The Cape St Francis Nature Reserve is a wonderful nature reserve nestled on the tip of Cape St Francis in the Eastern Cape. Covering an area of around 120 hectares and with a coastline of 3km, the reserve incorporates a sandy beach, rocky point, and stunning sand dunes with a spectacular view over St Francis Bay.
The two main types of vegetation include coastal dune fynbos and coastal dune thicket. Wildlife in the reserve includes bushbuck, grysbok, common duiker, bushpig, porcupine, vervet monkey, caracal, yellow and grey mongoose, and otters. Birders will find plenty to do with over 200 bird species having been recorded in the reserve. You can sometimes see the rare African black oystercatcher and occasionally an endangered African penguin.
Bottlenose and common dolphins can often be seen surfing the breaks while southern right whales are often seen offshore during August to November. Fishing is permitted along the coast according to the bag limits. Dogs may be walked on leashes. The reserve has a network of short trails.
Hikers can start from both the St Francis Bay or Cape St Francis side:
Sandy Beach to the Point • Distance: 5km. • Duration: 2-3 hours
Circular Route • Distance: 5km • Duration: 2-3 hours
Cape St Francis to St Francis Bay • Distance: 1km • Duration: 30min-1 hour