Historical Breakaway

Situated about 7km inland from the popular seaside holiday town of Stilbaai, Melkhoutfontein is certainly one of Hessequa’s most underrated gems. It was established as a fisherman’s settlement in the 1850s with its cute, white-washed and thatch-roofed houses quickly becoming its defining feature. The hamlet’s history took a controversial and unfortunate turn during Apartheid when it was set apart as a coloured residential area and segregated from Stilbaai, cutting it off from many economic opportunities.

Despite this setback, the community has managed to cling to its proud heritage and is now reaping the benefits of being one of the Southern Cape’s hotspots for unstaged, intra-cultural tourism experiences. Supported by Dutch NGO, the Dreamcatcher Foundation, Melhoutfontein offers a number of cultural activities, including a walkabout through the village, mouth-watering traditional cook-ups hosted by local women in their very own kitchens and homestays, giving visitors a peek into the everyday life of this warm-hearted community.  

quick facts

Name derived from all the trees (Melkhout bome) and fountains (fontyne) that used to be found in the area.

Population: 2 533

Congregation of St. Augustine’s Church established here in 1876.


Katrina Solomans

Telephone: +27 (0)28 754 3469

contact via email

not to miss

  • Renovated Anglican Church
  • Ancient graveyard
  • Home cooked meals
  • Local homestays
  • Community walkabout with locals
  • Various arts and crafts

useful links



Police: 10111

Anglican Church: +27 (0)28 754 1680

Ambulance: 10177

Hospital: +27 (0)28 754 1978

explore this town

Stilbaai- ‘n semi-finalis in Kwêla se Dorp van die jaar kompetisie 2017

Om as ‘n finalis aangewys te word, het ons jou stem voor eerskomende Dinsdag, 21 Maart 2017 om 14:00 nodig. SMS

Model Trains

It's hard to tell if this miniature country landscape creation of Chris Benade, complete with model trains whistling past, amazes the kids or the adults more.

Inverroche Distillery

Inverroche Distillery produces a range of uniquely South African spirits, which are distinguished by the fact that they are small batch, handcrafted products, incorporating a range of rare indigenous Cape Fynbos flora.

Namo Natural Health

Namo Natural Health is your number one stop in Hessequa for treatments and massages and they also have an exercise studio and carry a range of oils, teas and other beauty products.

Hand-fed Eels

The only place in South Africa where eels are hand-fed, come and see the interesting creatures up close at the Palinggat Homestead in Stilbaai.

Geelkrans Nature Reserve Hiking Trail

Explore indigenous vegetation and beautiful unspoilt coastline on this easy, 8 km circular hike through Geelkrans Nature Reserve.