SALDANHA BAY, an inlet on the south-western coast of South Africa, 63 m. by sea N. by W. of Cape Town, forming a land-locked harbour. The northern part of the inlet is known as Hoetjes Bay. It has accommodation for a large fleet with deep water close inshore, but the arid nature of the country caused it to be neglected by the early navigators, and with the growth of Cape Town Saldanha Bay was rarely visited. Considerable deposits of freestone in the neighbourhood attracted attention during the later 19th century. Proposals were also made to create a port which could be supplied by water from the Berg river, 20 m. distant. From Kalabas Kraal on the Cape TownClanwilliam railway, a narrow gauge line runs via Hopefield to Hoetjes Bay 126 m. from Cape Town.
Saldanha Bay is so named after Antonio de Saldanha, captain of a vessel in Albuquerque's fleet which visited South Africa in 1503. The name was first given to Table Bay, where Saldanha's ship cast anchor. On Table Bay being given its present name (1601) the older appellation was transferred to the bay now called after Saldanha. In 1781 a British squadron under Commodore George Johnstone I 73 I ~ I ?87) seized six Dutch East Indiamen, which, fearing an attack on Cape Town, had taken refuge in Saldanha Bay. This was the only achievement, so far as South Africa was concerned, of the expedition despatched to seize Cape Town during the war of 1781-1783.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)