Strand

A seaside resort town situated on the eastern edge of False Bay and at the foot of the Hottentots Holland Mountains. Its geographical position is just between Macassar and Gordon’s Bay, and is about 50 km southeast of Cape Town. Strand’s main attraction is the beach; 5 km of white sandy beach lapped by the waters of False Bay.

History – Strand was founded in 1714 and originated as a holiday and fishing village. It is now regarded as part of the greater city of Cape Town itself.

It is uncertain when the name Mosterd's Bay first came into use, or why, but the village which grew up at this spot was called Mosterd's Bay for many years. Two smaller inlets to the south were known as Schilpad and Hex. All these names have fallen into disuse, but the stretch of beach between what was Mosterd's Bay and the Lourens River mouth re­tains its original name, Melk Bay, so called from the milky whiteness of the surf there.

Recent expansion of Somerset West and Strand have resulted in the two towns to be adjacent to each other, with shopping malls and residential complexes creating the connections. Strand forms part of the Helderberg Basin, together with Somerset West and Gordon’s Bay. It has great views of the Cape Peninsula and fine beaches.

Strand once accommodated one of the largest dynamite factories in South Africa. The dynamite factories were owned by the AECI group. This area is being redeveloped into a large new mixed-use urban development, Paardevlei.

Tourism – The main beach in the Strand, Melkbaai Beach, is known to be one of the best and safest bathing areas in the country. Facilities on or nearby include Dune Park with a super tube and mini-golf and Harmony Park, which boasts a huge tidal pool. Water sports may be conducted from various points along the beachfront. The coast between the Lourens River mouth and up to Rooi Els is very popular with beach fishermen and rock anglers, whilst organized and social diving activities beckon the more adventurous.