The Coastal Gateway gives travellers the chance to see and experience the diversity in nature, landscape, culture and lifestyles that South Africa has to offer. The route stretches along the eastern coast and includes the larger Bay of St Francis, which consists of the villages of St Francis Bay, Cape St Francis and Port St Francis. It also links to Jeffrey’s Bay, Paradise Beach, Aston Bay, Oyster Bay and the rural town of Humansdorp.
Reasons to visit:
Each town or village has its own unique character and is worth a visit. The coastal gateway is located in a biodiversity-rich area known as the Cape Floral Kingdom and provides ample opportunities for birding.
A good spot for birding is along the Kromme River estuary, which is easily accessible from the N2 via Humansdorp. There are trails along the coast which link the two villages of St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis, with pathways that cross through the Irma Booysen Floral Reserve.
Cape St Francis is a resort town with numerous restaurants and pubs and is known for its world-class surf reef and point break. It is popular due to its beautiful stretch of beaches extending from Seal Point to Shark Point. Seal Point is a reputable surfing spot that was featured in the iconic surf movie, ‘The Endless Summer.’
The area also boasts a number of nature reserves that include the Irma Booysen Nature Reserve, Seal Point Nature Reserve, Seal Bay Nature Reserve and Cape St Francis Nature Reserve. The coastal fynbos flowers in August make this an optimal time of year to visit. The Sand River also has underlying secrets as it transports about 80,000 cubic meters of sand from Oyster Bay to St Francis Bay annually.