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"Kalkbay - Harbour" Top 5 Page for this destination Kalkbay Tip by mvtouring

Kalkbay, Cape Town: 4 reviews and 6 photos


Of all the towns and villages in South Africa there must be very few, if any, who have a more interesting and fascinating history than Kalk Bay. Its modern day history started when the Dutch East India Company proclaimed Simon's Bay a winter anchorage for their ships from May 15th to August 15th each year from 1742.
The difficulty of getting supplies to these ships in Simon's Bay and the building of the town of Simon's Town was severely hampered by the inadequacy of a proper road especialy at Clovelly and Sunny Cove where the moutain reached the sea and the quicksands of Fish Hoek and Glencairn halted oxen transport. Kalk Bay became a mini-port for the Dutch and all victualling requirements as well as anchors, masts, sails, etc, were sent by ox-wagon to Kalk Bay and thereafter loaded onto barges which took the goods over to the ships in the bay as well as construction materials needed for the building of Simon's Town. Returning ox-wagons took lime (kalk) and fish, the staple diet of slaves, back to Cape Town. This mini-port boom where warehouses were built to store the goods lasted from 1742–1795 whereafter the British took over the Cape and the Royal Engineers built a proper 'hard' road to Simon's Town. Kalk Bay fell into disuse, but not for long, and by 1820 it was again the hive of activity as the whaling boom brought much enterprise to Kalk Bay, especially as whaling was prohibited in Simon's Town due to the compaints by residents and the garrison that the repugnant smell of both burning blubber and rotting whale carcasses was unhygienic and unacceptable. Whaling was the third biggest income earner for the Cape Colony after agriculture and wine making, and Kalk Bay housed three of the main whaling stations at the Cape.

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  • Written May 1, 2010
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