Bay of many bays

ST HELENA BAY - THE BAY OF BAYS.  Eighteen bays, stunning sea views and sparkling surf make St Helena Bay a very special destination.  Fed by the nutrient-rich Benguela Current, it is one of the world's prime fishing areas and its waters provide a valuable livelihood to many locals.  The main harbour at Sandy Point bustles with activity and shipbuilders and fishermen rub shoulders as they go about their daily work.  During the 15th century, navigators seeking the route to the East explored this shoreline in search of fresh water, most notably being Vasco da Gama who landed here in 1497 and named it Bahai da Santa Elena.

Imposing granite boulders provide a stunning backdrop to the town and beautiful, unspoilt and long white beaches hug the shoreline; walkers and beachcombers delight in exploring the area.  Endemic Heaviside's dolphins, as well as dusky and common dolphins visit the bay in search of food, and the calm waters give shelter to the southern right whales that come to mate and calve in the second half of the year.

Humpback and killer whales are also frequent visitors.  St Helena Bay is a birdwatcher's paradise and being at the southern most point of the migratory route from Europe and the Steppes of Russia makes it a must-visit spot for twitchers. The actual bay of St Helena stretches from Dwarskersbos in the north, past Shelley Point peninsula, to Cape St Martin in the west traversing a total of 18 bays with intriguing names such as Hannasbaai and Vioolbaai and each with its own unique attractions much favoured by yachtsmen and canoeists.

Surfers ride the waves of heaven and hell off Shelley Point when the heavy Atlantic swells roll in.  After good winter rains, the veld comes alive with the vibrant colours of spring flowers.  Combine this with the opportunity to enjoy the local women's sleight of hand as they 'vleksnoek' in the harbour, fascinating to watch and their cultural heritage and quirky, humorous vernacular is quite intriguing.  The summer months are all about water sports and rock lobster (known locally as crayfish), whereas autumn is a special time of calm, idyllic weather the secret season making St Helena Bay an all-year-round destination for outdoor and nature lovers and an ideal base for exploring outlying areas.

St Helena Bay Visitor Information Centre

 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Telephone: +27 (0)22 752 2323

Mon-Fri: 09:00 - 17:00

Saturdays: 09:00 - 14:00

Mostly Cloudy


St Helena Bay

Mostly Cloudy

Humidity: 83%

Wind: 17.70 km/h

  • 23 Aug 2017

    Partly Cloudy 14°C 12°C

  • 24 Aug 2017

    Breezy 14°C 12°C

Contact HQ

PO Box 654, Vredenburg 7380,

Western Cape, South Africa

Tel: +27 (0)22 715 1142


Social Media

Contact us via Social Media:


West Coast Highlights

(C)2016 Saldanha Bay Tourism Organisation | a TOP-IT SOLUTIONS design
Terms & Conditions | Privacy