Of all the richly historic places in this beautiful country, Chapman's Bay can claim to have one of th every first English place names in South Africa.

In 1607 John Chapman, an intrepid lieutenant in the British Royal Navy, was searching for fresh water for his crew when he explored this exquisite piece of Cape coastline. The heavily wooded, undulating valley and azure sea felt like paradise to the young man and, for a short time, this jewel was named after him.


A mere 40 years later, Jan van Riebeeck was so enchanted by the magical forest and the bounty of flora and fauna in this spectacular place that he called it the Bay of Wood (Houtbaai) – or Hout Bay as we know it today – but John Chapman was not completely lost to history.

Just a few kilometres further south lay another idyllic bay, a space where the beach stretches to the horizon and pristine seas crash below majestic mountains. His name was given to this bay instead – a stretch of coast cradled by Noordhoek’s 8 km beach, ending at the Kommetjie lighthouse. Chapman’s Bay, a place you could call home.

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Dale Gremels

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