Lamberts Bay ‘Crayfish Mecca’ of South Africa

Lamberts Bay is one of South Africa’s smaller fishing towns. On the West Coast 280 kilometres north of Cape Town, so three hours’ drive away (if you must) on a well-maintained tar road although I suspect you may be distracted. There are so many lovely places along the way to stop over with characterful accommodations, like Yzerfontein, Langebaan, Paternoster, St Helena Bay, and Elands Bay. If you like your eggs easy over, and your holidays less commercial, then one of South Africa’s best-kept secrets, the Crayfish Capital of South Africa is waiting for you here with characterful places to stay! Here are some of the best Lamberts Bay South African Crayfish you can eat.

Lamberts Bay
Fishing Boats at Lamberts Bay: South African Tourism / CC BY 2.0

Lamberts Bay South African Crayfish Capital

What’s in a Crayfish, I Hear You Say

A Lamberts Bay South African crayfish is the same as a lobster from an eating point of view, with five pairs of legs and a long tail it uses for swimming backwards to get out of trouble. The tasty meat inside a crayfish is the stuff of gastronomic legends. Personally, I have never known a crayfish tail tasting better than when cut through the middle, basted with butter, garlic, and lemon juice, and slow cooked for a few minutes over a gently smoking hardwood fire.

Lamberts Bay South African Crayfish Capital: Marra’s Building
Marra’s Building: Anton Raath / CC BY 2.0

Marra’s Building – A Blast from the Past

Nobody seems to know who started the town. They have been farmer’s lads from the hinterland who dived for delicious Lamberts Bay South African crayfish, smoked them over driftwood, and slept the night under stars. Others would have followed in horse-drawn wagons to reap the bountiful harvest. The reefs were so overcrowded in those days the crustaceans walked out of the sea onto the beach. Finally, one Marra opened a trading store and rest is history.

Lamberts Bay South Africa Attractions: Harbour
Lamberts Bay Harbour: Frans-Banja Mulder / CC BY 3.0

Lamberts Bay Harbour – A Source of Many Jobs

The fish factory may not be the prettiest sight but every job is precious in my country where many battle to make ends meet. Were this factory to close, thousands of people that hundreds of workers support could be without food on the table within a few weeks. If you buy something from South Africa you really want for its intrinsic value, we say thank you!

Lamberts Bay
Gannet Colony Lamberts Bay: Frans-Banja Mulder / CC BY 3.0

Bird Island

Lamberts Bay Bird Island Nature Reserve is a mere one hundred meters offshore. A breakwater provides hiker access when the water is calm. It admits visitors to a two-hectare island that is home to a huge colony of Cape Gannets and Cormorants, and Cape Seals also called Brown Fur Seals sunning on the rocks as if there were no tomorrow.

Lamberts Bay
Brown Fur Seal: David Siu / CC BY 2.0

About Richard Farrell

Richard FarrellI tripped over a shrinking bank balance and fell into the writing gig unintentionally. This was after I escaped the corporate world and searched in vain for ways to become rich on the internet by doing nothing. Despite the fact that writing is no recipe for wealth, I rather enjoy it. I will deny I am obsessed with it when I have the time.My base is Umtentweni in South Africa on the Kwazulu-Natal South Coast (30.7167° S, 30.4667° E). I work from home where I ponder on the future of the planet, and what lies beyond in the great hereafter. Sometimes I step out of my computer into the silent riverine forests, and empty golden beaches for which the area is renowned.

Other posts by the Author

One Response

  1. Saint Helena Bay: Calm and Tranquility - Go4Travel Blog

    […] into a major fishing town where fighting snoek and other pelagic fish, and rock lobsters and crayfish abound, and keep the wheels of progress rolling in eleven fish processing factories. Saint Helena […]


Leave a Reply