Cape St Francis is home to the Cape St Francis Nature Reserve, Seal Point Nature Reserve, Seal Bay Nature Reserve and Irma Booysen Flora Reserve.
These reserves offer a fine variety of well marked walks. The importance of these areas being declared as nature reserves is due to South Africa’s extraordinarily rich plant and animal life. It is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, especially blessed in plant species, one of only six Plant or Floral Kingdoms in the world.
The Cape Floral Kingdom extends roughly from the Cape West Coast to Van Stadens River close to Port Elizabeth as well as inland, covering about 90 000 km² and home to 9 000 plant species, 70% of which grow nowhere else in the world (endemic to the Cape).
These plants are not scattered randomly across the landscape. Instead, from one hill to the next, different plant species grow together in their own communities. This means that the entire region is divided into these vegetation types, comprising plant species that grow in their particular area and nowhere else.
The St Francis Fynbos/Thicket Mosaic only grows on the lime-rich coastal sandy sites scattered between Tsitisikamma in the west and Port Elizabeth in the east. The conditions under which this vegetation type can grow is a relatively small area comprising 0.2% of the Cape region. Urbanisation, agriculture, forestry and alien plan invations has caused considerable damage and disturbance.
Much of our local Fynbos has been disturbed by alien plants and developments. As a result of this as well the threat of continued destruction, it has been classified as Critically Endangered and enjoys legislative protection. Animals you may see are bushbuck, grysbok, common duiker, bushpig, porcupine, vervet monkey, caracal, yellow and grey mongoose and the cape clawless otter.
You also see the rare African black oystercatcher and occasionally an endangered Jackass penguin. Bottlenose and common dolphins are often seen offshore and, from August to December, southern right whales may be spotted.