St Helena Bay, Cape West Coast

St Helena Bay was "discovered" by the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama on 7 Nov. 1497, during his pioneer voyage from Europe to India. He named the bay after Saint Helena, a devout, influential Christian and mother of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great.

It was on the shores of this bay that the first encounter between a European explorer and the indigenous Khoikhoi (nomadic herders of sheep and cattle) took place. Nowadays, St Helena Bay is one of the world's principal fishing centres. The cold Benguela current surges upwards along this part of the coast and brings nutrient rich waters to the bay resulting in the abundant sea life.

In winter, snoek are caught and the harbour is a vibrant, bustling hive of activity, as the fish are sold straight off the boats. More than half of the fish processed annually in South Africa is processed here.

St Helena Bay is a popular tourist destination, particularly during the spring wild flower season, with visitors from all over the world who come for relaxation and recreation. Ancient granite hills and boulders form a backdrop to the village and offer stunning views of the bay and across to the Piketberg mountains, while the white sandy beaches are perfect for beachcombing and even a refreshing dip in the Atlantic.

St Helena Bay is one of the most popular bays for whales to visit and calve. From August to November, the Southern Right Whales come in to the bay to calve, and can be viewed from the shore all around the bay. Humpback whales are also present in the area.

Heaviside's dolphins are found in large numbers at any time along with schools of dusky and common dolphins. Large groups can be seen chasing fish along the shore or simply flying through the waves out of sheer enjoyment.

Travellers' Reviews

5 Reviews from SA-Venues.com travellers. All reviews are verified.

Verified reviewexcellent

While staying at Shelly Point Hotel we explored the area of St Helena Bay. We were very impressed with the styles and designed of the houses of the area. This is the place to visit if you want to get away from the normal holiday destination. It has a different look and feel. Found very few places to eat, but I can strongly recommend the Coffee shop restaurant at the Nursery on the right coming into the bay. Tranquil and scenic setting with good menu and quality food served for us.

January 2014

Andre Visser (Cape Town)

Verified reviewvery good

Our second December in St. Helena bay. No traffic...tranquil..places to explore, well known places to have something to eat in the area.. Bokkomlaan is a must!...If you are into a laidback holiday...come and see for yourself!! .

December 2013

Koos De Klerk (Centurion)

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