Thatchwood Country Lodge - 4 Star Accommodation

History of St Francis Bay

In 1954 Leighton Hulett and his wife Ann spotted an advertisement in the Farmers Weekly offering 273 morgen of ideal fishing land along the coast for £1750. Enormous dunes stretching about 3km from the coast, magnificent stretch of beach, the sheltered bay with its blue waters, rolling dunes and verdant growth - it was love at first sight.

Thatchwood Country Lodge - St Francis Bay

The Hulett's returned to their home in Zululand, sold their property and moved down a month later. In order to carry their belongings across the huge sand dunes, the Hulett's arrived in an old ox wagon. Mr. Hulett set to work and a fishing camp with seven rondavel's, a bathing block and a kitchen was built for those who braved the crossing of the dunes to enjoy the area and fishing. As time went on a few of the regular visitors discussed the idea of having a place of their own and purchasing land to build their own cottages. This led to a small township consisting of 51 plots being laid out in 1956 with the name Cape St. Francis, having later changed in 1960 to Sea Vista.

Right from the early days, Leighton Hulett insisted on maintaining a certain conformity of style of building this being, thatch & white walls. This has resulted in a harmonious blending with the natural beauty of the environment. Marina Glades was the next major project. By doing a direct swap of a house and a plot, Mr. Hulett acquired 179 morgen with 2,8km of river frontage that lent itself to the development of a marina. The pumping and digging of the first canal became in 1967.

Within time, a small trading store opened, hotel, bottle store, tennis club... in 1974 there Thatchwood Country Lodge - St Francis Bay Kromme Riverwere 161 houses in the Village. With the start of Santereme, came a change in architectural style from white walls and black roof tops (such as thatch and then later tile) to Mediterranean type houses with terracotta tiled roofs an various muted earth tones for exterior walls. As the township grew, further facilities were added to enhance the development. Max Hulett built a very beautiful golf course as a private facility and only later did it become a golf club. An airfield to cope with fairly sizable aircraft was also laid out... and in 1977 the Kromme River bridge was built.

After a public referendum, the village name was officially changed from Sea Vista to St. Francis Bay. St. Francis Bay has become a destination of unparalleled charm to visitors from around the world.

St Francis Today.................................

The Bay

Thatchwood Country Lodge - St Francis Bay CanalsSt Francis has grown from a small holiday / fishing village into a unique and exclusive paradise on the South African Southern coast. It draws holiday makers from all over the world to enjoy the glorious beaches lapped by the warm Indian Ocean, excellent water sport facilities, a leisurely lifestyle and the magical beauty of its unspoilt surroundings.
An extensive 10 km man made canal system, lined with white-walled houses with black thatched roofs, linked to the Kromme river, offers residents and holidaymakers an exotic marina lifestyle.
St Francis Bay is also famous as one of the surfing hotspots in the world. The 1966 film, The Endless Summer, directed by Bruce Brown, follows two surfers (Mike Hynson and Robert August) around the world in their search for the perfect wave … which of course they found in St Francis Bay! Nearby Jeffreys Bay hosts the annual Billabong Pro surf event which features the world’s top ranked surfing elite including 8-time world champion, Kelly Slater who is a single-figure handicapped golfer and frequents the fairways of St Francis Links when he is not surfing!

The PortThatchwood Country Lodge - St Francis Bay Port

The marina gives way to Mediterranean styled homes crowned with terracotta tiles in Santareme and luxury apartments, encircling the turquoise waters, at Port St Francis.
The commercial harbour of Port St Francis, built in 1995, has always held a unique charm because of both its size and the constant activity.
Port St Francis serves as a unique focal point in the village of St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis.. The harbour is home to numerous commercial and long-line vessels and also serves as moorings for a large fleet of leisure yachts and recreational fishing boats.

Thatchwood Country Lodge - Cape St FrancisThe Cape
In the distance lies the informal village of Cape St Francis with its historical lighthouse. The lighthouse was built in 1878 to warn ships of the dangerous reefs that stretch more than a kilometre out to sea. It is the tallest masonry tower on the South African coast, standing at a height of 27.5 meters and is now a National Monument.
Cape St Francis, situated at the most Southern cape in the Eastern Cape, has the most beautiful pristine beach. A symmetrical curving stretch of gleaming sand in the lee of rolling dunes.
As this area falls within the Cape Floral Kingdom it provides excellent bird watching and gentle nature trails through the natural gardens.

Thatchwood Country Lodge - St Francis Bay CanalsClimate In and Around St Francis Bay

The average rainfall is about 660mm and falls mainly in the cooler months thus giving our area a Mediterranean type climate typical of the south western Cape. Temperatures are mild and the lowest and highest mean absolute maxima at Cape St. Francis are 5.00C and 29.70C respectively. Extremely high temperatures (up to 350C) are occasionally experienced during berg wind conditions in Spring and Autumn. Berg winds which are hot and turbulent are composed of air masses draining from the interior. They are most common in the winter months. The Climate of the study area is warm temperate. The climate regime is dominated by an alternating succession of east moving cyclones budded off from the circum-polar westerly, and high pressure anti-cyclones which ridge in behind the lows.

PE Airport
Plettenberg Bay

How to get to St Francis Bay...

Travel on the N2 until you reach the Humansdorp off ramp (approximately 45 minutes from Port Elizabeth or 1½ hours from Knysna). Drive straight through the town of Humansdorp crossing all 4-way stop streets until you reach a T-junction. Turn left at the T-junction towards St Francis Bay. Drive for another 15km until you see the St Francis Bay sign