Hondeklip Bay is a place for individualists. One doesn't come here expecting any tourism highlight, but - just the opposite - to find nothing and a lot of it. The little village of 650 people - once the lifeline and main port (copper export) of Namaqualand - mainly comprises an old crayfish factory, the rotting remains of a jetty, a small trading store right by the harbour, which includes post-office, petrol station and telephone boot. Besides there is only a police station and a couple of plain houses. It is just this minimalism that gives the place its special charm.
Not so long ago, accommodation for tourists was non-existent, but one could pitch up a tent on the open camp ground in the centre of the village or right at the beach, which is an option still today. Only recently a few self-contained chalets were built to accommodate visitors. The owners also run a restaurant with bar, and they organize 4x4 tours to explore the beautiful, unspoilt coastline. A private diamond mine can be visited by arrangement.
On a beach walk, one can see the "dog cliffs", where the waves break with a din. Another attraction is the shipwreck of the "Aristea" which stranded here in the rough waters in 1945.
Recently, oil was discovered offshore from Hondeklip Bay. And so it can be expected that Hondeklip Bay will change its character soon. However, there are also plans to put the coastal region around Hondeklip Bay under Nature Conservation.
Top: The "dog cliffs". Below: Wreck of the "Aristea". Left: View of the natural harbour of Hondeklip Bay.