St Francis Bay
The two main towns situated closest to Jeffrey’s Bay are Humansdorp and St Francis (which includes Cape St Francis and St Francis Bay). Humansdorp is situated around the inland mountains, while St Francis enjoys the beauty of the coast. It takes approximately 10 minutes to drive to Humansdorp and a further 15 to 20 minutes to reach St Francis from Jeffrey’s Bay.
Humansdorp is a small town, mainly centred on around the farming industry. It is known for its beautiful tree-lined streets and old houses. It also enjoys its prime positioning at the foot of the Kouga Mountain Range, which lends it a natural allure that is not easily rivalled. This region boasts many types of fauna and flora, the most significant of which is fynbos, which is endemic to South Africa (although some alien species have recently taken root in certain areas of Australia).
There have been over 2000 recorded species of fynbos in the Humansdorp area alone. Apart from the proliferation of plants and animals, the vistas provided by these surrounds are breath-taking, delighting the senses.
Humansdorp is a convenient stop-over as it is situated along the scenic Garden Route, one of South Africa’s most famous roads, which winds along the coast and promises spectacular views. When visiting Humansdorp, tourists may also want to see the nearby Noorsekloof and Kabeljous nature reserves.
Cape St Francis Lighthouse
St Francis, St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis all make up the greater St Francis area. This is an exclusive village that is home to some of the country’s most impressive houses, many of which are dotted along the beachfront or the exquisite man-made canal. They are characterised by their rustic thatch roofs and white-washed walls.
St Francis is essentially a fishing village, and its quaint harbour is in full operation throughout the year. Fishermen arrive daily with their productive hauls, fresh from the Indian Ocean. St Francis also boasts intriguing shops, fabulous eateries and many accommodation providers, tailored especially to the increasing number of tourists who recognise the value of this gorgeous getaway.
The beaches of St Francis are perfect for long days spent lazing in the cool waters, or for slightly more energetic water sports, such as surfing, skiing, fishing and sailing. The UV rays of the sun are damaging, particularly in a sunny province like South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Do not go out into the sun for extended periods between 10h00 and 14h00. Always use a high-factor sunscreen in combination with a sunhat, sunglasses and light cotton clothing that covers the neck, shoulders, arms and legs.
Popular tourist attractions in and around this coastal getaway include the Penguin Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, the Seal Point Lighthouse and the Cape St Francis Nature Reserve. This reserve exposes an interesting mix of dune vegetation, fynbos and tall milkwoods. Such diversity calls for many different animal- and bird species to take up their residence in this varied foliage, creating an area of rich assortment. Whale watching is particularly popular in St Francis during winter and spring (roughly between June and December). Humpbacks and Southern Rights slap the water with their tails and play in the warm Indian Ocean waters with their young, proving to be a most rewarding spectacle for young and old alike.
Being in such close proximity to Jeffrey’s Bay places both Humansdorp and St Francis in excellent positioning for visitors to the Eastern Cape who are visiting the area to take advantage of its pristine beaches, world-famous waves or year-round temperate conditions.