St Francis Bay is a town in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, a comfortable one and a half hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth. The natural beauty of the Eastern Cape is not confined to its land areas. Reefs of incomparable beauty and water that offers better colour at depth than anywhere else in the world are found just off the rugged coastlines of St Francis Bay.
Cape St Francis is 7 km’s from St Francis Bay. Bahia de Sâo Francisco ‘Bay of St Francis’, now St Francis Bay. This Portuguese name was given by Perestrelo to Golfo dos Pastores, ‘bay of the shepherds’.
St Francis Bay falls under the Kouga Local Municipality which is a Category B municipality situated in the Eastern Cape Province within the Sarah Baartman District Municipality. It comprises the coastal region and the fertile Gamtoos Valley, which also happens to be the gateway to the famous Baviaanskloof wilderness area. It is one of seven municipalities in the district.
The Gamtoos Valley is recognised as one of the prime exporting areas for citrus and avocado pears. It also competes with the best that South Africa has to offer with its potato crops. Port St Francis, situated in St Francis Bay, is home to the squid industry. The squid, normally referred to as ‘chokka’, is mainly export quality but is available locally as one of the area’s prized products.
Kouga has great development opportunities and astute businessmen and women can take advantage of the diverse economic heritage that the Kouga area offers to entrepreneurs. The seat of Kouga, Jeffreys Bay, is situated roughly 80 km’s from Port Elizabeth. The town is world-renowned for its ‘Supertubes’ surfing spot while ‘Bruce’s Beauties’ at Cape St Francis also attract surfers from all over the globe. The clean, safe beaches are exploited by many a tourist, with a large number making an annual pilgrimage to the sandy shores to enjoy a relaxed yet vibrant holiday.
Area: 2 670km²
Cities/Towns: Cape St Francis, Hankey, Humansdorp, Jeffreys Bay, Loerie, Oyster Bay, Patensie, St Francis Bay, Thornhill
The Kouga Local Municipality is located west of Nelson Mandela Bay. It consists of nine towns as above as well as various smaller settlements and agricultural nodes.
While Kouga has traditionally been characterised by economic activities largely focused on tourism and agriculture, the area has been positioning itself as one of the energy hubs of South Africa. Two wind farms are already in operation at Jeffreys Bay and Oyster Bay, and more are in the pipeline.
St Francis Bay Tourism
St Francis Bay, breath-taking landscape ideal for leisure cruises and photographic expeditions and the Gamtoos Valley, known as the fruit basket of the Eastern Cape are some of the highlights along this Route.
This little town in on the Kouga Route that offers the perfect getaway for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Surfing, bungy-jumping and wilderness are some of the highlights to be discovered.
Golf at The Links
Take a swing at St Francis Links Golf Course.
The Jack Nicklaus designed Golf Course gives you a top-notch playing experience in a breath-taking landscape. Your impeccable golfing esteem will appreciate the challenging golf course that uplifts your game.
Facilities at St Francis Links include the Clubhouse, Lighthouse Restaurant, Jack’s Bar and Pro Shop.
For more information visit http://www.stfrancislinks.com/links-golf/the-clubhouse.html.
The guided trail hike through St Francis Bay, Port St Francis, Cape St Francis and Oyster Bay leads you past fishing villages, a rugged coastline, sand dunes, a tidal river, protected fynbos, wetlands and many more beautiful spots. There is no better way to get know the area and to appreciate the landscape than through a hike.
Visit http://chokkatrail.co.za/ for route and package information.
SANCOB CAPE ST. FRANCIS CENTRE
SANCCOB is at the forefront of saving African penguins and other threatened seabirds.
Go on a tour of the SANCOB centre in St Francis and learn about:
- The African penguin and other threatened seabirds
- The rehabilitation process at SANCCOB
- Meet our home pen birds
- One on one with our ambassador birds
- Enjoy the sight of the iconic Seal Point lighthouse
- Adopt a penguin from SANCCOB Eastern Cape
Tours are weather permitting (as the Centre is not covered) and based on staff availability. Book your tour by contacting Louanne at firstname.lastname@example.org on 042 298 0160 / 083 874 3067.
Read more about the SANCCOB’s initiatives here: http://www.sanccob.co.za/?view=featured.