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Saldanha, Western Cape
Saldanha Bay is situated less two hours' drive north-west of Cape Town. It's the largest, safest, natural bay in South Africa and also the deepest, largest harbour in the Southern Hemisphere.
The bay was used initially as a quarantine station. Ships arriving in Cape Town with diseases were swiftly sent up to Saldanha. The cemetery in Salamander contains the remains of many smallpox victims and, after the Anglo Boer War, the bay stopped being used as a quarantine station.
Today, Saldanha is a water-sport heaven. It is host to the SAS Saldanha Naval Base, a training division of the South African Navy. The water-sports enthusiast can enjoy fishing, windsurfing, surfing, diving, waterskiing, yachting and sail boarding. For those who prefer their activities on land, there are hiking trails, mountain biking and 4x4 trails.
A few kilometres north of Saldanha Bay is Jacobsbaai. This is a beautiful stretch of coastline containing peninsulas, small beaches and rocky/sandy bays. An abundance of seafood is available there, such as crayfish, mussels, abalone and fish. In spring, Jacobsbaai has beautiful wild flowers similar to the Namaqualand daisies.
Other attractions include the French Huguenot Memorial, the legendary Doc's Cave, Cummings Grave and the Breakwater. This is a 1.8km man-made structure was built in 1976 and connects the mainland with Marcus Island. Saldanha Bay offers boat trips to the islands sheltered in the bay.