Cape St Francis

Let the waves carry you where the light cannot.

Welcome to my sometimes home and every summer vacation. Cape St Francis is a relatively “new” town and is still a relatively undiscovered corner of South Africa. It used to be a very small fisherman’s town, hosting only the lighthouse keepers as permanent residence. My parents use to drive the then gravel road, set up tents and live their best diving life. Since it was discovered – by more than just divers, surfers and hippies – it became a destination of note.

Seal Point Lighthouse

Seal Point lighthouse is one of my favourite spots. We own one of the small (and oldest standing) fisherman’s houses on the wild side, so the walk to the light house is a costal walk through nature reserve. Every step is breathtakingly beautiful and thrilling. It is along this trail that we frequently spotted dolphins, otters, whales, turtles, seals, penguins and so much more of nature’s best creations. The lighthouse stand tall at 27,75m and is the tallest masonry lighthouse of South Africa. Another fun fact is that it actually sits on the South Easternmost point of Africa.

Seal Point lighthouse was built in 1878 and is still operational today. Its fog signal has become a sound of comfort over the years and the rotating light shines into my room. During peak season you can even go up the stairs to enjoy a 360 view of the natural beauty surrounding the lighthouse. I highly recommend stepping it. The funds goes towards various charities. Be careful of those unexpected winds.

Sunset Rock

Cape St Francis is famous for its sunsets. So much so that they have an entire rock dedicated to it! Each sunset is strikingly beautiful and no one sunset is the same.

Sunset Rock, however, gets very crowded over peak season. All the tourists and surrounding town’s locals come here to fight for their spot to watch the sun set on yet another day. Although sunset rock is epic, you will find me just a little bit down. I take my sunsets with a glass of wine and without crowds. I have a secret spot on the wild side where I watch the sky change colour.

Fresh Fish

The best thing about Cape St Francis is that you are guaranteed to have fresh fish every time. Coming from a family of spearfishers I am the worst kind of fish snob there is – I had yellow tail for breakfast since I was a toddler. But even if you do not come from a family of divers or speeros you have so many options for great seafood dining. Most restaurants here receive their fish fresh from the boats. So much so that the Chokka Block Restaurant used to boast that they don’t have a fridge – just don’t ever eat crab there. Other great places is the Greek Taverna, De Viswijf, and a personal favourite – Die Walskipper. This latter is a restaurant next to the ocean. Expect the floor to be covered in seasand and a real cozy vibe with ocean views. You will not be leaving there until at least one bottle of wine has fallen.

Cape St Francis modern Coastal Collection and more traditional Trade Winds will become favorites for breakfast where you can rub shoulders with the locals.

Spearfishing

As mentioned previously Cape St Francis is a Spearfishers dream – that is if you are lucky enough to catch the ocean on a good day. I will not be sharing my spearfishing spots here (a girl still needs some secrets), but if you want to go spearfishing and need a pointer, drop me a message.

Surfing

Cape St Francis were made famous by its surf. It makes you feel like you are living an endless summer. It has also been the inspiration for movies both local and international. It boasts of perfect days, waves and surfers. It hosts competitions like the Billabong Pro and World Surf League. I took a board to water for the first time at Cape St Francis with the Roxy Learn To Surf program. We have also seen some amazing things while in the water. Last year a huge blue whale brought her calve into the bay. They chilled there and interacted with some of the surfers before going on their way again.

Johnson’s Pool

The secret is out. One annoying local just had to share this with their friends. How does the saying go? Two can keep a secret if one is dead. We locals were able to keep Johnson’s pool one of our best kept secrets for years, but it is becoming a favorite hangout for those who don’t like sand. It is my favorite hiding place when the wind drives me off the beach.

These crystal clear pools are heaven on a hot day and full of life so definitely worth bringing your snorkel along. The best time to go? Well that’s a secret I won’t tell.

Nature Reserve

The locals at Cape St Francis really invest in the surrounding nature reserve. There are the most pristine hiking trials. Pack suncream and a hat and you are good to go. We had the most amazing sightings of bushbuck, caracal, porcupines and recently Nyalas. However remember that this is a nature reserve and you are just as likely to encounter a snake than you are to stumble onto a turtle.

Surroundings

The best thing about Cape St Francis is that is surrounded by other gems that add to this entire experience. If you are lucky enough to have ample time to explore the surrounding areas, may I suggest:

The Strip-tease Trail,

Jeffreys bay,

Baviaans Kloof

Cake at the Chameleon

The Garden Route

Addo Elephant park

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