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This beautiful old fishing village, still relatively untouched by over development, is situated on the longest continuous stretch of white sand coastline in the Southern Hemisphere. With its neighbouring communities, Hotagterklip, Molshoop and other Overberg towns, Struisbaai is a very popular holiday destinations.
There are differences of opinion about where Struisbaai’s name originated from. Some say it comes from “Strawbay” because of the original fishermen’s cottages along the beach that had thatch roofs. Others believe it comes from the Dutch word “struisvogel”, that means ostrich. These large birds can be found all over, roaming with cattle and sheep in the area. Legend also has it that the town was called Struisbaai after an old Dutch word meaning “huge”, revering to the large, white beach.
Today, many of the locals are still fishermen using the towns beautiful, characteristic harbour to go to sea in their small fishing boats. Visitors can buy fresh fish directly on the harbour when the fishing boats come in with their catch of the day. The harbour was built in 1959 and was enlarged in 1990. Today, it is used by fishing boats as well as ski boats.
Although Struisbaai was originally a fishing village, today, it is best known as holiday destination with a huge variety of attractions and activities. Fishermen’s cottages at Hotagterklip have been declared national monuments and are used in many pictures and paintings by South African artists. The Anglican Church with its thatch roof has also been restored and declared a national monument and is beautiful to visit.
The longest, uninterrupted white beach in the Southern Hemisphere? It’s right here at Struisbaai – all 14 kilometres of it! Struisbaai beach is a wonderful walking beach with safe swimming. The quaint, bustling fishing harbour attracts photographers and artists alike and is an impressive sight when the fishing boats come in. Most of their catch is destined for community supper tables and restaurants in the area.
There are lots of activities for those that want to do more than spending their tranquil days on the white sandy beach. The whale watching season is from July to December. For the scuba divers out there, Struisbaai have some spectacular wreck diving sites. There is also a Shipwreck museum at Bredasdorp. The hiking trails and wonderful fynbos nature reserves will keep those busy with a love of walking in nature during their holiday. The Overberg wine route will have some of the best coastal wines available in South Africa.