Focus on Fish Hoek , Western Cape, South Africa

In 1926, the 12 000 year old remains of a prehistoric man were discovered in a cave (used for shelter by Palaeolithic man) in Fish Hoek. It marked this sleepy coastal town forever as a historical landmark and popular place to go for easy living in South Africa. The place where the skeleton was found was named after the Peer father/son team who discovered the prehistoric remnants. Peers Cave is not only an amazing find, it is also set in one of the most beautiful and scenic places in Fish Hoek.

Fish Hoek started as farm land but grew into a town after it was divided into plots. The name Fish Hoek translates, literally, as either fish hook or fish corner, and is part of Cape Town City; although from 1996 to 2000, it was a separate municipality, the South Peninsula Municipality.

The people of Fish Hoek enjoy a laid back style of life where many residents are retired or love living in a coastal area but work in the city. Aside from fishing, both as an industry and as a hobby, residents also enjoy swimming, sailing, surfing, and relaxing on the beautiful beaches. The city’s well developed communications infrastructure means that Internet access, and its associated benefits like online shopping and instant information, is easily available.

Fish Hoek has also become known as a safe haven for whales and other endangered sea creatures after an 1868 law that was passed that banned open boat whaling. The people can still enjoy their tradition of “trek” fishing, which is essentially a fishing technique of throwing out, and then pulling in, fishing nets.

Property for sale in Cape Town is some of the most sought after real estate in the world, and as a suburb of Cape Town, Fish Hoek is a popular destination for holidaymakers from the city which is just 30 kilometres away (if there is no traffic). With the growing popularity and development of the area, traffic is unfortunately becoming more common and it could take as much as 2 hours to get to the city and another 2 hours to get back to Fish Hoek – sometimes it’s just easier to buy a laptop and get as much done online as is possible… However, do keep in mind the fact that the railway passes through Fish Hoek as it travels from Cape Town down south to the Cape’s best kept secret, Simon’s Town (and vice-versa).

An interesting fact about Fish Hoek, for anyone thinking of stopping by, is that until recently no alcoholic beverages were allowed in Fish Hoek. It was a firm condition that was put into in place before the owner allowed his farm to be subdivided into plots for sale. Even up to today, there are no wine stores and one can only buy alcoholic drinks in bars and restaurants.

It has become a tourist destination although the people who are permanent residents have managed to maintain its quaint ambiance and cleanliness. Common to the area are schools, quite a number of restaurants, and the famous Fish Hoek daily newspaper, the False Bay Echo.

In the recent years, Fish Hoek was thrown into national and international media because of an increase in shark attacks. Last year in August, South African authorities warned about seeing more white sharks than normal and just this past September 28, 2011, a local resident was attacked by a shark while swimming despite being warned about the danger of sharks in the area. He survived but is in critical condition after reports of a missing right leg and a severely damaged left leg. It could have been worse but it could also have been prevented if this accountant heeded the warnings: the attack also further highlights the need to address the practice of cage diving which brings sharks into the bay areas.

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