Situated between Port Elizabeth and Knysna on the way to the Garden Route, the friendly seaside area of St. Francis is the ideal base for visitors wanting to explore the Garden Route, Addo Elephant Park and many of the other Big 5 game reserves in the beautiful surrounding area. The hospitality of St. Francis Bay makes it a great place for you and your family to base yourselves while you explore the Eastern Cape coast.
The area of St. Francis
St. Francis consists of three areas: Cape St. Francis, Port St. Francis and St. Francis Bay.
Cape St. Francis is located about 15 kilometres west of Oyster Bay and is home to the historical Seal Point Lighthouse, the tallest masonry tower on the South African coastline. Guided tours to the top of the lighthouse offer visitors information about the area, the construction of the lighthouse, and the shipwrecks that are visible along the coast.
Cape St. Francis is a popular surfing spot for locals and tourists alike. The unspoilt beaches played host to the surfing documentary, The Endless Summer, and were described as the site of “ten-million-to-one” surfing waves.
As the focal point between Cape St. Francis and St. Francis Bay, Port St. Francis harbours many interesting little shops and the seafood restaurants which guarantee the freshest calamari, caught locally everyday. While leisurely enjoying your meal you can have a look-see at the numerous long-line and commercial vessels, fishing boats and leisure yachts entering the harbour.
Tourists from across the world flock to the magnificent upmarket village that distinguishes St. Francis Bay. The area has an aesthetic appeal which blends with the surrounding nature. Mediterranean styled homes line the Kromme River that navigates its way through St. Francis Bay all the way to Port St. Francis.
Entertainment and attractions
As one would expect, St. Francis Bay is surrounded by a vast number of attractions and activities. You can enjoy a stroll along one of the beaches, venture to the lighthouse, or enjoy a walk at sunset on the surrounding sand dunes.
Bird-lovers can venture to Birds of Eden in Knysna. This sanctuary is a unique dome that spans over two hectares and is the world’s largest. The dome was designed with the ability to synthesise short spells of rain and even thunder.
Children will enjoy monkey safaris at Monkeyland in Plettenberg Bay. Experienced game rangers give guided tours where the antics of primate species from around the world are visible in a natural environment, including howlers from South America and lemurs from Madagascar.
There are quite a few game reserves in the surrounding areas of St. Francis Bay. Enjoy day trips to these wildlife reserves, or spend a night or two at one of the upmarket private game reserves in the Addo Elephant National Park or other parts of the malaria-free Eastern Cape.
For the more adventurous, there are quite a few mountain biking trails to get the heart rate pumping. Otherwise, deep-sea fishing trips or river and canal cruises can be organised. Kite-sailing, sandboarding and quad-biking are also available and for the adrenalin-junkies, bungy jumping and a bridge swing option at the 65 meter high Gourits River Bridge.
For something more relaxing, indulge in one of the ultimate relaxation body therapies at the Bush Spa at The Dunes, for pure, organic body bliss. The body therapies are all created with a blend of indigenous and herbal ingredients, and the fragrances infused from flowers and plants from the surrounding area to give an African-inspired spa experience.
According to African beliefs, the feeling of being one with nature has always been a positive one, and after experiencing a treatment at the Bush Spa, one can definitely expect to share in the tranquillity of this belief. Each treatment begins with a floral-infused footbath, followed by the ultimate in body bliss: the Magical Moonlit Massage. The combination of aromatherapy oils and floral fragrances are sure to set mind, body and spirit at ease.
Whether looking for a bit of adventure, quality time with your family or just a bit of rest and relaxation, the beautiful St. Francis Bay is sure to meet every expectation, leaving visitors well rested and feeling refreshed! Stay at The Dunes – a hospitable family-owned retreat on a 600-hectare estate of flourishing indigenous gardens and coastal fynbos. This is a haven for nature enthusiasts and those in search of a peaceful setting in which to unwind. Enjoy walks over pristine sand dunes into a reserve where indigenous fauna and flora thrive, or enjoy splendid horse trails in the area.
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