The Village of Kalk Bay was probably established in the 17th Century as a small community of lime-burners who mined the nearby deposits of limestone. Its name was derived from the Dutch term for chalk. In 1795 the Dutch located a small military outpost here, and after 1806 it began to flourish as a fishing village and whaling station. During the 1860s it became popular as seaside resort and watering place.
In February 1862 Mrs Ross, an English visitor to the Cape, described Kalk Bay as:"... a little fishing hamlet, consisting of a few old-fashioned Dutch houses, and a dozen or so of fishermen's huts straggling for a mile between the rocky beach, and the precipitous mountains that rise up almost immediately behind it. It is accounted a very healthy place, and is the favourite resort of well-to-do people ..." It’s hard to believe that retro Kalk Bay is actually part of Cape Town. The pace differs – interesting people stroll along the wharf and browse the quirky shops, relaxed citizens sip on superb Cape Wines and cold beers while surfers ride the breakers and in season Southern Right Whales grace the shoreline. The mood of Kalk Bay differs from Cape Town – there is a holiday atmosphere and fishermen ply the waters constantly whatever the time of day or season. This fishing village, with a natural harbour is a buzz with local fisherman, bohemian shopping, antiques, crafts and superb restaurants. You’ll have to ask the locals politely for their favourite place to eat as there are some closely guarded secrets in Kalk Bay. Look out for the traditional fishing vessels returning with catch of the day and join the “fish auction” for your own fish BBQ: “ Hottentot, kabeljou, Red Roman”. Kalk Bay is one of Cape Town’s trendiest seaside villages and reflects a cosmopolitan heritage and a long fishing history. There is a bohemian arty vibe, a growing nightlife, with great theatre and the art, architecture and cuisine are much sought after. Kalk Bay is also a hub of outdoor action – from sea fishing to angling; one of the best reefs in Cape Town for surfers and the fascinating Kalk Bay caves for land and foot adventures. Catch the water taxi to Simon’s Town for a novel transport experience.