Hout Bay hosts several ecosystems, the River being the most important. It is about 10 Km in length Its headwaters consisting of the stream rising from the southern side of Table Mountain’s main table and Disa Stream rising from Belle Ombre Peak to the south east. It has a very clearly defined catchment bounded by the mountains which surround Hout Bay. The map above shows the river as a matted palmiet braided wetland for much of its length branching at its estuary to form a modified delta, a perfect natural filter and flood attenuator, hence John Chapman’s remark in 1607 that the water was “fresh and clear” as it entered the sea. Today it is the most polluted river in the South Peninsula.