Oyster Bay is a small seaside village located along the famous Garden Route of South Africa. Nestled within the Eastern Cape, this town is approximately 125 kilometres from Port Elizabeth, Nelson Mandela Bay, and just outside Humansdorp, St Francis and Jeffrey’s Bay. This makes it central and convenient to access, despite being tucked away in quiet solitude. The Garden Route is the official coastal route between the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape, and is renowned for its exquisite vistas as well as the many towns and villages through which it passes.
This area is known by seamen as it forms a ‘corner’ on which ships need to change their course. This has led to the wreckage of several vessels along this coast. The area now known as Oyster Bay was once a farm called Graskop. Today, though, it comprises well over 400 plots as well as a holiday resort and an outlet for living essentials. To reach it, visitors and residents must travel on dirt roads that are lined by the Eastern Cape’s coastal vegetation.
While there are permanent residents staying in Oyster Bay, it is very popular as a destination for holiday homes. Its appeal lies largely in its isolation from modern epicentres and its rustic approach to coastal living. The vast majority of the homes are situated within easy walking distance from the beach, inviting visitors and residents to take advantage of this superb proximity by refreshing themselves in the waters of the warm Indian Ocean, or lazing under the warm South African sun alongside the sea.
The beach itself is spectacular – boasting long stretches of unspoilt sand, gorgeous rock formations and great waves. Having this natural gem so close and easily accessible means that Oyster Bay is fabulous for young and old, couples, families and lone surfers seeking solace from the bustle of city life.
The rip currents can be strong in this area of the coast and bathers need to be very careful at all times, never leaving children unattended. The waters are fabulous for fishing, though, and avid fishermen can look forward to catching mackerel, mullet, steenbras, tuna and many others, including a range of game fish. Fishers will enjoy rock fishing, deep sea fishing or simply standing in the surf and waiting for that tug on the reel.
Oyster Bay is the home of two ecological sites, unique for their beauty and value. The one is the wind-rift dune ridges and the other is the gorgeous Dune Fynbos. Fynbos was originally found only in South Africa, but has now been introduced to certain areas in Australia. The ridges run parallel to one another and are dated at between 5000 and 13 000 years old. They have been declared a National Priority Dune Area, which means that there are certain laws dealing with the protection of these valuable resources. Dune Fynbos is currently endangered, being granted a Critical status in terms of conservation.
Oyster Bay is, really, a secluded hideaway, full of fascinating surprises.