Cape St Francis is a town in South Africa, situated on a headland in the Eastern Cape Province. It is popular for its clean beaches and as a surfing location. Given its geological location, it is susceptible to swell year round from large low pressure systems that form between Antarctica and the southern tip of Africa. When large south west swells wrap around Seal Point and the prevailing offshore winds come up, the surfing is world class.
Point Ekeberg former name of Cape St Francis. It was thus named by the Swedish traveller Anders Sparrman (1748-1820) after a kinsman of his, the Chevalier C G Ekeberg, member of the Swedish Academy of Sciences.
With exquisite beaches and a wide choice of sporting facilities there is more than just the sand, sea, sun and sport and Cape St Francis.
Cape St Francis Tourism
Cape St Francis is home to the:
- Cape St Francis Nature Reserve,
- Seal Point Nature Reserve,
- Seal Bay Nature Reserve and
- Irma Booysen Flora Reserve.
These reserves offer a fine variety of well marked walks. The importance of these areas being declared as nature reserves is due to South Africa’s extraordinarily rich plant and animal life. It is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, especially blessed in plant species, one of only six Plant or Floral Kingdoms in the world.
The Cape Floral Kingdom extends roughly from the Cape West Coast to Van Stadens River close to Port Elizabeth as well as inland, covering about 90 000 km² and home to 9 000 plant species, 70% of which grow nowhere else in the world (endemic to the Cape).
These plants are not scattered randomly across the landscape. Instead, from one hill to the next, different plant species grow together in their own communities. This means that the entire region is divided into these vegetation types, comprising plant species that grow in their particular area and nowhere else.
The St Francis Fynbos/Thicket Mosaic only grows on the lime-rich coastal sandy sites scattered between Tsitisikamma in the west and Port Elizabeth in the east. The conditions under which this vegetation type can grow is a relatively small area comprising 0.2% of the Cape region. Urbanisation, agriculture, forestry and alien plan invations has caused considerable damage and disturbance.
Much of our local Fynbos has been disturbed by alien plants and developments. As a result of this as well the threat of continued destruction, it has been classified as Critically Endangered and enjoys legislative protection. Animals you may see are bushbuck, grysbok, common duiker, bushpig, porcupine, vervet monkey, caracal, yellow and grey mongoose and the cape clawless otter.
You also see the rare African black oystercatcher and occasionally an endangered Jackass penguin. Bottlenose and common dolphins are often seen offshore and, from August to December, southern right whales may be spotted.
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Cape St Francis Nature Reserve
Cape St Francis nature reserve is situated on the scenic Cape south coast. It lies between Cape St Francis and St Francis Bay.
The nature reserve covers an area of about 120 hectares with a coastline of 3 km’s. The nature reserve includes a sandy beach, a rustic rocky point and beautiful sand dunes with a spectacular view over St Francis Bay.
Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve
Located just over 100 km’s form Cape St Francis
Top five reasons to visit
- The Baviaanskloof Mega-Reserve covers 200km of unspoiled mountainous terrain and thousand different plant species, including the Erica and Protea .
- Seven of South Africa’s eight biomes are represented within the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve – Fynbos, Forest, Grassland, Succulent Karoo, Nama-Karoo, Subtropical Thicket and Savanna.
- World Heritage Site status, the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve is home to the biggest wilderness area in the country and is also one of the eight protected areas of the Cape Floristic region.
- Diverse animal life includes Cape Leopard, Cape Buffalo, Kudu, Cape Mountain Zebra, Red Hartebeest, Bushbuck, Mountain Rhebuck, Eland and Baboon.
- Activities for adventure enthusiasts include mountain hiking, rock and mountain climbing, camping, wildlife photography, bird watching and scenic drives.