Along the gorgeous Eastern Cape coastline of South Africa lie Port St Francis, St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis, all of which are within close proximity to one another, creating the more general destination known as St Francis.
Although this is not within the formal boundaries of the world-famous Garden Route, it certainly is within the greater area, which stretches between Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape and Cape Town in the Western Cape.
Much of the natural beauty and allure of St Francis comes from the pristine beaches, warm waters and ideal surfing waves. Locals are friendly and relaxed and the entire area exudes a pervasive holiday vibe. Even the locals look like they are on a permanent vacation.
There are loads of nature reserves in this part of the world, making this a particularly popular spot for those that love to be outdoors.
In terms of surfing, the international hotspot, Jeffrey’s Bay, is about 25 minutes’ drive away from St Francis. This entire coastal stretch offers amazing waves that range from challenging to those that are ideal for beginners. Therefore, visitors that can hold their own on a board are urged to bring their surfboards and wetsuits along.
The following attractions and activities are a must when visiting St Francis:
- Seal Point Lighthouse – a historical monument and a testimony to the mariners’ trials of yesteryear. This beautiful lighthouse has been the subject of many a painting and photograph for its eerie isolation and peaceful consistency.
- Watersports – take advantage of the warm Indian Ocean and the miles of white sandy beaches by sailing, swimming, surfing, SCUBA diving, snorkelling or windsurfing.
- Visit the Kromme River for a day of rest and relaxation. There are formal boat and canoe trips conducted along its waters, but you may prefer to go it alone if you have the right equipment.
- Hike the Blowhole Hiking Trail through the Irma Booysens Flora Reserve.
- Visit the Penguin Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre and support their awesome initiatives to treat injured penguins and try to get them ready to live in the wild again.
- Nature reserves to visit include the Cape St Francis Nature Reserve, the Seal Point Nature Reserve and the Seal Bay Nature Reserve.
- The St Francis Links Golf Course was designed by Jack Nicklaus and has won awards for its beautiful layout, stunning views and challenging 18-hole course.