Skulpiesbaai, Stilbaai – this area falls in the Skulpiesbaai Nature Reserve and is known for the amount of shells found on the beach. (Photo: Este Smit)

What you can do at Skulpiesbaai:

  • Enjoy the beach – and all the shells!
  • Do the various hiking trails in the Skulpiesbaai Nature Reserve
  • Surf at Dolphin Point
  • Visit the ancient fish traps (visible with low-tide)
  • Pick up litter that washes ashore or are left by careless beach users…

What you can NOT do at Skulpiesbaai:

  • No fishing 
    • No fishing between the red and white poles towards Morris Point on the left and past the fish traps on the right
    • Reason: it is a nature reserve and a Marine Protected Area (MPA)
    • Stilbaai was declared a marine protected area in 2008. It connects to the land-based Geelkrans Nature Reserve, which ensures that the coastal zone is well protected. The area, managed by CapeNature, is protected to rebuild overexploited marine life, particularly reef/line fish. It also prevents habitat degradation and preserves vis-vwyers (fish traps), which are archaeologically and culturally important. Fishing is still allowed in controlled areas, but it is banned in Geelkrans, Skulpiesbaai and Goukou estuary. Goukou was the first estuary to be included in marine protected area in the Western Cape. (

Enjoy your visit to Skulpiesbaai, Stilbaai!



Wednesday, 7 November – Stilbaai is still very much a little fishing village with boats and charters departing from the harbour on a daily basis to provide for families.
It is, however, not every day that you get that ‘big one’, like Hennie Esterhuizen who brought this 33kg cod from the boat, Dorado, in. Like they say: “Die kabeljou loop!
Hilda Rudd captured the moment.

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Hennie Esterhuizen with his 33kg cod. (Photo: Hilda Rudd)


How beautiful is this photo by Jean de Villiers taken at Jongensfontein.
He asks the question: where is the best place to learn how to surf during December.
Well, we suggest Stilbaai and Jongensfontein of course!
Here are some suggestions about a few surf spots ( and visit at the Surf Shack (between OK Grocer and Fynbos / SPAR Shopping Centre).


Stilbaai Kelders, dié wynboetiek met meer as 700 wyne, ‘n groot verskeidenheid craft bier en -gin asook al die ander gunstelinge, is vyf jaar oud.
Baie geluk aan die eienaars, Adolf Botes en Johannie Vermeulen!

‘n Wye verskeidenheid spiritualieë is hier beskikbaar asook enkelmout-whiskey en potketelbrandewyne terwyl die groot vonkelwynversameling iets vir elkeen bied.
Besoek gerus ook hul deli-afdeling met kase asook olyfolies en -produkte wat die wyne komplimenteer.
Daar is ook geskenke terwyl die winkel ook glase verhuur. Hulle bied gereelde wynproefunksies aan en wynliefhebbers kan ook aan hul wynklub behoort.
Stilbaai Kelders is geleë in Voortrekkerstraat 17
Gaan loer gerus in en kyk wat se spesiale verjaardagaanbiedinge beskikbaar is.
Tel: (028) 754 1655
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It’s been a tough week as devastating fires swept through Vermaaklikheid, a sleepy little village about 47 kilometres from Stilbaai and a favourite hide-away holiday destination in Hessequa. It is estimated that as much as 15 000 hectares have been affected while 8 houses have been destroyed. A life has sadly also been lost as helicopter pilot, Nico Heyns, died when his helicopter crashed while he was one of the pilots on duty containing the fire.
Read more about the fires here – and please support, assist and donate to those affected if and how you can.
The wind has died down and the heatwave is not that intense anymore… It is weekend and there are quite a few things happening in Stilbaai. Have a look here – and enjoy the weekend!

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 Stilbaai’s main beach, Lappiesbaai beach as well as Preekstoel beach, are two of 46 beaches that received full Blue Flag status for 2018/19. Gouritsmond and Witsand in Hessequa have also received full Blue Flag status bringing the total of Blue Flag beaches in Hessequa to four while Stilbaai’s west beach as well as Jongensfontein received pilot Blue Flag status.

Lappiesbaai Beach

According to, 66 Blue Flags will be proudly flown at 46 beaches, 8 marinas and by 12 sustainable tourism boats around South Africa over the forthcoming 2018/19 South African Blue Flag season, which opens officially on the 1st of November 2018.
The WESSA Blue Flag Programme, now in its 31st year, is focused on the conservation of marine and coastal habitats, and is designed to raise environmental education and awareness, and increase sound environmental practices among tourists, local populations and beach management.

To achieve Blue Flag status, as many as 33 different criteria spanning over four aspects of coastal management must be met and maintained: water quality, environmental education and information, environmental management, and safety and services. Each Blue Flag site is compelled to conduct several environmental education activities during the year, and to practice effective and efficient conservation management.
In South Africa, the Blue Flag program is managed by WESSA and participating coastal municipalities. In the Southern Hemisphere, the Blue Flag season runs from 1 November to 31 October each year. Beaches are required to apply for Blue Flag status each year and the Blue Flag standards are only enforced at the beaches over the participating beach’s stated season, which varies from just two months of the year to the full 12 months.

Preekstoel Beach

About Stilbaai’s MPA (Marine Protected Area)

As a dedicated conservationist and wildlife and conservation photographer, Peter Chadwick has over 25 years of experience in terrestrial and marine protected area management. He is the founder of African Conservation Photography and has worked throughout southern Africa in some of its most special wild places, including the Kalagadi Desert, Kruger National Park, Drakensberg Mountains, the sub-antarctic Prince Edward Islands and De Hoop Nature Reserve and Marine Protected Area.
He compiled this article shared via his Facebook page Peter Chadwick at African Conservation Photography dd 16 Oct 2018.

Supporting South Africa’s marine protected areas – Stillbay MPA.
Stillbay is one of those idyllic South African coastal towns that offer the best of sun, sea, river and beach thus making it one of the most perfect holiday destinations! The marine protected area is not there to stop people from having access to marine resources but rather is there to make sure that utilization can be carried out in a sustainable manner. Within its boundaries is the countries best-preserved example of stone-age fish traps, sections of the Goukou estuary and a coastal and marine section that extends 4.7 kms out to sea.

Iconic species to be found within the MPA includes southern right whales, ragged-toothed sharks, numerous species of reef fish and delicate pansy shells. Perhaps the most interesting species however are the African mottled eel and the longfin eel. These animals complete a remarkable journey, having spawned off Mozambique or Madagascar, the eels then enter estuaries in South Africa where they mature in quite freshwater streams, a process reputed to take up to twenty years. The mature eels, well over a meter in length, return to the sea via the estuary to swim over 2000 kms to complete their life cycle. These eels may be viewed at Palinggat, a small freshwater pond in Stillbay.
The estuary mouth is a nutrient rich environment of mud flats and salt marshes where invertebrates thrive. Hidden worms, crustaceans and molluscs attract waders in large variety and numbers. During the summer months grey plovers, whimbrels, greenshanks, marsh sandpipers and common ringed plovers fly in from northern climes to join the resident waders. The estuary is also an important nursery area for many young stages of commercially important coastal fish species.
Skulpiesbaai Nature Reserve, that lies to the west of the small fishing harbour, is excellent for watching seabirds and for exploring amongst the intertidal rock pools.
For more information please do visit and also please help spread the news in support of our MPAs @ Still Bay, Western Cape, South Africa
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Stilbaai se eie “Aurora Borealis”

Ons het nie ‘Northern Lights‘ hier nie, maar bioluminescence!
“Ek kon nie slaap nie en het omstreeks 3:00 opgestaan. Ek het uitgegaan om bietjie vars lug te skep toe ek iets skouspelagtig sien, iets wat min mense die geleentheid kry om te sien,” skryf Stilbaai-inwoner, Marthinus Strydom op Facebook.

“Ek het my kamera gegryp en strand toe geloop waar ek probeer het om die skouspel vas te vang. Dit was moeilik omdat daar geen maan was nie en baie min natuurlike lig. Die gloeiende blou golwe is bioluminessensie – klein plankton mikrobes wat deur die getye rond gespoel word waar hulle chemiese energie na lig energie omskep.”
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Foto: Marthinus Strydom

Beautiful Stilbaai!

For the holidaymakers, today (Friday, 5 October) is the last Friday of the school holiday. The good news is that there is still a weekend and there are lots of activities and things happening in and around town!
We found this awesome photo of Morris Point and the river taken by Armand Vermeulen with his drone. At we hope that this is a nice way to start the weekend and that this photo can form part of memories made at Stilbaai.

See you again soon!


Stilbaai Kite Surfer, Rut Gouws, competing at Youth Olympic Games

With just one sailor on Team SA at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the pressure will be on Rut Gouws next week.
But the Stilbaai kiteboarder seems to thrive under pressure – having had to come through the continental qualification process, where only a win was good enough to book her spot on the team.
Having already achieved that win in Morocco earlier this year, hearing her name officially announced by the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) as part of Team SA was something Gouws will remember for a long time.
‘I didn’t have words. It was just amazing and it felt like all the effort that has been put in is finally worth it and everybody who helped, got the reward we were working for,’ explained the 15-year-old.
‘I just want to thank SA Sailing, the SA Kitesurfing Association, all my sponsors and especially my mom and dad who helped on the journey to get me here.
‘It’s such a huge opportunity that I can’t decide what I will enjoy more, but probably seeing and feeling and experiencing a new culture would be my favourite thing to do.’
With kiteboarding set to be added to the senior Olympic programme for Paris 2024, this will also be the first time it’s contested at the youth version of the global showpiece. And Gouws has just one goal in mind: ‘I hope to walk away knowing that I gave it my best.’
A lack of windy conditions has proved something of a challenge in the talented teenager’s preparations for the Games.
‘Without wind in SA it was hard to train on the water, but I trained really hard off the water, and kept my health and fitness up. We did go to Mozambique to train and it was successful but I wish SA had more wind,’ she admitted.
The SA team left Johannesburg for Argentina on Tuesday, with the sailing events due to get underway on Sunday.
For Gouws, who will be competing in the IKA Twin Tip Racing class, reaching the Youth Olympics was a goal in itself, but there’s plenty more she’s out to achieve.
‘The long-term goal is to reach the point of perfection, although I am well aware there is always something that a person can do to improve. I will still strive for that point, knowing it can never be fully reached.’
That is part of the appeal of the sport – along with the exhilaration it offers. What’s there not to love? I love everything, the thrill, adrenaline and family it created is just amazing,’ reckons Gouws.
‘It’s not just a sport, it’s a lifestyle, and you either have a passion for it or you don’t. You just have to commit and enjoy every second you’re on the water.’

(Article from


PHOTO: Gouws doing what she loves best, by Maio Arias