Saldanha, South Africa © Morne
Saldanha is a small, attractive town situated on the northern shore of Saldanha Bay, a deep natural harbour that sustains the area's economy and which provides countless water sport and fishing opportunities to visitors. Saldanha Bay's fishing industry is underpinned by the export of delicacies such as crayfish, mussels and oysters - and this fine selection of seafood naturally characterises the town's gastronomy. Visitors to Saldanha can look forward to a range of fun activities, including kite-surfing, waterskiing and deep-sea diving, and the area is immensely popular with game fishing devotees, who man their rods and try to entice yellowtail, tuna and snoek from the ocean depths. Accommodation in Saldanha is plentiful, catering to luxury resort clientele as well as backpackers, and it offers one last golden tourist attraction: in season (June to November), it is one of South Africa's better whale watching destinations, as schools of humpback and southern right whales gather off the Atlantic coast to calve. Like most of the West Coast, Saldanha is not a glitzy travel destination but in its own ramshackle way it is very charming and has become a favourite with many South Africans looking for a beach getaway.