Things To Do in Hout BayOude Skip Hike
Where? Start and end in Eustegia Way, Hout Bay, Cape Town
When? Daylight hours.
How much? Free
Start: Eustegia Way, Hout Bay
Finish: Eustegia Way, Hout Bay
Duration: as long as you want it to be
Fitness: moderate to easy
Our tip: this is part of the Karbonkelberg Traverse, a seven-hour difficult trail that connects Hout Bay to Llandudno.
The views on this hike out over the coastline between Llandudno and Hout Bay are worth the effort alone. The hike is also known as the Sandy Bay shipwreck hiking trail.
From the corner of Eustegia and Brunia Way you will see the boom across the road, with the signboard for Sandy Bay. This is Sandy Bay Nek with access to Sandy Bay. Head into the 'bush' off to your left and you stumble across a huge sand dune, used by many for sand boarding.
There are two ways to do the Oude Skip. You can a) descend to Sandy Bay beach and then cross it, heading into the bushes along a path that continues parallel to the coastline. This gives you access to one of the most beautiful beaches, and a fair number of unclothed people, depending on the time of year.
Or b) take the contour path that you reach, above Sandy Bay. The initial part of the contour is really easy, and you will find plenty of other Hout Bay residents out walking their dogs.
At the cairn (fairly big, so you won't miss it), begin the descent to the shipwrecks. There are two of them – one on the Oudeschip point itself - the remains of the Harvest Capella wrecked in 1986; the other the remains of two ships – the Maori 1909, and Bos 400, 1994.
To reach the latter two shipwrecks is a bit of a gamble, given the tides. You can find yourself trapped at high tide, scrambling over granite rocks and thick bush and the path is clearly marked as unsuitable for day strollers.
To play it safe, do the Oude Skip point shipwreck, and return.
The descent to the Oude Skip peninsula is rather steep. The first bit of the hill has some sturdy stone steps, but after that, things can get slippery – it's you and the loose soil and stones, some of it rather eroded.
Part-way down one passes a lookout hut where there is a sign indicating the coastal route from here, for those who wish to continue. For others, for whom seeing whales in the bay and catching merely a glimpse of the Harvest Capella is enough, continue down to the boulders.
This is a great place for a picnic.
To vary the hike, you can return via Sandy Bay beach, or head back up the path you have come. Via Sandy Bay gives you the chance of a swim.
For more info and photos see our article at "Hout Bay and beyond ... the Oude Skip hike".