Enchanting Elands Bay on the South Africa West Coast

The journey from St Helena Bay to Elands Bay in South Africa is a two-hour drive, but we will stop along the way. Rocher Pan at the halfway mark tempts with high-end eco cabins. The seasonal lagoon is a perfect place to view rare Kelp Gulls, Cape Shovellers, and my all-time favourite the endangered Black Oystercatcher seen incubating eggs here. But we must press on to Elands Bay. Here are some of the best things to do in Elands Bay.

Things to Do in Elands Bay, South Africa: Black Oystercatcher Incubating Eggs
Black Oystercatcher Incubating Eggs: Photo Dane Paijmans / CC BY-SA 3.0

Things to Do in Elands Bay, South Africa

Black Oystercatcher Incubating Eggs

There are several things to do in Elands Bay. Although it may appear placid on arrival, it has a famous surfing break with classic waves under the right conditions. The swell peaks off the point producing a hollow take-off and a cylindrical wall that sustains for about 150 metres at heights of up to 2.5 meters. Depending on the tide, launching off the rocks can be tricky. Best seek advice before you try, and check the tides. Elands Bay is otherwise a delightfully peaceful place.

Things to Do in Elands Bay, South Africa: Baboon Point
Baboon Point, Elands Bay: Photo Ralph Malan / CC BY 2.0

A Paradise of Different Moods

Elands Bay provides a variety of overnight accommodation in the form of a camping spot 500 metres / a third of a mile from the surfing action, a small bed and breakfast, self-catering chalets, and a low-rise hotel with a reputation for excellent food. The locals speak mainly Afrikaans, but all things are possible with patience, and the locals are characterful!

Things to Do in Elands Bay, South Africa: White Mossel Restaurant
White Mossel Restaurant, Elands Bay: Photo on Flickr by South African Tourism / CC BY 2.0

Eland’s Bays Oldest Inhabitants

No, not the young man behind the bar! The earliest settlers were hunter-gatherers drawn to the Elands Bay coast in the Late Pleistocene Age by the rich harvest of mussels and other seafood waiting for them some 12,000 years ago. They sheltered in a large cave at the mouth of the Verloren Vlei estuary where there are remains of early settler buildings, and daubed the walls with countless hand prints proclaiming the refuge as their own.The photo is as archaeologists found it, pristine.

Things to Do in Elands Bay, South Africa: Cave
Elands Bay Cave in 1979: Photo gbaku / CC BY-SA 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.

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