Area guide to Port St Johns

Private Property South Africa
Private Property Reporter

Filled with majestic flora and fauna, and picture-perfect mountain ranges surrounded by dense forests, Port St Johns is anything but boring.

The coastal town of Port St Johns is a small town gem untouched by large crowds or large-scale urbanisation.

Located along South Africa’s picturesque Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape, Port St Johns sits at the opening of the Umzimvubu River, one of the most important rivers in the country. The 400 kilometre long waterway has a rainfall catchment area of almost 20,000 kilometres squared, and flows in a south easterly direction through of a magnificent gorge, known as the Gates of St John, and into the Indian Ocean.

Background

Port St Johns has a rich history dating back to the 1800’s. Home to some of the Wild Coast’s biggest, havoc-wreaking waves, the town’s coastline has seen numerous ships meet their fate by being caught up in stormy conditions, ultimately being dumped onto the rocks. The most famous being the Grosvenor, a 729 tonne ship whose life was cut short a mere 43 kilometres away from Port St Johns after embarking on its return to England.

The town’s earliest inhabitants were of the Xhosa tribe, more specifically the Mthwa clan, who still reside in the town today. After being colonised by a small group of British traders in the mid 1800’s, Port St Johns remained as a Cape Colony until 1976, when the Apartheid government gave over control of the area to Chief K.D. Matanzima. Post Apartheid the town has enjoyed the freedom and prosperity that came with democracy. Today the town is still filled to the brim with Xhosa culture, from traditional healers to local music.

Property market

Mainly popular as a holiday town, Port St Johns is also home to a small number of permanent residents. With only 3,630 adults, 88% of existing homeowners have lived there for 11 years or more. Of these stable owners, 45% are of pensionable age (65 years or older). Interestingly, while the majority of long-term residents are in their senior years, the majority (60%) of recent buyers are classified as young adults, aged between 18 and 35 years. There are currently no buyers of pensionable age in the town. Port St Johns currently offers only freehold homes, with the average price rising from R725,000 in 2008, to R1 million in 2018.

Attractions

Port St Johns is the perfect location for adventurers and nature lovers. Home to a number of wildlife reserves, majestic mountains, dense forests and mangrove swamps, residents and tourists alike will not be lacking in the activity department:

  • Hiking: Port St Johns is a hiker’s paradise. From Silaka Nature Reserve to Eagles Nest, and Hluleka Wildlife Reserve, there are numerous trails to take in around these breathtaking nature-filled hotspots.

  • Beaches: First beach, Long beach, Poenskop beach, Mtentu beach and Lubanzi beach all offer its visitors plenty of opportunity for fishing, swimming, walking, hiking and surfing on their pristine shores.

  • Dining out: Moonshadow restaurant, News Café and Jesters Coffee shop all provide a mix of local and international cuisine to suit the tastes of all their patrons, from woodfired pizza, and traditional Xhosa dishes, to delicious homemade pies.

Port St Johns’ strong blend of Xhosa and British cultural heritage makes it a town both interesting and fun for anyone. Whether you’re in for quiet retirement, action packed holiday or slow, scenic trip, Port St Johns caters for all those things. The town may be small, but its offering is far from it.

Looking to sell your home?
Advertise your property to millions of interested buyers by listing with Private Property now!
List your home privately

Share:

Found this content useful?

Get the best of Private Property's latest news and advice delivered straight to your inbox each week

Related Articles

Buyers Guide to East London
The coastal town of East London is a beautiful place to buy a home. Here’s why.
Buyer’s Guide: Graaff Reinet
If you’re interested in buying a home in the tranquil Karoo town of Graaff Reinet in the Eastern Cape, we have compiled this buyer’s guide for you.
Insiders guide to the PE property market
There is a lot that buyers need to consider when looking to purchase property in Port Elizabeth. This is a brief guide to some key property trends observed since 2008.

Explore neighbourhoods mentioned in this article

East London
Taking it easy in East London
East London, Oos-Londen, eMonti. It is a one-of-a-kind, beautiful, diverse city that lies between the Nahoon and Buffalo Rivers, that lead up to the warm Indian Ocean. East London’s economy is built on its industrial centre, which is the second largest in the Eastern Cape, and is recognised for its motor industry. It is also known as the business hub of the Transkei area, with many daily commuters coming in and out for work. Over the weekend you can put your feet up and relax, as just around the corner from the hustle and bustle lies the magnificent East Coast. With camping, game drives and a wide selection of holiday resorts along the beaches, there are endless adventures waiting to be discovered.
;