Destinations Southern Africa

4 Places People Believe Mermaids Lived in South Africa

Mermaid in Africa
Avatar of Teresa Mwangi
Written by Teresa Mwangi

April 2022 was a special month amid reports of a mermaid in South Africa. However, how true was this?

Mermaids are mystical, with purported few sightings in some places worldwide. When reports of a mermaid sighting hit the interwebs, many people developed a weird conjecture of the places in Mzansi where these creatures could be.

It all started with a report of a mermaid in Kenya, Ukunda in particular. However, it turned out to be a hoax despite the ‘mermaid’ video garnering over 8.8 million views at the time on Tik Tok. Following these claims, South Africa emerged as a favourite destination to sight these mythical creatures.

Many other questions came up, and See Africa Today digs deep into this issue.

Where Can You Find Mermaids In South Africa?

There is no tangible evidence of mermaids existing in South Africa. Pundits argue that most of these stories about these creatures are purely folklore and legend narrations, purely fictional. Nevertheless, some quarters believe there could be mermaids in South Africa in the following areas.

Mermaid in South Africa

Mermaid sport in South Africa. Photo/Global Times

Coega River

There is nothing unusual about the Coega River in Eastern Cape when looking at it but some people find it mysterious. In fact, a fear factor peddled about this river is that you may hear some strange talks and see shadowy figures watching you. Thus, many conjure this to mean there are mermaids in this river.

Cape Town Harbour

According to history, Cape Town Harbour has had several reports of mermaid sightings in Table Bay. History has it that Robben Island to Cape Town once treated people to rare sights of mermaids South Africa.

A sailor named George Carter spotted a giant sea-woman with a whale’s body and a pig’s head in Cape Town Harbor in the 18th century. This sighting took place on June 26, 1783. W.B. Kingsford. A passenger on an East Indiaman during the 19th century reported seeing a mermaid in Table Bay. The passengers spotted what appeared to be a whale in the water but the boat was approximately a mile from land.

Under the Big Rock

Under the Big Rock in South Africa’s eastern region is Under the Big Rock just at the mouth of the Great Fish River. With its warm, salty water, people believe it is an ideal home for mermaids.  A fisherman allegedly once caught a mermaid here, so the story goes. He kept it at his house in a big crate. The mermaid attracted visitors worldwide, and she had great popularity until a few days after her death.

False Bay Shimmer

False Bay Shimmer has an intriguing history of mermaids in South Africa. A story goes that three people once saw a mermaid swim at the bay. This mermaid had long, dark, streaming hair, greenish-brown skin, a long, fish-like tail, and webbed hands and feet.

Their accounts cite that the mermaid moved quickly with a firm grasp on fish which she threw aside upon noticing curious onlookers. The mermaid quickly dove underwater and vanished.

These are some of the most intriguing sighting reports of mermaids in South Africa.

False Bay Shimmer

SOuth Africa’s False Bay Shimmer. Photo/Save out Sea Foundation

Who Was The First Person To See A Mermaid?

While sailing off the coast of Hispaniola in 1493, Christopher Columbus spotted three sirens or mermaids. Historical accounts report that he described them unattractive than their real portrayal.


As much as there are indications and reports of mermaids in South Africa, they do not exist. It’s a classic call of the mind’s figment in the 21st century. Nonetheless, the presence of places such Coage River, Under the Rock, among many others, propagate a compelling theory of having mermaids in the Mzansi.

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About the author

Avatar of Teresa Mwangi

Teresa Mwangi

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, loves travelling and telling stories about tour and travel in Africa by every angle.

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