The first residents of Camps Bay
were the San (Hunter Gatherers) and the Goringqhaique, Khoi pastorates. When Jan van Riebeek established
a refreshment station for the VOC (Dutch East India Company), the 12 Apostle mountains were covered in
forests with lion, leopard and antelope.
In competition with the more
recent settlers, the Gringqhaique lost their grazing lands on the south east slopes of Table Mountain and
in 1657 were restricted to Camps Bay.
By 1713 the number of
Gringqhaique population had been reduced by measles and smallpox. All that was left of their settlement was an old
The area was then granted to John
Lodewyk Wernich and passed from father to son. Johan Wernich married Anna Koekemoer, who on his death in 1778,
married Fredrick Ernst von Kamptz, a sailor and the area became known as “Die Baai van von
For most of the 1800s Camps Bay
was undeveloped. Lord Charles Somerset used the area for hunting and used the Roundhouse as his lodge. Kloof Road
was built in 1848 and in 1884 Thomas Bain was commissioned to build a road from Sea Point to Camps Bay
using convict labour.
The road was completed in 1887 and named Victoria road to honour Queen
Victoria’s jubilee in 1888. The road allowed people to cycle out to Camps Bay which had gained
popularity as a picnic site. This led to the development, in 1901 of the Camps Bay tramway to bring
people out for the day and with it the development of the tidal pools, the Rotunda (now the Bay Hotel) and a
pavilion for concerts and shows.
In 1913 Camps Bay was
incorporated into Cape Town although it was still seen as a recreational area rather than a residential
Childrens Bating Pool at Camps Bay