History of Paternoster

Province: Western Cape
West Coast
Coordinates:32°49′S 17°53′E
Area:2.49 km2
Municipality: Saldanha Bay

Paternoster is a traditional fishing village. It is said the name which means “Our Father” was given by Portuguese sailors who were grateful to have survived shipwrecks. Another theory is that the name refers to Khoi beads called paternosters. Khoi and San people inhabited the area for centuries, living off the rich marine life.
Europeans settled in Paternoster in the early 1800s, The village is full of examples of their whitewashed, thatched cottages which can be seen today. Large quantities of crayfish are caught and processed for export.

Many locals are involved with fishing in one form or another. The area is most famous for its crayfish, but there is also an abundance of mussels and oysters. Snoek and mullets are also caught. These are often dried and salted into a delicacy known as “bokkoms”. There is currently a lobster factory and a Kabeljou farm in the town, and it was also the birthplace of the iconic “Redro” brand of fish paste.

The postcode for Paternoster is 7381 and the license plate prefix is CFG


see all listings in paternoster


Things to see and do in Paternoster

  • Enjoy the wildflowers in spring at the Columbine Nature Reserve just 3 km away
  • See the lighthouse at Cape  Columbine – it’s the last manned lighthouse to have been built on the South African coast
  • Explore The Lisboa shipwreck which ran aground at Soldier’s Reef back on 23 October 1910. This was the first time that radiotelegraphy was used for ships in distress on the South African coast.
  • Enjoy a kayak paddle along the coastline where you can spot dolphins, seals, and whales, or get up close and personal with the fascinating bird life on the rocks. Read about whales and dolphins here
  • Paternoster events Facebook

Useful Numbers in Paternoster

  • Municipality; 022 701 7000
  • Police: Vredenburg 022 713 1310 /10111
  • Traffic department: Vredenburg 022 713 1286
  • Fire: 998/999
  • Water:
  • Electricity:
  • Ambulance: 10177 022 713 1300 paramedics 0861 225599
  • Post office; Vredenburg 022 715 1550
  • Library: 022 752 2101
  • Closest hospital; Vredenburg Provincial Hospital 022 709 7200
  • Pharmacy; Weskem Vredenburg 022 713 1184
  • SPCA: West coast 022 289 0998
  • Schools: St Augustine primary school 022 752 2728



Local Listings