Take your Pick at the Bays of St Francis

Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

For those not familiar with the rich pickings of this wonderful Eastern Cape area, it is the kind of place that grows on you to the point of buying property in assuring regular family holidays.

The area comprises Cape St Francis, Port St Francis, St Francis Links Golf Estate, St Francis Bay and St Francis Field Residential Estate. Lying between between Oyster Bay and Jeffreys Bay along the Cape east coast, it falls within the Kouga Municipality and is located within easy travelling distances to nearby towns such as Humansdorp and Port Elizabeth.

The different locations of this area have something to offer everybody, from superb surfing conditions, to rich catches for fishermen, golfing for both experts and beginners and a simple relaxing lifestyle for all. Visitors and holiday home owners hail from afar, including well heeled business people who fly directly to their coastal doorsteps from upcountry.

Some properties on the canals in Cape St Francis are located just meters away from the spectacular coastline, that boasts jetties and moorings for boats and landing pads for helicopters. And at the nearby exclusive St Francis Field Estate residents are permitted to build hangers either on properties or adjacent to the runway to park their aircraft. Luxury homes here offer accommodation to extended families from afar, including those from the Eastern Cape farming community, who have invested here to return for regular holidays.

In addition to second home owners who rent out their homes there are a many permanent residents who live here for the slow lifestyle as well as retirement options . The picturesque village of Cape St Francis is where the Seal Point Lighthouse is perched on Seal Point, where the small population comprises surfers and nature lovers. The excellent surfing spot known as ‘Seals’ lures surfers travelling along the coast in search of the best waves. Although Cape St Francis is part of the same municipality as St Francis Bay and Jeffreys Bay, it is an independent town with its own local facilities that boasts an old fashioned culture of caring and sharing.

At the better known village of St Francis Bay, charming properties in a whitewash and thatch architectural style along the famous canals, originally created the strongest demand for holiday homes as it offers close proximity to waterways, lagoon and marina areas. The village’s central location offers a resident golf course, eateries and retail facilities, all within walking and short driving distances.

The more recent developments of Santareme and the quaint marina village of Port St Francis with a Mediterranean atmosphere are positioned centrally between St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis. Primarily a fishing harbour, the port was developed into a waterfront village where upmarket apartments and sectional title homes surround the moorings of exclusive yachts and fishing boats.

Freehold property prices in Cape St Francis reached its highest levels this year that saw an increase from R491 000 in 2004 to R1.4-million, while average freehold prices in neighbouring areas of St Francis Links and the luxury estate of St Francis Field currently stand at R1.9 and R3.4-million respectively.

Cape St Francis Bay offers spectacular natural surroundings in the local reserve as well as the Irma Booysen Floral Reserve. The Seal Point Lighthouse is open for public viewing and the area also houses the Penguin Rescue and Rehabilitation Center.

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