Modern history


The farmland adjacent to the Seal Point Lighthouse (built in 1878) known as “Kaap St Francis Vuurtoringmaatskappy” was swapped by developer John Booysen for his Chevrolet in 1963. A further 160 plots were later added, and went up for sale. Twelve shareholders bought in on the project for R1000 each and received a plot of their choice each in exchange for their investment.

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The Baviaanskloof (Valley of Baboons) is literally a kloof nestled between the Baviaans Mountain Range to the north and the Kouga Mountain Range to the south, along which a road crosses a series of at least 100 low water crossings.

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Thornhill is situated amongst rolling hills and mountains that characterise the farmlands and countryside of the Eastern Cape. While most of the local community is economically challenged, they enjoy spectacular surrounds, and often find work on the smallholdings and farms that are dotted around the landscape.

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Loerie (also known as Loerieheuwel) lies at the foot of the Elands and Groot Winterhoek Mountains, and is said to take its name from the Loeries or Louries, a turaco species (Tauraco corythaix) occurring here, however only revealing itself when absolutely necessary.

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Hankey is one of four towns that make up the Gamtoos Valley – an exceptionally beautiful part of the world that stretches up to Komdomo at the start of the Baviaanskloof wilderness, now a World Heritage Site.

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The small town of Patensie is the eastern gateway to the Baviaanskloof, as it virtually lies at the mouth of the Baviaanskloof Wilderness Area. It is largely a citrus producing area, however the name is something of a corruption of the Hottentot expression ‘where the cattle lie’. Other produce includes potatoes, tobacco and chidory.

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Go Back to Map – Discover our Culture Hankey is one of four towns that make up the Gamtoos Valley – an exceptionally beautiful part of the world that stretches up to Komdomo at the start of the Baviaanskloof wilderness, now a World Heritage Site. Hankey is the oldest and probably best known because of its claim to the largest sundial in Africa (18m high and weighs a ton) as well as the burial place of Sarah Baartman...

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In 1849 Matthys Human gave a portion of his farm Rheeboksfontein for the establishment of a town, and stands were laid out in 1853 on a plan following the crosses on the Birtish flag.

However, Humansdorp was named after Johannes Jurie Human and Matthys Gerhardus Human, who were joint founders of the local Dutch Reformed Church. The town’s residential streets are lined with trees that were planted before the First World War by the then mayor, Ambrose Saffery.

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Gamtoos River is a small settlement of holiday homes and a resort. Camping, boating and river fishing is a popular pastime as is surf fishing off the beach between the Gamtoos River and Van Stadens River.

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Jeffreys Bay is named after Captain Jeffreys who sailed his cargo ship up and down the East Coast of South Africa on trading expeditions in the 1840’s.

During one of these trips an epidemic of scurvy broke out aboard his ship. He was forced to land his vessel and soon realized the potential of the place where he had landed and built a primitive port on what is now the main beach. He erected the first house, a huge double-story mansion.

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