Shelley Point - West Coast

Accommodation in West Coast

Karen Watkins

ShelleyPoint is located on a private peninsula and fringed by three bays – Stompneus, Shelley and Britannia - with beaches, world-class surf and clear water in one of the calmest bays on the West Coast. There is a golf course and spa at the four-star Shelley Point Hotel, Spa & Country Club.

Next door is BritanniaBay, named after the British ship Britannia that struck a reef in October 1826. The bay is fringed with 4km of sandy beach. Also nearby is SAS Saldanha where there is a choice of four nature trails from 4km to 14.5km. Each one is colour-coded and clearly marked however finding them is the difficult part.

ShelleyPoint is situated near the shore of St Helena Bay, said to be the largest in Africa at 21km. The Vasco da Gama monument is on the shore and is the site where he first set foot on South African soil. The monument commemorates the fifth centenary of his birth in 1469. Da Gama is a famous man in these parts because, in 1497, his fleet arrived here after sailing for three months and one day, navigating by the stars and discovering the route to India round the Cape of Good Hope. Also visit the museum which celebrates his discoveries after passing a statue of this Portuguese explorer and navigator.

Bird-watching: the best place to observe the waders is at low tide from the bird hides at Geelbek located in the West CoastNational Park. From Geelbek’s bird hide it is possible to spot long-legged godwits, whimbrels and curlews, knot, sanderling, little stint, ruff, marsh, terek, curlew sandpiper and many others. There is also the chance of seeing osprey and chestnut banded plovers. Geelbek was home to the Khoi people who lived here thousands of years ago. This CapeDutch building was renovated three times since it was first built in 1744.

At Postberg there are many choices for cycling and hiking, including two-day trails and of course a one-day trail. It is a good place to see the carpets of flowers which are synonymous with the area while falling asleep to the cries of whales. Sixteen MileBeach is a good place to see whales and dolphins and possibly the rare oystercatcher.

The West CoastFossilPark is a good place to join a tour where visitors will learn that the area was jungle five-million years ago, a place where four-tusked elephants and short-necked giraffe roamed. 

We stayed at the Shelley Point Hotel, Spa & Country Club and relaxed with good food and a dual massage. The staff is particularly helpful and when we asked something that Wilma and Roy did not know they would phone around and enquire.

From Cape Town (+/- 150km), visitors should take the R27 West Coast road and turn off to Vredenburg. At first traffic light in town, turn right towards Velddrif. Continue until you see the St Helena / Stompneusbaai road sign. Turn left and continue through St Helena to ShelleyPoint.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the Sneaky Weekender articles on this website, do not necessarily reflect the views of Finding Africa.

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