The Bay Of Sleeping Beauty

Still Bay  also known as the Bay of Sleeping Beauty, is a town along the southern coast of South Africa about four hours drive by car from Cape Town. It is part of the Hessequa Local Municipality in the Western Cape province and it is a stunning little town with incredible beautiful nature surroundings. Whether you are looking for a town to rest and rejuvenate or something more action packed with hiking trails and water sports , this town is for you.


The Freshwater Eels At Still Bay

The freshwater eels at the Still Bay Information Bureau are the only tame eels in the country. You can visit the Still Bay Tourism Bureau housed in the Palinggat Homestead in Still Bay where you will see the eels, fed in the fountain adjacent to the Tourism Bureau. There are four species of freshwater eels in South Africa. These freshwater eels belong to the Anquilla genus of the family Anquillidae. The eels in the Palinggat Fountain have been living here for the past 125 years. These eels move to a specific area in the ocean to mate and spawn. The larvae are carried to the mainland of Africa by ocean currents. Two of these species are living in the spring at The Palinggat Homestead – the Mossambica (Longfin eel) and the Marmorata (Madagascar mottled eel). There are about 10 to 15 eels that live deep in the rock pools and they are very shy.

The environment at The Palinggat Fountain seems to be ideal for the eels. Nowhere else in the country are so many eels concentrated in one secluded space nor as tame as the "Palinggat" eels. They are cherished by the staff of the Tourism Bureau and are hand-fed daily on chicken livers which is open for viewing by the public.

Fifteen species of Anguilla comprise the Anguillidae. These can be grouped into tropical and temperate species on the basis of coastal and freshwater distribution, and of proximity of those distributions in continental waters to the spawning areas. Two temperate species occur in the North Atlantic Ocean, one in the North Pacific, and two in the South Pacific. Eight tropical species are all distributed in the western Pacific and Indian Oceans. Two species extend from the tropics into temperate zones, one in the South Pacific and one in the Indian Ocean. All species require warm, saline, offshore water for successful reproduction. Appropriate currents must be present to transport the larvae toward continental waters. The widely distributed, temperate species use anticyclonic, subtropical gyres for spawning and use associated western boundary currents for distribution of larvae. The European eel is unusual in having its continental distribution on the eastern side of an ocean basin.

The conservation status of three species of Anguilla have been assessed by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature)