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.
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.