St Helena Bay

  (Redirected from St. Helena Bay)

Saint Helena Bay (Afrikaans: St. Helenabaai) is a settlement in West Coast District Municipality in the Western Cape province of South Africa.

Saint Helena Bay
St. Helenabaai
Sandy Point, St Helena Bay View of Britannia Bay west of St Helena Bay
Sandy Point, St Helena Bay
View of Britannia Bay west of St Helena Bay
Saint Helena Bay is located in Western Cape
Saint Helena Bay
Saint Helena Bay
Saint Helena Bay is located in South Africa
Saint Helena Bay
Saint Helena Bay
Coordinates: 32°45′30″S 18°01′40″E / 32.75833°S 18.02778°E / -32.75833; 18.02778Coordinates: 32°45′30″S 18°01′40″E / 32.75833°S 18.02778°E / -32.75833; 18.02778
CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceWestern Cape
DistrictWest Coast
MunicipalitySaldanha Bay
 • Total26.92 km2 (10.39 sq mi)
 • Total11,529
 • Density430/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
 • Black African29.7%
 • Coloured59.3%
 • Indian/Asian0.3%
 • White10.3%
 • Other0.5%
First languages (2011)
 • Afrikaans68.9%
 • Xhosa25.7%
 • English3.5%
 • Other1.9%
Time zoneUTC+2 (SAST)
Postal code (street)

Nicknamed by locals as Agterbaai,[2][3] the town is located on the shore of the bay, from which it derives its name[4] and is approximately 150 km north of Cape Town, South Africa. It surrounds the towns of Vredenburg and Paternoster, and is located across the bay from Laaiplek.


Historically, Saint Helena Bay is the location where Vasco da Gama, first set foot in South Africa. The date of this event was recorded as November 7, 1497.[5][6] The bay was named Bahia de Santa Helena (Portuguese for its current name) after Saint Helena a devout, influential Christian and mother of Constantine I.[5] During this time the Portuguese explorers and the local Khoikhoi became involved in a skirmish wounding Da Gama in the thigh.[7]

The Dutch East India Company established an outpost at St Helena Bay in the 17th century, the Free Burghers fished there and ships from the settlement at the Cape frequently traveled to the area in search of resources to sustain the settlement. In 1673 during the 2nd Khoikhoi War the Cochoquas under leadership of Gonnema attacked the outpost resulting in an escalation during the war. [8]


Saint Helena Bay is a major fishing town.[9] It is home to Sandy Point Harbor - one of two ports to the bay, (the other being in Laaiplek) on the West Coast of South Africa. In winter it is host to many fishing activities, where snoek is found in its waters, as well as an endangered species of rock lobster and crayfish.[10]

The bay has a high number of pelagic fish, and consist of eleven fish processing factories.[11]


Saint Helena Bay is the only area along the South African West Coast where the sun rises across the bay. The reason for this is its unique location, where by the town itself faces north east and almost north.

It is described as "calm and tranquil" as quoted from the Portuguese explorer, Vasco da Gama.[12]

The region of Saint Helena Bay is sub-divided into various suburbs, namely (from east to west): Laingville, West Point, Steenberg's Cove, Hannasbaai, Britanica Heights, Harbour Lights, Sandy Point, Blueberry Hill, Columbine, Mid-West and it incorporates the neighboring towns of Stompneusbaai and Britannia Bay. It includes a total of eighteen smaller bays.[3][13]

Tourism and eventsEdit

On the actual site of Vasco da Gama's arrival is a monument. Other attractions include dolphin and whale watching[14] as well as sightseeing.[15]

Saint Helena Bay is regular host to the St Helenabaai Seefees, (Afrikaans, translated as St Helena Bay Sea Festival). This event is hosted by the town's Tourism association and takes place annually in December during the South African summer season.[16]

Its surrounding areas include attractions such as the Cape Columbine Lighthouse (19.7 km from St Helena Bay).[17][18]


To the west of Saint Helena Bay, is a secure golfing estate known as Shelley Point.[14][19]

Popular figuresEdit

Saint Helena Bay is noted as a popular destination for former South African Rugby Union player, Kobus Wiese, who owns property in the region.[11] In February 2012, South African TV personality and soap opera star, Hildegardt Whites (who plays the role of Bonita Meintjies in 7de Laan) married Polish-born musician Kuba Silkiewicz in Shelly Point, St Helena Bay.[20][21][22] Whites grew up in the West Coast during her teen years.

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Main Place Saint Helena Bay". Census 2011.
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-08-14. Retrieved 2014-06-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b St Helena Bay.
  4. ^ "Dictionary of Southern African Place Names (Public Domain)". Human Science Research Council. p. 395.
  5. ^ a b "St Helena Bay".
  6. ^ Op Pad in Suid-Afrika. BPJ Erasmus 1995. ISBN 1-86842-026-4
  7. ^ "Vasco da Gama's expedition reaches St Helena Bay". March 16, 2011.
  8. ^ History of South Africa, 1486 - 1691, G.M Theal, London 1888.
  9. ^ "".
  10. ^ "HTML REDIRECT".
  11. ^ a b Alternative To Immigration.
  12. ^ "Sandy Point".
  13. ^ Bay of many bays.
  14. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2012-05-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-13. Retrieved 2012-05-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ St Helenabaai Seefees 2012.
  17. ^ Things to Do in St Helena Bay. Safarinow.
  18. ^ Events: St Helenabaai Seefees.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-05-02. Retrieved 2018-11-11.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ Sjiek, A. April 13, 2012. Hildegardt en Kuba.
  21. ^ Celebrity Wedding: Hildegardt Whites & Kuba Silkiewicz - Shelly Point Hotel & Spa - St Helena Bay.
  22. ^ Kuba & Hildegardt: 4 February 2012. blankcanvasblogs.