ABOUT CAMPS BAY..............
 
Camps Bay has the  deep blue Atlantic ocean at its feet and the magnificent Twelve Apostles of Table Mountain as backdrop. Lady Anne Barnard wrote in 1779:  I rode round to Camps Bay, the road to which is finer than any scene I have ever seen in my life...  When you first catch sight of the tranquil beauty of Camps Bay you can hardly believe that, only five minutes before, you left the busy city of Cape Town behind you.
 
Dutch settlers came to Cape Town in 1652 to grow a vegetable garden to try and curb the dreaded scurvy that claimed the lives of many sailors. They also traded cattle from the indigenous Khoikhoi. Soon the herds of the settlers were such that the Khoikhoi were only allowed to graze their cattle behind Table Mountain which included Camps Bay.  By 1713 the Khoikhoi disintegrated to a large extent because of epidemics of small pox, measles and TB brought by the many ships landing at Cape Town, the selling of too many of their breeding stock and droughts which were worsened by the restrictions on moving their cattle.
 
1700 finds Camps Bay as a farm where vegetables were grown and cattle were raised for the market which was now well established.  Camps Bay (Kampsbaai) was named after von Kamptz, the third husband of the third wife on the only son of the first farmer in Camps Bay. He did nothing to deserve this honour except to build a road over the mountain to his farm which was demolished in 1777 at the outbreak of the American War of Independence.  A battery and guardhouse were built to prevent enemy landing. The canons are still here to see.  Now children play on them and tourists take fun photographs posing their fearlessness with the deep blue ocean as background.
 
The homestead on this farm became the first  guesthouse until the extravagant Lord Charles Somerset rebuilt it in 1822 as his holiday home and hunting lodge because of the abundance of wild life  - also lions and leopards. By 1900 there were only a few homes in Camps Bay, but a tram brought picnic makers around the mountain on the scenic drive to Camps Bay to frolic on the white beaches.
 
Runaway slaves from Malaysia found sanctuary in the caves and shadows of the Twelve Apostles and their graves are still considered sacred ground by the Muslims and respected by other religions. For this reason and the fact that most people do not want the beauty and habitat of Table Mountain spoilt any further by brick and mortar constructions, there is no more land left for building in Camps Bay.  The only option is to buy existing homes, flatten it, and built mansions for those who can afford it. Associations of concerned citizens have their hands full to keep developers at bay who want to built terrace homes on single plots and sell them at very high prices.
 
It is said that properties in Camps Bay and Clifton are per square meter the most expensive in South Africa. For this reason many properties in Camps Bay belongs to people outside  South Africa who hopefully bought them for the surrounding beauty rather then the lucrative investment they are sure to be.  There is some success, however, in keeping Camps Bay the village it wants to be.  There is only one hotel (the 5-star Bay Hotel), one supermarket and one set of traffic lights.  The rest of the business area consists of estate agents and excellent restaurants.
 
Camps Bay has been described as the Beverley Hills of Cape Town, but Beverley Hills has yet to see how the last rays of the sun paints the Twelve Apostles a soft rose pink before it slips into the ocean.

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