Gordon’s Bay

History of Gordon’s bay and the diary of Robert Jacob Gordon.

History of Gordon’s Bay

Early days in Gordon’s Bay

Gordon’s Bay is a suburb in the Helderberg area (formerly Hottentots Holland) of Cape Town. It was originally called Visser’s Bay. Around 1673 it was called De Vishoek or Combuys in 1676. Here was a place where there was fresh water and game to be found.

Origin of the name of Gordon’s Bay

The area was called Fishhoek before the other Fishhoek on the other side of False Bay was named.
The name Gordon’s Bay commemorates Robert Jacob Gordon a Scottish man who studied in the Netherlands and joined The Dutch Light Dragoons and rose through the ranks. He joined the Dutch East India Company and was the Commandant of Dutch troops at the Cape between 1777 and 1795. Gordon learned to speak both Hottentot and Xhosa. He went on many expeditions and kept accurate journals. He also named the Orange River and is responsible for the introduction of Merino sheep in South Africa.
In 1773 Gordon named “his’ bay after he visited it while exploring the mountains between Cape Town and False Bay on foot.

It is a mistake to believe that the large GB letters against the mountainside are for Gordon’s Bay. The letters in fact stand for General Botha, the name of the Naval Officers’ Academy in Gordon’s Bay.

The license plate prefix for Gordon’s Bay is CEY. The postal code is77140(street) and 7151 (boxes)



Things to see and do in Gordon’s Bay:

Useful Numbers

  • Police: 021 856 2677
  • Traffic department:021 856 8570
  • Fire: Strand-021 444 7600
  • Water:0860 103 089
  • Electricity:0860 103 089
  • Ambulance:10177
  • Post office;021 856 1283
  • Closest hospital; Mediclinic Strand-021 854 7663
  • Gordon’s Bay Clinic-021 444 9315
  • Library:021 400 6371
  • Pharmacy; BAY-KEM PHARMACY-021 856 1388
  • SPCA: Animal Welfare Society Helderberg-021 856 0597
  • Schools:
  • Gordon’s Bay Primary School-021 856 1288
  • Somerstrand College-021 856 2644
  • Gordon’s Bay Residents Association;082 384 9699
  • Museum: Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum-021 845 6119

Local Listings