Things to do

Along the river

Cycling along the river.  There is a paved road for about 2,8 km from the bridge along the river. There after it turns into a well maintained gravel road.  This is a very popular road for cyclists enjoying the scenary. 

Even a morning walk or run along the river is a great experience.  As we are 1.9km from the bridge one of our guests took a morning run to the “Brug stories cafe” to buy bread and run back!!

Bring along the camera or binoculars for the birds that are indigenous to the fynbos. Underneath you will find information about the different birds.

If you are here in August/September you will find a lot of vygies and daysies in bloom.  It may not be like the Namaqualand but the Western Cape has its own beauty represented in the fynbos.

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Swimming and braai facilities

Take the little path behind Bougainvillea house that descends to the river.  There is a little “beach” at low tide where the children can play and even swim in the river.  While the mother is keeping an eye on the children playing in the river, the dad can start the fire in the picnic spot.

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Rowing boats, canoes, paddleskis.

You are welcome to bring along these items.  Unfortunately Palmyra lies within a marine reserve and no skiing boats can be launched from here.  There is a facility in town that can be used.  Please enquire about the rules from the tourism bureau at Palinggat.

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Birding

Credit: Still Bay Trust

To date more than 250 different bird species have been positively identified in the Still Bay area!

The coastal belt and landward environment within a radius of 20km around Still Bay provide suitable shelter, food and nesting opportunities for a rich array of resident and migrant bird species.  With the 250 species positively identified it is noteworthy to note that the official bird lists for the Bontebok National Park and the De Hoop Nature Reserve contain respectively 194 and 235 species.

Reasons for the rich and diverse birdlife in and around Still Bay probable centre in the relatively mild climatic conditions with year round rainfall as well as the presence of the sea and coastal zone, the river and a wide range of habitats to be found in teh different plant communities occuring in the area.  These include salt matshes, riverine forest, dune fynbos, calacerous fynbos, Protea veld, Rhenosterbush veld, town parks and gardens, artificial pastures and grain and other cultivated crops.

Seabirds such as albatrosses, shearwaters, Storm Petrels, Gannets, Cormorants and the Jackass Penguin occur on the open sea.  Shore birds such as the Black Oystercatcher, Whitebreasted Cormorant, migrant plovers, gulls, terns and even the Ground Woodpecker occur mainly on the shoreline area, primary dunes and the adjacent rocky shore.

The salt marshes are the chosen habitat of inter alia the Sacred Ibis, Blacksmith Plover, African Spoonbill and a large variety of waders, some of which are migrant from as far as the icy wastes of Siberia.

The riverine bush and residual dune forests in the deep valleys of tributuaries to the river provide shelter to bush and forest birds such as the Rameron Pigeon, Tambourine Dove, Wood Owl, Knysna Woodpecker, Terrestrial BulBul, Sombre Bulbul, Cape Batis and various flycatchers.

In the thick reed and sedge beds along the river's edge a variety of reed and marsh warblers, apalises and cisticolas have been recorded, together with coucals, Black Crakes and flufftails.

On the open water and in the riverbed itself several species of wild duck, herons, kingfishers, Reed Cormorants, Darters, Egyptian Geese and even a few fish eagles may be seen.

The Protea veld of, for example Still Bay Heights and Victoriadale is the chosen habitat of the Sugar Bird, the Malachite Sunbird and of the Protea and Bully Canaries.  In the town itself there are noticeably many Cape Wagtails, Crowned Plovers, Rock Pigeons, Redeyed Doves, Turtle Doves, Laughing Doves, European starlings, bokmakieries, Cape francolins, Southern Boubou Shrikes, Cape Robins and Common Waxbills.

The cultivated land and open grass land or Rhenosterbush areas of the Ruensveld between the Langeberg Mountains and the sea constitute the habitat of choice for birds such as the Blackshouldered Kite, Jackal Buzzard, Rock Kestrel, Spurwing Goose, Greywing Partridge, Blue Crane, Stanley's Buzzard, Black Korhaan, Namaqua Dove, various lark and pipit species, the Black and Pied Crow, Wattled and Pied Starling, Bishop Bird and Yellowrumped Widow.

Source:  Birds of Still Bay, Guide No 3 U de V Pienaar