Bay of Sleeping Beauty
Stilbaai (Still Bay), also known as the Bay of Sleeping Beauty, is part of the famous Garden Route with its close neighbours Melkhoutfontein and Jongensfontein. It is a charming seaside village situated along the banks of the Goukou River estuary where it meets the Indian Ocean on the Southern Cape coast.
In many ways, Stilbaai is regarded as almost the classic prototype of the seasonal South African holiday resort. For nine months of the year the town is practically deserted however, during the December / January summer holiday season arrives Silbaai becomes the perfect holiday destination! Thanks to the shallow bay, the exquisite sandy beaches, of whichhas Blue Flag status, the lagoon and the 15 kilometres long navigable Goukou River, every kind of water-related activity can be undertaken. Swimming, fishing, boating, windsurfing, sailing, canoeing, waterskiing and collecting shells are the daily pastimes here!
Other major attractions in and around Stilbaai include mountain biking, bird watching, whale and dolphin watching and a unique opportunity to interact with fresh water Eels - at the De Jager farmstead, where the Stilbaai Tourism bureau is accommodated, is a pond fed by a natural fountain in which indigenous fresh-water Eels have been living over generations. The eels are fed daily at 11h00. Visit the Ancient Fish Traps on the beach near Skulpiesbaai Nature Reserve, this beach is also a lovely spot for snorkelling.
Around the region are several strange rock formations such as Preekstoel (Pulpit Rock), 3 km east of Stilbaai.
Visitors to Stilbaai will find many family-friendly restaurants, coffee shops and take-away food outlets as well as excellent gift shops. The seaside village offers a wide range of accommodation, such as camping, caravanning self-catering private apartments and homes, chalets, as well as luxury guesthouses.
Stilbaai receives approximately 493 mm of rain annually with the majority of its’ rainfall occurring during the winter months.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 16˚C and 26˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 8˚C and 20˚C.
There are daily flights into George Airport, 129 km away. The town can be reached by road and lies 26 kilometres from the turnoff of the N2 main road between Mossel Bay and Riversdale. Car hire facilities are available at the Airport.
Stilbaai has a unique area on the shore made from limestone. This unique limestone area with its abundance of natural springs, provided the ideal habitat for ancient man, whose footprints still linger here.
The area first attracted the Strandlopers (beach walkers) who set up their rock and stone fish traps here. Strandlopers are thought to be outcasts of the Khoi community who survived by living off the sea and eating certain root vegetables and their fish traps are in evidence in the town today.
Its tranquil, quiet and calm living environment, outside of the festive season, is how this quaint village got its name.
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