The quaint and serene town of St. Francis Bay can easily be assumed to be one of the Eastern Cape’s best-kept secrets, with its distance from the province’s capital, one can hardly hear the horns of the cars and maritime ships.
Home to just over 2000 people, St. Francis Bay is a simple fishing town that popular for its canal, its architectural black and white styled homes, and its most popular characteristic - their white gold (aka calamari). Although the town is small, there is still a lot to experience and explore.
Apart from their fishery business, St. Francis is home to the luxury and very popular St. Francis Links - a golf course that was designed by former professional golfer Jack Nicklaus and is used by golfers both inside and outside of the country.
After the large fire of 2012 which destroyed a total of 76 homes, the bay has rebuilt itself quite remarkably and continues to attract a wide amount of tourists to its shores - which features the occasional pod of dolphin deep in the ocean. Along with the golf course, visitors are given the opportunity to go on hiking trails near the port of St. Francis, where visitors get to see Khoisan fish traps, whales, bushbucks and other wildlife and flora.
Being a port town, St. Francis Bay is very well known for its occasional sightings of whales and penguins in Bluewater Bay, two marine species that the town has tried to protect with the threat of climate change and overfishing affecting both populations. The town was another popular destination for surfers, who may know the bay’s waves as Bruce’s Beauties (based on the surfing film - The Endless Summer - directed by Bruce Brown) at Seal Point.
St. Francis Bay is a destination that is perfect for the traveller that seeks to get away from the bustling city life, or the traveller who desires to interact with Bruce’s Beauties, or for the traveller who simply wants to marvel at the natural beauty that the town has to offer. It really is one of Eastern Cape’s best-kept secret.IOL