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The secret is out! Jongensfontein is one of only a few places still largely unaffected by progress and now is the time to visit. With a single road entry, this tiny resort village in the Western Cape of South Africa is remote enough to fully appreciate an unhurried vacation, free of distractions and surrounded by natural vegetation and white, sandy beaches. Even Google Maps street views do not extend into the village.
The area was named by Dutch sailors in the early 1700s after discovering young Khoi men gathered around a natural spring. The area was referred to as Swarte Jongens Fonteyn (black youth fountain) and later shortened to Jongensfontein. Up until 1951, the only access to Jongensfontein was via a pont over the Goukou River.
Jongensfontein is located on the Garden Route, one of South Africa’s premier tourist destinations.
In some ways, time has stood still in Jongensfontein. Here, good neighbourliness is evident and strong family and community bonds are values held dear.
Top 6 reasons to visit Jongensfontein
1. Take a stroll down to the beach to swim, surf the point breaks and soak up some rays. Whales travel through the area and dolphins and seals are regular visitors to Jongensfontein beach.
2. Hike the route from Jongensfontein to Stilbaai. The trail passes through the Jongensgat and Skulpiesbaai nature reserves where the fauna is absolutely pristine with an abundance of birdlife and various small mammals. Explore the rock pools and coves along the way.
3. The Jongensfontein Info Centre is located in an historic home built from surrounding rocks. Called Fonteinhuisie (small fountain house), it includes an interesting museum displaying unusual items recovered from the sea.
4. Drive out to the Inverroche Distillery for a gin tasting. These unique gins are created from fynbos plants and the water drawn from underground aquifers. The gins are left to mature in a natural underground cave and any solid waste is returned to the fields to enrich the soils.
5. Riverboat cruises are offered up the Goukou River which is navigable for 17km. The boat captain drops anchor to allow some time to swim in the river. For the more adventurous, boat operators offer high-speed power boat trips from the Stilbaai harbour up to Lappiesbaai, 12km up the coast.
6. For a true African culture and food experience, a Cook-up with Kamamma (Kamamma meaning Family Matriarch) in the nearby Melkhoutfontein Township involves a traditional meal in a private home followed by a revealing tour of the area.
The nearest airport is George Airport, 130km from Jongensfontein. Flights arrive in George via Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg. There is an airstrip in Stilbaai 16km away, for charted flights. Car rental agencies are based at the airports or in George’s town centre, otherwise order a rental online and collect at the most convenient location. Shuttle service and tour operators offer transport between the airports, main centres and Jongensfontein.
Did you know?
In Jongensfontein you can try your hand at Jukskei, a centuries-old game played using wooden pins and a peg. The object of the game is to try and knock over a peg using the pins. Jukskei is an officially recognised sport.
Many of the rivers in the area fall under strict conservation laws; the estuaries are so sensitive that it is illegal to collect bait using spades and garden forks.