Lamberts Bay

The diamond of the West Coast”

History of Lambert’s Bay


  • Province: Western Cape
  • West coast
  • Coordinates: 32°5′S 18°18′E
  • Area:45.73 km2
  • Municipality:Cederberg


Lamberts Bay was named after Admiral Lambert who was with the British Navy. He did a marine survey of the bay between 1826 and 1840. The area was part of the farm Otterdam which was owned by Gerrit Erasmus Smit.

In 1887Joseph Carl Stephan bought the site where the town grew, and he built the hotel and other infrastructure.  He used the natural harbour for ships trading and transporting goods including wheat and other local produce. British ships used the bay as a lay-up during the Anglo-Boer war. The  HMS Sybille was wrecked in 1901 opposite Steenbokfontein.

The only naval engagement of the Anglo-Boer War took place at Lamberts Bay. General Jan Smuts found a Royal Navy gunboat anchored there during his raid of the southwestern Cape. Smuts’ forces opened fire on the boat from the shelter of the sand dunes. The boat responded with a few shells. Corporal Smallwood, a marine, was the only casualty.

Lamberts Bay is famous for its beaches, birdlife, and moderate climate. It has been dubbed “The diamond of the West Coast”The Lamberts Bay economy, however, revolves around fishing, mostly crayfish. The first crayfish factory was started there in 1918 by Mr. Lindstrom.

About 17 km South of Lamberts Bay is a 200-year-old lock that is still used as a storeroom. Also there, is a house built completely from whale bones.

The license plate prefix for Lamberts Bay is CAR and the postcode is 8130


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Things to see and do in Lamberts Bay:

  • The town  hosts the annual Crayfish Festival in February 027 432 1000
  • There are great birdwatching opportunities in Lamberts Bay
  • The best way to explore the snow-white dunes of Lambert’s Bay’s inland desert is by quad bike. Several routes are available. The whole family can enjoy the activity and no experience is required.
  • Bird Island just offshore is a massive slab of rock about 3ha in extent. It is home to thousands of Jackass penguins, gannets and cormorants. It is connected to the mainland by a breakwater. 300 tons of guano is collected off the island each year
  • Farmers market at Malkoppan Farm. Every last Saturday of the month, 083 370 0400

Useful Numbers

  • Police:  027 432 8260
  • Municipality; Clanwilliam-027 482 8000
  • Traffic department: 027 432 8260
  • Fire: 027 482 2576
  • `Water: 027 482 8000
  •  Electricity: 027 482 8000
  • Ambulance: 027 482 2576
  • Post office; 027 432 1008
  • Library: 027 432 1901
  • Closest hospital; Lamberts Bay Medical Centre 027 432 1136
  • Pharmacy; 027 432 1133
  • SPCA:Swaartland – 022 492 2781
  • Schools:
  • Lamberts Bay Primary School 0274321130
  • PW De Bruin primary   027 432 2702
  • Museum; Sandveld museum   Church street.
  • Tourism (0)27 432 1000  Lambert’s bay



Local Listings