42 000 people.