Situated in the northern corner of South Africa’s largest natural Bay, Saldanha is known for its contrasts and natural beauty.
Saldanha Bay is on the south-western coast of South Africa, about 105 kilometres north west of Cape Town. Watched over by Adam and Eve, two massive granite vertical rocks on the mountainside, on a clear day you can see Table Mountain from this unique vantage point.
Saldanha Bay is named after António de Saldanha, captain of a vessel in Albuquerque’s fleet which visited South Africa in 1503. The name was first given to Table Bay, where Saldanha’s ship cast anchor. On Table Bay being given its present name in 1601, the older appellation was transferred to the bay now called after Saldanha. In 1781 a British squadron under Commodore George Johnstone seized six Dutch East Indiamen, which, fearing an attack on Cape Town, had taken refuge in Saldanha Bay. This was the only achievement, so far as South Africa was concerned, of the expedition despatched to seize Cape Town during the war of 1781-1783.
The bay also hosts a naval training base and the South African Military Academy, in which can be found a pristine nature reserve which becomes a floral wonderland in spring. There are well-established hiking trails and several great vantage points from which to view the majestic Southern Right Whale in calving season.
The Hoedjeskoppie Nature Reserve, located on a hill in the middle of Saldanha, houses traditional fisherman’s’ cottages and offers sweeping views of the surrounds, as far as Table Mountain on a clear Day.
Saldanha is a holiday hotspot for water sport lovers as well as those who just want to unwind and the big bay is a favoured venue for regattas and sailors to test their skills, and provides a scenic backdrop to the town.
Distance from Cape Town: 142km
Where: R27 to R399
Coordinates: 33˚ 0′ 30” S 17˚ 56′ 40” E
Where to stay & interesting things to do and see in Saldanha:
Protea Hotel Saldanha Bay
The hotel is luxurious and spacious with a homely atmosphere, the big lounge is a favourite spot with their cosy fireplace and the terrace provides a 260 degree view and on a clear day you can see the Table Mountain.
• Restaurant • Lounge with a Fireplace • 9 hole Putt Putt • Indoor Kids Entertainment Area: Foosball; Table Tennis; Darts • Board Games
Blue Bay Lodge
Beachfront accommodation with a restaurant where drinks are served to guests as they relax watching whales glide by from the broad terraces, before being served delicious meals in its charming a la carte restaurant, the well known ‘Blue Bay Café’.
• Restaurant • Conference Centre • Lounge with a Fireplace • Play Area: Trampoline; Dam with ducks • Kiddies Menu • Pet Friendly (Small Breeds) • Tennis Court • Satellite TV • WiFi • Swimming pool • Boat Launch Access