Modern history


The small holiday settlements of Aston Bay and Paradise Beach are in many ways an extension of the popular town of Jeffreys Bay, but for some beach front development and the Marina Martinique, a man made canal system. After all, the two are separated by little more the than the Seekoeirivier (Hippopotamus River) lagoon.

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Manuel de Perestrelo, a Portuguese explorer weighed anchor in a sheltered bay in 1575. He was struck with the natural beauty of what he saw and named it Bahia de Sao Francisca after the Patron Saint of Sailors, St Francis of Assissi. As legend has it, the landward side reminded him of the beautiful cloisters of the 14th Century Gothic monastery of St Francisca, at his hometown of Santareme.

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Oyster Bay is a small coastal hamlet, linked to St Francis Bay and Humansdorp by dirt roads. Renowned for a long stretched out sandy beach and a strong emphasis on nature, Oyster Bay is a wonderful place to stay amidst coastal forests, sand dunes, river deltas, wetlands, lagoons and roaming horses.
As its name indicates, Oyster Bay is also a stronghold of one of the main efforts to conserve the African Oyster Catcher that makes the beaches its home.

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