Saldanha has the deepest and largest natural harbour in the southern hemisphere, and the safest in South Africa. A railway-line was built from Sishen in the Northern Cape, where major iron-ore deposits were found.
Saldanha, formerly known as Hoedjies Bay, has a fascinating history. More than 500 years ago, Saldanha Bay was discovered by the Portuguese. For centuries, geographic isolation and the lack of water prevented large-scale urban and industrial development. This has meant - despite changes commencing during the Second World War - that much of the area is still in sprinstine condition.
It started developing more rapidly when commercial fishing started along the West Coast.
Saldanha has much to offer, with the Saldanha Basin in particular, ideally situated to a variety of water sports, in the form of marinas, moorings and waterfront developments.
Various developments are continually taking place, including holiday homes and resorts, chalets and caravan parks, in well known areas such as Blouwaterbaai, Mauritzbaai, Jacobsbaai, Tietiesbaai and Paternoster.
Aparts from the obvious sea and water activities like fishing, diving, surfing, yachting, water-skiing, sailboarding and what have you, there are also numerous historical and eco-attractions, as well as hiking trails, mountain biking and 4x4 trails.
The West Coast National Park is a must for any visitor, as is the wild flowers in season.
In close proximity is the town of Vredenburg as well as the picturesque seaside villages of Jacobsbaai and Paternoster.