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

Blombos Museum of Archaeology

This little specialised museum is dedicated to presenting to the public, the stone age history of the area and specifically, the findings at the Blombos Cave and the work carried out by Professor Chris Henshilwood.

Odds & Ends

Odds & Ends This gem of a secondhand store located in Stilbaai East will ensure hours of treasure hunting amongst

Whale Watching

Also known as the Whale Nursery of South Africa, with the largest concentration of Southern Right whales who return here

Anglo-Boer War Memorial

A memorial was erected next to the road in 2001, exactly 100 years after the most southerly battle of the

Palinggat Homestead

The iconic homestead in the hart of Stilbaai was originally built in 1809 and after it burnt down, rebuilt by

Kasselshoop Cheese

Kasselshoop's traditional cheese is produced on the Kasselman family farm, Klein Soebattersvlakte.  The farm is situated on route to Stilbaai,