Stompneusbaai, Cape West Coast – South Africa

by Kojo Pocu

Even though Stompneusbaai and St Helena Bay are practically interchangeable, there is a difference, especially if you visit this area frequently. St Helena Bay is located on a section of the West Coast that features no less than 18 bays, three harbours, and an unending array of beaches. It is only a two-hour drive from Cape Town.

A charming tiny fishing community called Stompneusbaai is located between Shelley Point and St Helena Bay. It is the first location you pass when you travel from Shelley Point to Velddrif. On the surface, it appears to be quite simple. The fact that it was called after a particular species of fish, the stompneus, which is abundant along the West Coast, is primarily attributable to a number of fisheries. The number of fish processing plants along this stretch of the coast is substantial, and Stompneus is no exception.

While Stompneusbaai is already a favourite among weekenders and tourists who are building second homes among the bouldered ridges overlooking the charming bay, there is a trailer park directly on the bay that you may want to avoid as it has fallen into nothing short of disrepair.

From Stompneusbaai, you are across the bay from Velddrif and Dwarskersbos, which are invariably home to porpoises, seals, and seabirds as well as lovely beaches where shell-collecting and savouring the flavours of the West Coast are simple pursuits. The Rocherpan Nature Reserve, Cape Columbine Nature Reserve, and the West Coast National Park are all nearby, as is the Paternoster hamlet.

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