Western Cape DestinationsStompneusbaai, Cape West Coast
It seems ridiculous distinguishing Stompneusbaai from St Helena Bay as the two are virtually synonymous, but there is a distinction, particularly if you stay here often.
St Helena Bay lies on a stretch of coastline on which there are no fewer than 18 bays, three harbours and endless choices of beaches - it's heaven on the West Coast region, only two hours maximum from Cape Town.
Stompneusbaai is a quaint little fishing village that lies just between St Helena Bay and Shelley Point. It's the first place that you pass en route to Velddrif from Shelley Point. There isn't much to it at first glance. It's mainly a series of fisheries that give credence to its being named after a particular type of fish - the stompneus - which is two-to-a-dime along the West Coast. This part of the coast has a high concentration of fish processing factories, and Stompneus is no exception.
There is a caravan park right on the bay that you might want to avoid as its fallen into nothing short of disrepair, but this is no indication of the popularity of Stompneusbaai, which has caught on already with weekenders and holiday makers who are building second homes along the bouldered ridges overlooking the pretty bay.
From Stompneusbaai you are on the other side of the bay from Velddrif and Dwarskersbos, a bay inevitably filled with porpoises, seals and sea birds and beautiful beaches where collecting shells and enjoying the flavour of the West Coast comes easily. The village of Paternoster is close by as is the West Coast National Park, Cape Columbine Nature Reserve and the Rocherpan Nature Reserve.