St Helena Bay


Vasco Da Gama Monument
Address: Main Road
St Helena Bay was "discovered" by the Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama on 7 Nov. 1497, during his pioneer voyage from Europe to India. He named the bay after Saint Helena, a devout, influential Christian and mother of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. It was on the shores of this bay that the first encounter between a European explorer and the indigenous Khoikhoi (nomadic herders of sheep and cattle) took place.

Wild flowers
It is a popular tourist destination, particularly during the spring wild flower season, with visitors from all over the world who come for relaxation and recreation.

Beaches
It is the largest bay in Africa. St Helena Bay is the only bay on the West Coast where you will see the sun rising over the sea. A row of hills form the backdrop to the town and ensures a slightly higher rainfall for the area. Part of it's undeniable charm, is the long stretch of coastline where housing developments flow into each other almost unnoticeably. Luxury homes and fishermen's cottages blend together with patches of empty land, factories, churches, hills and beaches with breathtaking results.

Bird Watching
The region has a wealth of bird life where sightings of owls, raptors, sea gulls and waders are thrilled by visits of the very rare African Black Oyster-catcher on the spectacularly smooth rocky outcrops lining the seashore. It is also the southernmost point for the Palearctic migratory birds from northern Europe and Siberia, making it a bird-watcher's paradise.

Dolphin watching
Look out for the rare Heaviside's Dolphin, only found off the coast of Namibia and South Africa's West Coast. Heaviside's dolphins are found in large numbers at any time along with schools of dusky and common dolphins. Large groups can be seen chasing fish along the shore or simply flying through the waves out of sheer enjoyment.

Whale Watching
From August to November, the Southern Right Whales come in to the bay to calve, and can be viewed from the shore all around the bay. Humpback whales are also present in the area. 

Hiking from Stompneus to Paternoster
Enthusiastic hikers with strong legs and large calves will enjoy the hiking trail which starts at Stompneusbaai and runs past Shelley Point and Britannia Bay, ending at Paternoster. This 30km route is a challenge for strong legs.

Stompneusbaai (Blunt Nose Bay) is not a Lighthouse but a Lead Light. 

By prior arrangement, visitors can join a tour of a fishing factory or watch the trek nets being repaired.