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PORT ALFRED

Heart Of The Sunshine Coast

Port Alfred boasts not only the climate, the water, the beaches and the historical connections, but we have stepped into the modern world with top-class shopping malls, sophisticated healthcare, a Royal golf course, intimate small-boat harbour, light industry, international hospitality university and 43 Air School, a world-class training facility for pilots and air traffic controllers. Of course we also have the stunning Royal Alfred Marina - one of few in the world where every home owner enjoys private water frontage and a personal jetty! Visitors can enjoy boat cruises through the Marina canals and if you feel energetic you can hire a water pedalo or canoe to make the trip.

Unique in geographical situation, we are surrounded by the most exciting array of game reserves and parks, yet to be equalled in Southern Africa. In a totally Malaria-free area, not only do we boast of conservation and animals for display and enjoyment, but a proactive, world-class hunting industry.

There are international artists who live and work here. Each year in July, nearby Grahamstown hosts the world-renowned National Arts Festival and Port Alfred also welcomes many of the visitors who come to enjoy the music, plays, art, comedy and crafts that attract thousands. We also have our very own theatre in historic Wharf Street.

There is so much to do in the region, so many interesting places to go to and so much to do while visiting us here. The warm Indian Ocean and many inland water surfaces offer endless opportunities for bathing, boating, water-skiing, surfing, windsurfing, angling, diving, canoeing and bird watching. This is the world of eco-tourism where you can hike and holiday to your heart's content at a wide variety of venues.

Life here is social, and there are lots of clubs and societies to join if you have a mind to. The area boasts loads of restaurants and sociable bars to visit if you are here on holiday. Whether you come to rest or are looking for new experiences, you will find what you want here. We are the most exciting, pulsating, desirable and affordable holiday venue for any age. No wonder we welcome hordes of "swallows" every year from all over Europe. These folks escape the Northern Hemisphere winter and enjoy all our treasures and pleasures - and the fantastic sunshine, of course.

Visit Port Alfred, chances are you'll meet some fascinating locals with plenty of yarns to tell. Folks are friendly around here.

KENTON-ON-SEA

Jewel of the Sunshine Coast

Kenton-on-Sea is bordered on two sides by the Kariega and Bushmans Rivers with a spectacular stretch of coastline and nature reserve in between. A walk along the beach between the two rivers is an absolute must. Old and young will delight in exploring the caves, hidden rock formations, chimneys and sheltered bays created by the unusual rock formations. The rivers are stunningly beautiful with game reserves flaking both sides. The Bushmans is navigable for 32km, and Kariega for 16km. Paddle or cruise slowly, water ski or drift with the tide and take in the splendour of the abundant birds and other wildlife.

The village of Kenton-on-Sea is charming and boasts a number of restaurants, shops and art galleries. A number of accommodation options are available.

ALEXANDRIA

Gateway to the Sunshine Coast

Alexandria is a small farming town in the situated 100 km North East of Port Elizabeth on the way to Bushman's River Mouth, Kenton-on-Sea and Port Alfred. It was named Alexandria in 1856 after Reverend Alexander Smith.

Alexandria is one of the most important chicory producing areas in South Africa and is also known for pineapple production and dairy farming. The Alexandria area also includes the Alexandria State Forest, known as Woody Cape, which is a narrow stretch of pristine indigenous forest bordering the Alexandria dune field, one of the largest active dune fields in the world. Mammals that occur within the area include bushpig, bushbuck, Cape Grysbok, steenbok, common duiker, Vervet monkey, and large and small grey mongoose. The bird diversity is considerable and includes the westernmost population of the trumpeter hornbill, there are also crowned hornbills, crowned eagle, Stanley's bustard, narina trogon and Damara tern. The Woody Cape Nature Reserve, which stretches from the Sundays River mouth to the Bushman's River mouth and includes the dune field and the indigenous forest, has been incorporated into the Addo Elephant National Park.

BATHURST

Cradle of the Sunshine Coast

Beautiful, bountiful Bathurst is a fascinating little hamlet situated 15km from Port Alfred. It is an 1820 Settler village that survived turbulent times to emerge today as a peaceful haven, showcasing an eclectic mix of old and new. Bathurst’s chief claim to fame is that it was (briefly) the administrative centre for the 1820 British Settlers who were established in the district as a buffer between the Cape colony and the Xhosa pastoralists. It was established by British Settlers in May 1820 and was named after Lord Bathurst, the British Colonial Secretary. Many of the original settler buildings have been preserved, and there remains much of the look and feel of an English village of the early 19th Century. The Pig and Whistle, at the heart of the village, is reputedly the oldest existent pub in the country. It was built in 1831 by Thomas Hartley, a blacksmith who came from Nottinghamshire with the Settlers. Later accommodation was added and it became known as the Bathurst Inn. Legend has it that it was nicknamed "The Pig & Whistle" by the men at the nearby 43 Air School in WWII. While time has moved slowly in Bathurst, there is an increasing population of artists, academics and retirees who have chosen to live in this tranquil environment.

Surrounding Areas

Cannon Rocks, Kleinemonde, Grahamstown

Cannon Rocks
Explorer Vasco Da Gama sailed this coastline and Cannon Rocks owes its name to the wrecking of the Portuguese ship Sao Joao Baptista that ran aground after a battle with two Dutch ships in March 1622. 279 survivors began their arduous walk to Lourenzo Marques (Maputo) but only 28 completed the journey. The old cannons and anchor from the wreck were discovered and remain on display in the village. Today Cannon Rocks borders directly onto the Woody Cape section of the Greater Addo Elephant National Park and is world famous as a kiteboarding destination.

Boknes
Boknes was originally part of the Jammesfontein farm (1788). In 1927 the farm was surveyed and the first holiday home built a year later. Portuguese navigator, Bartholomew Diaz, erected a cross, or padrao, in 1488. A replica has been erected on the same spot, 4km east of Boknesstrand.

Kasouga
The tiny enclave of Kasouga is part of the original 1825 Bovey farm, and is the oldest resort in the Eastern Cape. It has been the site of many shipwrecks. Kasouga is home to the largest population of Oribi antelope in the southern hemisphere and was proclaimed a Natural Heritage Site in recognition of this in 1989.

Nemato
The first township in Port Alfred was situated on the Western side, and was moved to its present site just before WWII. In 1993, Nemato (Nelson Mandela Township) was the first liberated township to stage a protest march, where members of the community marched from Nemato to the City Hall in Port Alfred in protest of Apartheid.

Kleinemonde, Riet River and Rufanes
Surrounded by several rivers, offering great canoeing, birding and horse riding opportunities. The unspoilt beaches are flat and ideal for hiking, and river banks crowded with indigenous vegetation. Easy walk along the beach to the Great Fish River Lighthouse built in 1898. It is a 9 metre octagonal masonary tower, 76m above sea level and 800m from the shoreline. The light flashes once every 10 seconds and has an approximate candle power of 5,000,000 with a range of 32 nautical miles. The area is also home to Adele's Mohair Factory.