St Helena Bay

Discovered by Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama in 1497, St Helena Bay, known locally as 'Die Agterbaai', is one of the world's prime fishing centres. Fed by the nutrient-rich Benguela current, the waters teem with marine life, which provides the livelihood for its coastal inhabitants. The main harbour at Sandy Point bustles with activity and shipbuilders and fishermen rub shoulders as they go about their daily work. The fisherfolk haul in the 'trek' nets to harvest the day's catch and the womens' sleight of hand as they 'vlek' snoek is a marvel to behold.

Their cultural heritage is unique and the quaint tongue of the locals will bring a smile to the face of those who stop to savour their vernacular. When in production, and by prior arrangement, visitors can join a tour of a fishing factory or watch the trek nets being repaired.

Southern Right whales return here to mate and calve annually and St Helena Bay is home to the endemic Heaviside's dolphin, classified as Data Deficient by the IUCN Red List, and Humpback and Killer whales, amongst other cetacean species. It is also the southernmost point for the Palearctic migratory birds from northern Europe and Siberia, making it a bird-watcher's paradise.

After good rains, the fields are bedecked in the bright colours of myriad spring flowers, making it a great winter destination. Its pristine beaches beg to be explored and the waters await the aquasport enthusiasts. The sports centre (now under construction) in the Shelley Point private development has been designed with the more energetic in mind. This 31km stretch of beautiful coastline boasts 18 bays, three working harbours, stunning beaches and rock formations, and all this only 90 minutes away from Cape Town.


Contact Information

Office Hours:




Emergency Numbers:







Contact Details

Tel: 022 752 2323


Towns in the Peninsula


Location Map: St Helena Bay