ABOUT JACOBSBAAI

Jacobsbaai

Jacobsbaai is a small west coast town – established in the 1990’s – located 150km from Cape Town.  There are now over 400 houses, with more owners choosing to live here permanently. 

It is well situated to visit over 20 small west coast towns within a hours’ drive. 

Jacobsbaai, and the area around it, is renowned for its tranquility and harmony with nature – with quaint architecture, prolific seasonal wildflowers, stunning sunsets and skyscapes, abundant birdlife and resident fauna. 

The architectural design of the town comprises homes with white walls and thatched or grey metal roofs (cores) with flat roofs or decks in between, producing the feel of many smaller dwellings in a village environment. 

It is in the centre of the West Coast Foodie Trail and other fine experiences.

JACOBSBAAI’S HISTORY

 Jacobsbaai – in Afrikaans – is the preferred name for this beautiful, relatively isolated West Coast town, located 150km from the Cape Town International Airport.  The origin of the town is said to result from the early 1800’s, when the West Coast trading company “Stefan Bros” took over a local farmer’s land after he had become indebted to them. The name “Jacobsbaai” or “Jacobs Bay” is said to have evolved from the name of a French colonial trader, Jacques Titius. Another possible origin for the town’s name is that an English king in colonial times entrusted the piece of land to a local known as ‘Jacob’.

The current version of the town was originally founded in the 1980’s by Kiron Holdings on the farmland registered as 109 Jacobsbaai.  In 1984, Nic and Marie Tredoux bought another part of Jacobsbaai through a company known as “Forellendam”.  A combined development between Kiron Holdings and Forrellendam kicked off in 1992 with 75 stands on Kiron land and 140 stands on Forellendam land. Later small holdings were marketed under the name “Seebriespark”.  By the end of 1994 the front section was virtually sold out. In 1996, Dawid (& Marissa) van Wyk bought Forrellendam together with Hennie Smit. In October 2003, Mauritzbay was launched, with 22 front stands sold in the first week – at prices advertised from R70 000. In 2009, subdivisions of the old “erf 86” produced the 51 stands known as Tooth Rock. Today, the last few sea front stands in these areas sell for over R2 300 000.

JACOBSBAAI’S TODAY

The town now comprises about 600 erven of between 300-1200m2.  About 480 homes are already built, and more are currently in build.  There is very little real estate available on the market now, although proposed future development will open a significant number of new stands. 

Commercial property in the town is very limited.  Apart from a few guesthouses and homes which have business rights, there is a superette, a doctor’s surgery, and a few restaurants. There are no fuel stations, banks or ATMs.  The nearest fuel and shopping opportunities is about 15 to 20 km away in either Saldanha or Vredenburg.

The ’old town’ comprises the busier part of town and the bulk of the properties, with the southern tail of the town including Moeries-se-Baai and Toothrock only being developed in the last 14 years. These two areas are less densely developed with only two roads parallel to the coastline and are quieter too as there is no through-route going past Toothrock – even the gravel road to Saldanha follows the extension of the main road in the “old town”.

Streets in the ‘old town’ are named after prominent persons in the establishment of Jacobsbaai such as Marie Tredoux, Nic Tredoux, Frans du Bois, Japie Traut etc. Streets in the newer “tail” are named after flora and fauna in the region such as Perlemoen, Strandloper, Strandkietwiet, Duiker and Perrevoet.

The layout of the town also incorporates many cul-de-sacs known as “Keeroms” (turnarounds).  These reduce through-traffic, allowing walkers to stroll and children to play in them.

The town boasts a sea frontage of about 4km spanning 7 different tiny bays, and is laid out to incorporate ‘green belts’ between the developed areas and along the coastline which retains the village atmosphere. Several roads in the ‘old town’ are still “grondpads” – which – although the bain of some residents’ lives, provide a rustic element. 

JACOBSBAAI ARCHITECTURE

The architecture of the town was well established and maintained, although in recent years, building guidelines have been ignored or pushed to the limit by some property owners.  Some of this deviation has been from advances in technology, practicality, security and availability of new materials, but others have resulted in some homes which are clearly out-of-place in the architectural landscape.

The white walls with 45o pitched roofs of mostly grey (either thatched or painted metal) interspersed with flat roofs/decks produce a village landscape where even large homes resemble a cluster of small units.

Low walls between properties, with open verges characterize the visual harmony. 

Shuttered windows were traditionally smaller befitting the Mediterranean climate. 

Chimneys following design guidelines are encouraged and necessary for the cold winters.

Stoeps with braai’s are now generally enclosed to offer comfortable socializing even during inclement weather.

JACOBSBAAI’S BAYS

The little town of Jacobsbaai actually comprises seven individual bays which are – from North to South – Hospital Bay, Jacobsbaai (the Main Bay), Bamboesbaai, Smalbaai, KwaaiBaai, Mauritzbaai (fondly called Moerie-se-Baai) and Toothrock. 

Jacobsbaai (the Main Bay), Smalbaai, and Moeries-se-Baai are great for launching boats, swimming and fishing. They are perfect for children as they have shallow beaches and interesting rockpools.

Kwaaibaai and the mouth of Moerie-se-Baai – when the Atlantic delivers its enormous waves – are popular amongst surfers, and the old WW2 lookout tower, situated on the point of the peninsular between these two bays, is well worth visiting.  It’s a great place for photographs and 360o views of the coastline.

The sea off Toothrock and Bamboesbaai are renowned for diving and fishing. Perlemoen and West Coast Crayfish were historically in great supply but are now harvesting is strictly controlled by seasons.

Smalbaai is home to many Oystercatchers and cormorants and Moerie-se-Baai can be awash with hundreds of terns and other seabirds roosting on the rocks in the shallow waters. The evening coordinated flights of huge flocks of birds are an awesome sight. The odd seal makes a visit into Moerie-se-Baai to provide entertainment with their elegant swimming antics.

The sandy beach of Hospital Bay is ideal for swimming and sunning, although it can be very windy. This bay’s unusual name is from the 1800s when ships dropped off their sick to be quarantined here before reaching Cape Town. The remains of the wreck of the Barge Margaret (2009) can be seen at low tide on the point.

The 4.5km public walking trail along the 7 bays offers good exercise as well as a safe walking route.  It is well used by friendly locals and impromptu chats and ‘stoep-kuiers’ are frequent by those wandering along the pathways.

JACOBSBAAI’S WEATHER

The climate is mostly Mediterranean with winter rainfall between April and November. 

June & July (Winter) night temperatures average about 7o but can fall to about 2o, with average winter daytime temperatures of 19o which can be as high as 26o.

February (Summer) night temperatures average about 15o but can fall to about 10o, with average summer daytime temperatures of 30o which can go as high as 39o.

Temperatures over 40o or under 2o are very uncommon. Daily temperatures on average in Summer days are about 29o and Winter are about 19o.

Sea temperatures vary from 14o to 17o due to the cold Benguela current. The water in the shallow and protected bays warms up a little, especially on the rockier beaches.

Sunrise varies from about 07h50 in Winter to 05h50 in Summer with dawn light about 30 minutes earlier.

Sunset varies from about 17h50 in Winter to 20h00 in Summer with dusk light about 30 minutes later.

Day length in Summer is about 13 hours and 10 hours in Winter.

The wind blows frequently – although slightly less in winter. Most of the time it’s a gentle breeze of less than 20kmph. The S (Southerly) or SSW (South-South-Westerly) wind directions bring the strongest winds of up to 70kmph.

The ongoing ever-changing land-sea-scapes provide a strong fascination. with low tides varying from 0,1 to 0,8m above sea level and high tides between 1,2 to 2,2 metres above sea level. Tides are approximately 6 hours apart and most places will provide tide tables on request.  The bay can be mirror flat or if the Atlantic is pumping, waves at the mouth of Moeries-se-Baai can reach over 6 metres in height.  Even with very rough seas, this shallow bay has a calming influence and seldom do we find waves of over 30cm on the beach.

Average annual rainfall is about 260mm with most rain falling from April to August.  In these months between 40 and 70mm of rain can be expected. Summer rainfall is unusual but not unheard of. 

Days are most usually sunny – even in Winter at least 15 days of the month are sunny with only about 5 heavily overcast days. Morning mists are common along the Atlantic coastline where the cold Benguela current meets the hotter land.  

Star gazing is recommended on clear nights with the stars of the Milky Way, moon cycles and various planets easy to enjoy.

JACOBSBAAI’S FLORA & FAUNA

Often referred to by locals as ‘Namaqualand by the sea’ the wildflowers around Jacobsbaai are breathtakingly beautiful in spring, which makes it the perfect time of year to walk the 17km hiking trail between Jacobsbaai and Tietiesbaai.  Winter brings stunning displays of Red Hot Poker flowering aloes and several gardens are well designed and worthy of attention as one wanders past on the many walks through the town.

The coastal and veld fynbos support a variety of wildlife including jackal, duiker, steenbok, hares, mongooses and tortoise. Birding is popular here too – for many kinds of seabirds as well as buzzards, kites, and eagles – while Southern Right whales can be spotted by their blows as they travel along the coastline.

Jacobsbaai is located on the West Coast Foodie Route. There are over 20 little towns within just over an hour’s drive – the most popular with visitors being Langebaan, Saldanha, Paternoster, St Helena, Velddrif, Port Owen, Laaiplek, Dwarskersbos, Yzerfontein and Darling. Each town has many restaurants from waterfronts to game reserves to wine estates and many others as well as all the usual chains in Vredenburg. 

Our Partner restaurant in Jacobsbaai:

The House of Bean & Leaf is hosted by Eugene and is located at the entrance to Jacobsbaai.  Great music on Friday evenings, and great hospitality all round.  Call 082 735 2279, or follow https://m.facebook.com/TheHouseofBeanandLeaf

Jacobsbaai restaurants & other contacts:

Karmenaadjie Padstal & Bistro is hosted by Johan and is located near Togryersvlei wedding venue, on the road to Jacobsbaai.  Great west coast fare.   Call 083 463 4042 or follow:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100078419342402

O’Driscoll’s is hosted by Aine & JP and is located in Hoofstraat, Jacobsbaai.  Great Irish hospitality. Call 065 525 5868 or follow https://www.facebook.com/odriscollsjacobsbaai?mibextid=ZbWKwL

Jacobsbaai Oasis has a little café next to the Pixie & Fairy Village and Labyrinth.  Call 073 302 5835 or follow:

Other Jacobsbaai places include-

Weskusplek, Main Bay, Jacobsbaai-078 862 0260 

Jacobsbaai Superette, Entrance, Jacobsbaai, 079 453 7277

Bay Deli, Entrance, Jacobsbaai, 079 032 2478

Our Highly Recommended Restaurants in neighbouring areas:

Try Alegria, in Slipper Bay (St Helena road) for a beachfront restaurant with great Portuguese fare: call 022 736 1393 or follow:

https://www.facebook.com/AlegriaRestaurantSt.HelenaBay?mibextid=ZbWKwL

Paternoster Lodge & Restaurant overlooks the expansive Paternoster beach – Call 083 551 7502 / 022 880 0970

www.paternosterlodge.co.za

Blue Bay Lodge, Saldanha overlooks the expansive Langebaan Lagoon at the eastern side of Saldanha.  Call 022 714 1177/8/9

(https://bluebaylodge.co.za/blue-bay-cafe.html

https://www.facebook.com/BlueBayLodge

Other Recommended Restaurants

Soverby, Dwarskersbos, 083 303 3575

Voorstrand, Paternoster, 022 752 2038

Marc’s Beach Bar, Langebaan, 081 410 7989

Thoban Langebaan, 076 855 6201

Pearlies, Langebaan, 022 772 2734

Cape Town Brauhaus, Mykonos, 022 707 7799 

Cape Town Fish Market, Mykonos, 022 707 7796

Laaiplek Hotel, LaaiPlek, 022 783 1116

Charlies, Port Owen, 022 783 0448

Russells on the Port, Port Owen, 022 783 0158

Tajanas, Velddrif, 022 783 2055

Things to do in the area

Wine Cellars:

There are several wine estates close by.  Our favourites are:

Groote Post, Darling, 022 492 2825

Darling Cellars, Darling, 083 226 8769 / 084 082 7200

Game Reserves:

Both of the following offer game drives and restaurant facilities:

Thali Thali, 082 372 8637

Buffelsfontein, 072 356 4797 / 022 451 2824

Artisan Cheese

Kokerboom Cheese @ Velddrif, 082 563 4640 https://www.facebook.com/Kokerboomkaas

Natural Salt

Khoisan Salt @ Velddrif, 022 783 1520  https://www.facebook.com/KhoisanSalt

Museums & Interesting Visits:

 Route 45 Classic Cars @ Hopefield www.route45classics.co.za

The Wheat Museum @ Moorreesburg 

SA Fisheries Museum @ Laaiplek www.safisheriesmuseum.co.za

!Khwattu San Nature Reserve @ Yzerfontien www.khwattu.org

Exceptionally interesting walk/drive tours can be done in Saldanha – encompassing the history, the development and the naval heritage. www.saldanhanature.co.za

The West Coast Fossil Park is an active “dig” with first-world museum displays of fossils found in the region.  www.fossilpark.org.za

The West Coast National Park is best to visit in August & September when the wildflowers in the Postberg region are open to the public.  

For those who want to shop – the big-name retailers are found at the Weskus Mall in Vredenburg, and Lagoona Mall in Langebaan.  Souvenir shopping can be done at the Crayfish Wharf in Paternoster and some smaller places.  Please ask your hosts for ideas.