This is a beautiful coastal walk from Jongensfontein to Stilbaai. The trail is easy to follow as you are never more than 20 metres from the water’s edge following the path or simply walking along the beach. The terrain varies between narrow trails through the dune scrub, boulder hopping, and soft sandy beaches.

Jongensfontein Beach
Jongensfontein Beach

Getting there: start at the water’s edge in front of the Jongensfontein Caravan Park.
Difficulty: easy coastline walk

The distance is 9km as the crow flies but is more like 12km as you hug the shoreline. Take time to explore the rock pools. You will pass along the coastal limits of both the Jongensgat Private Nature Reserve and the Skulpiesbaai Nature Reserve.

You will pass the “Visvyvers” (fish traps). These stone enclosures were used to trap fish washed into the stone enclosures at high tide and then trapped by the receding tide. You can see similar fish traps near Arniston, though the ones here seem better defined (in fact we wondered if people had been adding to them in recent times).

Oil exploration plaque, Stilbaai
Oil exploration plaque, Stilbaai

You will also pass this curious plaque:

Olieboor Terrein

Op hierdie terrein het ene W.R. van As met ‘n primitiewe houtraam-boormasjien reeds in die vroee 1920’s vir olie geboor. Op ‘n diepte van circa 40 meter is daar wel ‘n swart, olierige vloeistof raakgeboor, dog dit was helaas nie olie nie! Soekor het uiteindelik 70 jaar later wel ekonomie-onginbare ru-olie en petroleumgas raakgeboor in die see ±100km suid van Stilbaai.

On this site one W.R. van As drilled for oil during the early 1920’s with the aid of a relatively primitive wooden framed drilling machine. At a depth of about 40 meters a black, oily fluid was struck but, sadly, it was not oil. Another 70 odd tears passed before the exploration company, Soekor found crude oil and petroleum gas in economically viable quantities in the sea circa 100km south of Stilbaai.

We wondered if there was any connection to MOSSGAS which is further along the coast.

We were picked up at the other end in the nature reserve parking lot, but you could just as easily continue to the Stilbaai Harbour.

By David

Outdoor adventure enthusiast living on the Garden Route.

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