Activities & Explorations
"In all things of nature there is something of the marvellous" – Aristotle
the finest place to be
Do not destroy what you came to enjoy
Natural Jewel of The Explorer’s Garden Route
This storybook seaside village is an exquisite treasure, its natural beauty beyond words. The town is spread out along a long stretch of rocky coast with narrow patches of sandy beach scattered here and there. Because of the hilly nature of the area, many of the houses are hugging the slopes, making for some steep climbing to reach them. Huddled on one side of the main beach is the neat caravan park. Follow Main Road right through town up to where the tar ends and there you’ll find the large natural tidal pool with big rocks perfect for sunbathing.
Stilbaai & Surrounding Area
“To walk in nature is to witness a thousand miracles”
Some 10 km from Jongensfontein is the larger seaside town of Stilbaai. This village is the business and service hub of the area. The town is developed around the Goukou River mouth which runs into the Indian Ocean in the middle of this bay.
Stilbaai offers three clean and safe beaches, lots of water-sports as well as club sports. Also various other interesting activities and attractions in town as well as the surrounding area. There are various hiking as well as biking trails in nature and on the beach offering ample opportunity for bird watchers to identify the many bird species.
A variety of world class local products are manufactured in the area. These manufacturers can be visited for an interesting talk about the production process and such products can be tasted and purchased. Products such as a variety of olive oil and other olive products on olive farms, cheese-making at Kasselshoop, the gin distillery at Inverroche just outside Stilbaai, etc.
Activities & Explorations – Stilbaai is the nearest bay to the magnificent and unique mountain peak in the Langeberg Mountain range, very aptly called The Sleeping Beauty. Therefore Stilbaai is sometimes referred to as the Bay of the Sleeping Beauty. From the village at the foot of the mountain, Riversdale, this mountain peak uncannily resembles a sleeping woman. On clear days this peak can be seen from certain vantage points in Stillbay. This is one of those remarkable and rare sights you should see in person to fully appreciate the wonder of it.
Bay of the Sleeping Beauty
- Sea water-sports & Activities – swimming, surfing the breakers, scuba diving, snorkelling, kite-surfing, windsurfing, anything you prefer.
- Fishing/angling – in the sea from the rocks, from the riverbanks, in the river from a boat, deep-sea charters, etc.
- Goukou River activities – swimming, water-skiing, boating, kayaking, canoeing, paddling, stand up paddling, the choices are endless.
- Hiking, mountain biking and bird watching – various trails in the area such as the popular Southern Right Whale (Noorkapper) trail along the coast from Stilbaai to Jongensfontein, or vice versa.
- Club sports & Activities– Golf Clubs with 9 hole courses in both Stilbaai and Jongensfontein, Bowls Club with a stunning view of the ocean, Jukskei, Tennis, Pistol Shooting and more.
- Various annual activities not to be missed – Stilbaai Touch Rugby (Touchies) on 26 December; arrival of the powerboats of the Trans Agulhas Challenge on 29 December; NSRI fund-raising event, a 10 km fun run/walk for the whole family; Jongensfontein lantern walk on 31 December, etc.
- Heritage sites – as far back as 1000 BC ancestors of the Khoi people lived in these parts. They left behind evidence of their existence such as the ancient fish traps and shell middens.
- Tuin-op-die-Brak – an exquisite botanically accurate fynbos park exhibiting indigenous plants of the Hessequa area. The park is both wheelchair and blind friendly.
- Blombos Museum of Archaeology – exhibiting some of the artefacts found in the Blombos Caves left behind by Middle Stone Age people roaming these parts some 70 000 – 75 000 years ago.
- Feeding of the eels – freshwater eels which had been inhabiting a freshwater fountain in Stilbaai for more than a century, are fed every day at 11:00.
- Whale watching – from June to November the southern right whales come to these waters to give birth to their calves and can be seen romping and blowing.
- Tasting local products – visit Kasselshoop to taste their cheese, Inverroche to taste their gin, and various olive farms to taste their olive products and oil.
Hessequa The Explorers Garden Route
Exploring the Hessequa area of the Garden Route…
Hessequa is the Khoi name (meaning ‘people of the trees’) of the municipal area covering the western part of the Garden Route. This area stretches from the Breede River in the west to the Gourits River in the east all along the southern side of the Langeberg Mountain Range.
Hessequa is home to unique indigenous fynbos, wildlife as well as a wide variety of bird species. In this area tourists can delight in nature as well as enjoy world class local products such as cheese, olive products, wine, gin as well as aloe products.