Camps Bay

Coordinates: 33°57′00″S 18°23′00″E / 33.95000°S 18.38333°E / -33.95000; 18.38333
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Camps Bay
Suburb of Cape Town
View of Camps Bay.jpg
Camps Bay view.jpg
From top, a view of Camps Bay from Lion's Head. Camps Bay as seen from Table Mountain.
Street map of Camps Bay
Street map of Camps Bay
Camps Bay is located in Cape Town
Camps Bay
Camps Bay
Camps Bay is located in Western Cape
Camps Bay
Camps Bay
Camps Bay is located in South Africa
Camps Bay
Camps Bay
Camps Bay is located in Africa
Camps Bay
Camps Bay
Coordinates: 33°57′00″S 18°23′00″E / 33.95000°S 18.38333°E / -33.95000; 18.38333
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceWestern Cape
DistrictAtlantic Seaboard
MunicipalityCity of Cape Town
Main PlaceCape Town
 • Total1.68 km2 (0.65 sq mi)
 • Total2,773
 • Density1,700/km2 (4,300/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
 • Black African13.5%
 • Coloured5.1%
 • Indian/Asian1.7%
 • White78.3%
 • Other1.4%
First languages (2011)
 • English79.4%
 • Afrikaans9.4%
 • Xhosa2.1%
 • Other9.0%
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)
PO box
Area code021

Camps Bay (Afrikaans: Kampsbaai) is an affluent suburb of Cape Town, South Africa, and the small bay on the west coast of the Cape Peninsula after which it is named. In summer it attracts many South African and foreign visitors.


A view of the Rotunda on Victoria road in Camps Bay in 1905. The tramway to Sea Point and Cape Town is visible in the foreground.

The first residents of Camps Bay were the San (Hunter Gatherers) and the Goringqhaique, Khoi pastorates. When Jan van Riebeek established a refreshment station for the VOC (Dutch East India Company), the Twelve Apostles were covered in forests with lion, leopard and antelope.

In competition with the more recent settlers, the Gringqhaique lost their grazing lands on the south east slopes of Table Mountain and in 1657 were restricted to Camps Bay.

By 1713 the number of Gringqhaique population had been reduced by measles and smallpox. All that was left of their settlement was an old kraal (Oudekraal).

The area was then granted to John Lodewyk Wernich and passed from father to son. Johan Wernich married Anna Koekemoer, who on his death in 1778, married Fredrick Ernst von Kamptz, a sailor and the area became known as “Die Baai van von Kamptz”.

For most of the 1800s Camps Bay was undeveloped. Lord Charles Somerset used the area for hunting and used the Roundhouse as his lodge. Kloof Nek Road was built in 1848 and in 1884 Thomas Bain was commissioned to build a road from Sea Point to Camps Bay using convict labour.

The road was completed in 1887 and named Victoria road to honour Queen Victoria’s jubilee in 1888. The road allowed people to cycle out to Camps Bay which had gained popularity as a picnic site. This led to the development, in 1901 of the Camps Bay tramway to bring people out for the day and with it the development of the tidal pools, the Rotunda (now the Bay Hotel) and a pavilion for concerts and shows.

In 1913 Camps Bay was incorporated into Cape Town although it was still seen as a recreational area rather than a residential area.


Oudekraal is made up of a collection of tiny beaches sheltered amongst the boulders and a well established picnic area with lawns, Braais, covered seating areas with tables, benches and public toilets.

Lui Bay (also known as Witsand) is a popular dive site. In 1977 two scrap vessels, the Antipolis and Romelia, were being towed around the cape when their tow line broke in a storm. This caused the Antipolis to run aground near Oudekraal, while the Romelia foundered further south between Llandudno and Sandy Bay. The hull of the Antipolis is now visible at low tide.

Koeël Bay has an African open-air curio market that sells hand crafted items from all over Africa.

Bakoven gets its name because of a large rock just off-shore with what appears as an oven door in its side. There are several sheltered coves located in Bakoven. There is a sea rescue base stationed here and a popular swimming beach is off Beta Close. In the early 1940s a row of beach front houses were erected to house honored members of the South African Army who fought during World War II. Many of these old houses still stand and are now registered as South African National Heritage Sites.

Balie Bay, from the Afrikaans kak balie (shit barrel) after the sewer discharge that used to be there.[2]

Camps Bay Beach, a Blue Flag Beach since 2008, is the largest white sand beach in Camps Bay. There is a seasonal life guard station with toilets at the west end of the beach. The beach is opposite Camps Bay's main tourist hub, featuring multiple hotels, restaurants, and shops.

Glen Beach, at the far right of Camps Bay beach, is known as Camps Bay's best surfing beach. Short, fast rides and a small take-off area makes Glen Beach one of the hardest of Cape Town's beach breaks to surf and has resulted in a strong local atmosphere.

In popular culture[edit]

  • Camps Bay was used as the scene of the virtual 'perfect' town San Junipero in the episode of the same name in season 3 of Black Mirror. Additionally, Apple’s Watch Series 4 advertisement features multiple parts of Cape Town including Camps Bay.[3]
  • Camps Bay was the home of the worldwide Television series SAF3, starring Dolph Lundgren. The series was created by Gregory J. Bonann, the creator of the world famous series BAYWATCH. SAF3's set was on the main beach. The stunning beaches of Camps Bay were the stunning backdrop of all 20 episodes.

Notable residents[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Sub Place Camps Bay". Census 2011.
  2. ^ Bakoven Heritage, The Bungalow Owners Association of Bakoven, Clifton & Glen Beach
  3. ^ "Cape Town's landscapes shine worldwide | CapeTown ETC". CapeTown ETC. 2018-09-13. Retrieved 2018-10-11.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]