St Helena Bay

St Helena Bay

The brilliantly blue sea, pristine white rocks and crisp sea air attract many to secluded St Helena Bay. The Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who landed here on the feast of St Helen, on 7 November 1497, gave the bay its name. The area was the scene of the first known skirmish between Europeans and Africans in Southern Africa, which developed out of a brawl between a Portuguese sailor and some Khoi. On that occasion, however, no one was killed.

Adventure And Sport

Adventure activities: Some of the adventure possibilities that the area offers are diving, hiking, micro-lighting, sea-kayaking, surfing, wind-surfing and 4×4 routes.


Snoek Season: Snoek (a form of sea-pike) is one of the delicacies of the West Coast. During the snoek season, these fish are caught in their thousands and several methods of preparation are employed to create fish treats and dishes. Many consider snoek roe (also known as Cape Caviar) their favourite and snoek soup and quiche are also popular.

Fauna And Flora

Birds: The bay is renowned as a bird-watchers’ paradise.

Whales and dolphins: St Helena Bay is home to both whales and dolphins all year round.

Wild flowers: The wild flowers of the region bloom from late July to October.

History And Architecture

Vasco da Gama Monument and Vasco da Gama Museum: The monument and museum honour the discoverer of St Helena Bay

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