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
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.
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!
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.