ST FRANCIS BAY AS A HOLIDAY DESTINATION
Touted as South Africa’s answer to ‘little Venice’ and set on the shores of the Indian Ocean, just south of Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape, St Francis Bay has to be one of the most beautiful spaces on this part of the coast with its series of little man-made canals and waterways that lend themselves perfectly to boating, swimming and other water sports.
Leighton Hulett started the town from a fishing camp of thatched rondavels, and friends who came to stay were so enchanted with the place, that they asked to be able to buy a piece of ground to build a place of their own. His insistence on a specific style of architecture, preserving character, ensured the development of a village that is quite unique. A harmonious blend of homes, set against a background of azure sea, linked by canals by a wide river, white beaches and lush greenery.
St Francis Bay is the playground of dolphins, whales and the wealthy and to many the first thought that jumps to mind when they hear about St Francis is the perfect wave showcased in the iconic '66 surf movie, The Endless Summer. Today Bruce's Beauties is only one of the famous surfing spots in St Francis Bay, as Seals is the place to be for the surfers from Cape St Francis.
The quiet fishing haven of Oyster Bay lies some 20km to the west, while the agricultural capital of the region, Humansdorp, is visible to the north.
It gets pretty tricky around here to remember just which St Francis you’re in. The bay also includes Santareme and Port St Francis, where the building style uniformity is repeated, this time with Mediterranean and Tuscan homes filling in the dune fields and fynbos.
Cape St Francis is known as keeping it clean and green, where you will find the century old Seal Point Lighthouse and a penguin rehabilitation facility amongst the fynbos and wild waves. The Irma Booysen Flora Reserve lies close by and offers some wonderful opportunities to see local fynbos. Otherwise, your time is given over to pleasure, eco and river cruises, surfing, swimming and generally enjoying the good life.