Britannia Bay


Bird Watching
The region has a wealth of bird life where sightings of owls, raptors, sea gulls and waders are thrilled by visits of the very rare African Black Oyster-catcher on the spectacularly smooth rocky outcrops lining the seashore. It is also the southernmost point for the Palearctic migratory birds from northern Europe and Siberia, making it a bird-watcher's paradise.

Dolphin watching
Look out for the rare Heaviside's Dolphin, only found off the coast of Namibia and South Africa's West Coast. Heaviside's dolphins are found in large numbers at any time along with schools of dusky and common dolphins. Large groups can be seen chasing fish along the shore or simply flying through the waves out of sheer enjoyment.

Whale Watching
From August to November, the Southern Right Whales come in to the bay to calve, and can be viewed from the shore all around the bay. Humpback whales are also present in the area. 

Cape St Martin Nature Reserve
Next to the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean with a view over St. Helena Bay, lies one of the few untouched areas in the heart of the South African West Coast, Cape St Martin Private Nature reserve. This reserve is situated in such a way that it is the only place on the West Coast where you can watch the sun rise over the sea and when the sun sets, you become one with nature. There is nothing quite like it in this area - you get to live inside a nature reserve with small buck grazing almost in your backyard.

Wild flowers
It is a popular tourist destination, particularly during the spring wild flower season, with visitors from all over the world who come for relaxation and recreation.

Beaches
Three gorgeous beaches surround the peninsula of Shelley Point, each with their own unique characteristics. On the western side is Britannia Bay Beach, an unspoiled 5 km stretch of white sand. Tucked away on the northern side is the protected Shelley Bay Beach, named for the fusion of sand, beach pebbles and shells. Stompneus Bay Beach is on the eastern side, characterized by little coves of alternating rock and sand.

Vasco Da Gama Nautical Museum
Tel: +27 22 742 1906
Fax: +27 22 714 4240
The Vasco Da Gama Nautical Museum is located at the Cape Dutch entrance to Shelley Point and is dedicated to the memory of the legendary Portuguese seafarers that discovered and navigated these waters.

Vasco Da Gama statue
Vasco Da Gama was the first of these explorers to set foot on the South African coast at Shelley Point, opening the passage of trade to the East. A statue of Vasco Da Gama can be found in the centre of this luxury Peninsula Estate. Another statue is located at the actual spot where he came ashore.

Shelley Point Golf Course
Wonderful 9-hole links golf course in the middle of the peninsula where you have seaviews from all, except one hole.

Britannia Bay was named after a British ship, “Britannia”, that struck a reef  on October 22nd 1826. A local farmer, Martin Melck, purchased the wreck, from which he salvaged a considerable quantity of cargo, including sheet copper and wines. For more than a century her valuable treasure laid buried under 4 metres of sand on the bottom of the ocean, not 600 metres from the shore near Shelly Point.
A second shipwreck, the 12 000 ton Liberian freighter “Sea Trader” that ran aground in June 1971 lies off Cape St. Martin, the most western point of Britannia Bay. En route from the East to Holland with a cargo of reinforced steel, the Sea Trader, fell prey to the dreary grey sea mist and sank. Most of the wreck was salvaged through the years, with only the engine block remaining (visible at low-tide).

Well know for the surfer’s corners“heaven” and “hell”. The coastline concertinas into a contorted confusion of reefs and sandbars tucked between narrow bays and inlets. Spots face all sorts of directions, which demands a variety of swell and wind conditions. Generally, a south to southwest swell direction will yield lean pickings, unless it’s a deep energy groundswell of six- to eight-foot-plus. A much higher yield comes from deep-energy west swell and light land-breeze northeasterlies.

Conditions here are gusty and dangerous on a SE as its an offshore wind. When the swells are up and a SW or NW is blowing, this spot can really fire up on the bay and great place to kite on a sunset.Watchout for gusty conditions on a NW.

Conditions at Britannia Bay are excellent for wind surfing

Kayaking is perfectly safe in this sheltered bay.

Come bodyboard and catch a few good waves.

Go for a microlight flight over the bay
There is a slipway close by from which to launch your boat and enjoy the company of dolphins, seals and whales, to net for crayfish, or try your hand at water-skiing. Visit Seal Island which is only 10 minutes away.

Shelley Bay area has no shortage of excellent crayfishing, fishing and diving spots.