View of Cape St Francis from the Irma Booysen Nature Reserve

Coastal retreat in Cape St Francis


Welcome to the natural beauty of the sleepy coastal town known as Cape St Francis, only an eight minute drive from St Francis Bay (see our post here). This place is a perfect laidback, barefoot, beachside getaway. It offers expansive beaches with great waves and scenic hikes.

History and housing

The Booysen family moved to the Seal Point area in the late-1950s. The development of the area was much slower than in St Francis Bay – the Booysen’s wanted to keep as much ‘naturalness’ in the area as possible.

Driving around the town you will see houses of all shapes, sizes and colours. Cape St Francis is also less populated than St Francis Bay so there is more space between the houses. We love the greenery around the town.

The Cape St Francis Resort is a great place to stay. The houses and chalets follow the white-walled and thatched or grey tiled roofing, as seen in St Francis Bay. We stayed here during my field campaigns and for a few conferences. There is a restaurant and swimming pool on site. There is also access to the beach from the resort.

Beach and dunefield

The beach seems endless, being both long and wide. Through my fieldwork, we have spent hours upon hours walking on the beach and we still admire its beauty when we visit. At both low and high tides the beach is accessible and enjoyable.

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At the end of the beach, on one of the peninsula points, is the Shark Point Dunefield. We would recommend walking to it along the Cape St Francis beach, or entering via the Port St Francis side. The views of the towns from the dunefield are spectacular.

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Nature reserves and walks

During the area’s development, the Booysen’s demarcated areas to be preserved as nature reserves. This meant that development was never highly destructive in Cape St Francis. As a result, the many nature reserves on the peninsula are in and around the town.

These reserves include the Irma Booysen Flora Reserve, Seal Point Nature Reserve and Seal Bay Nature Reserve. The walks through the nature reserves are really beautiful and recommended. The coastline is exquisite and the vegetation adds to the view. The vegetation is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom (one of six Kingdoms in the world). There is also one marine reserve that focusses on protecting the otter habitat (the Port St Francis coastline).

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The Chokka Trail has been a popular addition to the peninsula since October 2013. The trail is 62 km (from Oyster Bay to St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis) over 4 days / 3 nights. This slackpacking trail accommodates 4 – 12 people in the hiking group. We have not hiked the trail, but it is on our list of things to do!

Seal Point Lighthouse

The Seal Point lighthouse was declared a national monument in 1984 and stands 27.75 m tall. The lighthouse is also the southeasternmost point of the African continent.

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S A N C C O B (The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds)

One place you should visit is SANCCOB (next to the Seal Point lighthouse), where coastal birds are rescued and rehabilitated. You can see the penguins swimming in their pool or watch them being fed.

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To end

Both towns on the peninsula are wonderful places to stay, with different appeals and attractions. We have always visited both towns when we stay in Jeffreys Bay

A bit further than JBay, here are some other posts about the surrounding areas: Tsitsikamma Hike, Robber Nature Reserve Hike.

Resource: Irma Booysen Flora Reserve map.

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