Saldanha Bay.

Situated on the west coast, about 140 km’s from Cape Town, is the picturesque sea side town of Saldanha Bay. It is also positioned  on the northern corner of the largest natural bay in South Africa. The natural deep, sheltered harbour played an important part in the long and colourful history of the area and today still plays a central role in the export and import for the industries of the region.

Saldanha, due to its sheltered harbour, provides excellent conditions for water sport and fishing enthusiasts. During the Second World War it was also extremely important because of its strategic location and safe anchorage as a convoy assembly point. Even today Saldanha is host to a training naval base and the SA Military Academy.

View of Saldanha Bay.
View of Saldanha Bay.
Another view looking more toward the fishing harbour area.
Another view looking more toward the fishing harbour area.

The rock formation seen on the right side of the photograph is known as “Adam & Eve”.

Closer view of the town centre and harbour area.
Closer view of the town centre and harbour area.

The local economy is strongly dependent on fishing, mariculture , mussels, seafood and the harbour trade as well as the established steel industry. The popular SAS Saldanha Nature Reserve, which I unfortunately did not have time to visit, has displays of wild flowers in late winter & early spring and Southern Right whales also visit the safe waters in and around the reserve.

Still a strong military presense.

Still a strong military presence.

Fishing trawler in the harbour.
Fishing trawlers in the harbour.
More fishing boats.
More fishing boats.

Took a stroll to the end of this wharf,  where you can just see that white car,  to see what was going on and found this.

Yes there are fish in the water and some are even catching them!
Yes there are fish in the water and some fishermen are even catching them! The fish is a Stompneus and of legal size.
Came accross 3 young guys practising on their skate boards and managed to get this shot with my trusty Canon G7.
Came across 3 young guys practising on their skate boards and managed to get this shot with my trusty Canon G7.
Nice looking sea food restaurant in the harbour area.
Nice looking sea food restaurant in the harbour area.
Looks like quite a large and active yaucht club.
Looks like quite a large and active yacht club.
Flowers and boats - not your normal mix.
Flowers and boats – not your normal mix.

Saldanha Bay has the normal mix of shops, restaurants and 2 hotels. I would imagine that some of the local shops are really going to battle as there are now 2 big shopping centres that have opened nearby.

The Protea Hotel, Saldanha Bay.
The Protea Hotel, Saldanha Bay.

I had been quite keen to stay at the local caravan park but to be honest had heard some not very nice things said about the park so gave it a miss. I decided to go and have a look and see for myself.

Entrance to caravan park.
Entrance to caravan park. Good securit, friendly manager and the price was good.
Some of the well grassed stands.
Some of the well grassed stands.
The ablution block was pretty well maintained and looked clean.
The ablution block was pretty well maintained and looked clean.

I don’t know if things have maybe changed dramatically recently but I thought the park looked pretty good and I would not hesitate to stay there if I was in the area again. They also have cottages ranging in price from R160.00 (small 4  bed)out of season to the largest (6 bed) at R574.00 in season.

On my way back to Langebaan I saw these iron ore railway trucks waiting to be off loaded.
On my way back to Langebaan I saw these iron ore railway trucks waiting to be off loaded.

The Sishen-Saldanha Project, constructed during the early 1970’s, is the only dedicated iron ore export facility in South Africa. The dedicated railway line runs from the Sishen mine in the Northern Cape directly to the off loading facility in Saldanha Bay harbour. These trains are kilometres in length and if you get stack at a level crossing can take more that 10 minutes to pass.

11 Comments

  1. Michael on October 27th, 2009

    Lovely pic of the skateboarder. I have just bought myself a Canon G10 which i am totally and irrevocably in luv with! Went to a friends passing out Parade at SB in 1963! Luv luv Michael

  2. pbdphoto on October 27th, 2009

    Hi Michael I believe there is a new model just out called the Canon G13 which is meant to be amazing. That skateboarder shot is not bad with a point and shoot type camera as I only took about 3 shots.

  3. justBcoz on October 30th, 2009

    Nice. I see you haven’t lost your touch with action shots 🙂

  4. pbdphoto on October 30th, 2009

    Not bad with a point and shoot. 🙂

  5. P-J Hannabus on August 23rd, 2010

    The harbour area looks good for hand lines. I helped to install the harbourmaster’s control building back in the 70’s !

  6. Mauritz Kotze on January 8th, 2011

    Nice photos… re camping site: A pitty it dont reveal the true story! My wife and l left the camping site to day – the 8/01/2011 at 13:00. We booked a site for 5 nights; 4/01 – 8/01, and would have leaving Sunday morning, the 9th of January. The reason for an sooner departure was that we could not deal with very loud music, bad and or loud language whell up to 3 am!
    The few times l took it up with the security, 1 found them asleep and with a radio playing.
    There is a total lack of diccipline and bad management. We camp there yearly and found that the situation go from bad to wors. We will never go back to Saldanha Caravan Park (Holiday Resort) and will not recommend it to any one. With other words… stay away!!! (We visit during this time two other nearby caravan resorts. I am sure it speaks for it self noticing that they were nearley 90% full and Saldanha 90% emty!)
    (Please accept my appologies for grammatical misstakes and spelling, I am Afrikaans Speaking).

  7. pbdphoto on January 9th, 2011

    Thanks for the comment Mauritz. As I said I did not actually stay there but just went to have a look. I had been told that it can be very noisy in season. To be honest I believe that quite a large number of parks do not control the noise factor too well at this time of year. I personally would not go camping over Christmas and New Year for that very reason. A small % of people can make it hell for the majority and many of the managers don’t know how to cope with it and turn a blind eye (deaf ear) to it.

  8. P-J Hannabus on April 25th, 2011

    We were there 17April 2011 (Seebries). The security guards were lounging on deck chairs with a radio blaring in their office! Some things don’t change! The camp was empty. We also turned away and went to Leentjiesklip. This seemed to be “De Place, Mon!” as there were 2 rallies booked in! And right by the lagoon!!

  9. pbdphoto on April 25th, 2011

    Hi P-J Agree with you about the Saldanha park. I just didn’t fancy it when I went to look. I believe that it can get pretty rowdy at times and noisy next to the road. I love Leentjiesklip because of the lagoon.

  10. Margeuritha on February 8th, 2012

    Hello, I had a look at your comments from all walks of clients regarding this Caravan PARK and was glad to have read it, as we have never stayed over at parks ever we are a bit of a juppy type liking 5 star ratings on accommodation so reading this opened our eyes not to attempt buying a top of the range Caravan because the neighbours one might get takes that experience to a nightmare level.So sorry to hear the owner is also fast asleep, or non caring because if he was interested in anyway….things would be so diffirent for people out there.

  11. pbdphoto on February 8th, 2012

    Hi Margeuritha one has to remember that majority of the parks I have stayed in and commented on are Municipal Parks. Most of the managers don’t have a clue and could care less for 11 months of the year. Also there is very little money budgeted for up-keep and maintenance. They all fail to grasp the concept that the more people in the parks then the more money is spent in the towns with people needing supplies.



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