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.
- 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.
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 presence.
- Fishing trawlers in the harbour.
- 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 fishermen are even catching them! The fish is a Stompneus and of legal size.
- 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.
- Looks like quite a large and active yacht club.
- 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.
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. Good securit, friendly manager and the price was good.
- Some of the well grassed stands.
- 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.
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.
As some of you know I am a professional photographer working out of Cape Town, South Africa and hope that the photographs in my posts have been fairly interesting. The professional work has been connected to theatre and dance so this type of photography was pretty new to me. After having a look through all the photos from the trip I decided to do this post of a few that I think stand out from the rest.
Interesting to note that only 2 of the photos were taken with a high-end camera – actually a not so high-end Canon 20D with an 80-200 2.8f lens – and all the rest with a point and shoot type Canon G7 camera. I was truly amazed at the quality of the G7 and it was only for the photos of birds that I switched to the 20D.
- Sunrise at Brandkaros near Alexander Bay.
This is one of my favourites and I am using it as the desk top of my computer.
- Beach at Alexander Bay.
The feeling of desolation in this photo sums up the story of Alexander Bay itself.
- Hazy sunset at McDougalls Bay.
- Golden Sunset at McDougalls Bay.
Every sunset at McDougalls Bay seemed to produce different tonal qualities.
- Shipwreck at Port Nolloth.
This happened fairly recently and they were hoping to re-float her.
- Shipwreck just south of Kleinzee.
Not much chance of re-floating this wreck!
- Spot me if you can.
Photo of very well camouflaged chameleon taken near Kleinzee.
- Dragline taken at Kleinzee.
Namaqualand flowers just outside Nababeep.
Flowers near Springbok.
According to most of the locals I spoke to 2009 has not been a great year for flowers.
Seal on the edge at Hondeklipbaai.
About 10 seconds after I took this shot the seal took a headlong dive into that churning white water.
Still standing! (Dooringbaai)
Talk about the power of the sea – the noise when that wave hit that wall was like thunder.
Bird Island at Lamberts Bay.
The noise, and to be honest the smell, when you went down wind of these thousands of Gannets was quite something.
Bird on the wing.
Touch down at Verlorenvlei
Both bird shots above were taken at Vensterklip using a Canon 20D camera.
Well I hope you have enjoyed looking at the photographs as much as I did taking them. Hopefully there will be plenty more, at new locations, in the coming months.