Firstly, a bit of history
Port Alfred, also known as Port Kowie was founded in 1821. The 1820 Settlers experienced many problems, one of which was poor accessibility to the outside world.
The mouth of the Kowie River was wide and deep enough to allow the entrance of fair-sized sailing ships. In 1821 the first coaster entered the river and this was the start of Port Kowie and Port Frances. Have a read of our blog to find out more about the History of Port Alfred, what it was like in the beginning and all about how the Settlers' Church came to be.
The array of beaches stretching from Port Alfred to Boknes and Bushman’s means the opportunity to sample a different coastal spot every day.
These family friendly beaches allow mom and dad to soak up the sun while the kids play volleyball and fashion sandcastles.
Kleinemonde Beach - 8km drive from Green Fountain Farm Resort towards East London.
Riet River Beach - 5 minute drive from Green Fountain Farm Resort towards East London on the right. Follow the twisting road alongside the river (1km). Park and walk east to Three Sisters rocks (20mins). Choose low tide to see rock pools. The center rock has a cover.
Rufanes Beach - 3 minute drive from the Resort towards Port Alfred.
Kelly’s Beach - 10 km from the Resort in Port Alfred. The Beach is one of the few Blue Flag rated beaches along the South African coast. There are lifeguards, changing rooms and first aid facilities. No dogs are allowed on this beach.
West Beach - Port Alfred, is not recommended for swimming as there are dangerous rip tides off the pier.
East beach - Port Alfred is a long stretch of beach with huge dunes - ideal for dune boarding. Surfing is good and dogs are allowed.
Kenton-on-sea and Bushman’s - 28 kms from the Resort towards Port Elizabeth.
Cannon Rocks and Boknes - 34 km’s from Port Alfred towards Port Elizabeth.
Great Fish Point Lighthouse – 12km on tar from the Resort on the R72 towards East London, another 5km on dirt. This is a spectacular view point. Date of installation: 1 July 1898. Character of light: 1 flash every 10 seconds. Type of light: Revolving Electric
Viewing by appointment only: Tel: 046 675 1067
You can enjoy a number of sporting activities in Port Alfred, everything from adrenaline junkie highs to placid and relaxing.
Hire a boat or yacht at Port Alfred’s harbour and sail down the Kowie River for sundowners. This peaceful body of water offers views of both sides of town and is the perfect setting for an on-board picnic with bubbly.
Speed-lovers will get their fix with days spent duneboarding, powerkiting, skydiving and four-wheeling. It’s all systems go, go, go!
Water enthusiasts are guaranteed to have their adrenaline pumping when jetskiing, surfing, bodyboarding and waterskiing. Between the river and the ocean, there’s no lack of water in this town.
Contact these guys for info about the following activities:
MAXIMUM EXPOSURE 046 6244432
SUNSHINE COAST HIKES 046 6245295
LET’S GO RIVER CRUISES 046 6241866
HALYARD’S BOAT HIRE AND CRUISES 046 6043300
RIVER WILD SAFARIS 046 6043300
- Scuba Diving and Kids Scuba
- Power Kiting
- Dune Boarding
- River Cruises
- Canoeing and Canoe Trails
- Climbing Wall
- Body Boarding
- 4 Wheeler Trails
- Deep Sea Fishing
- PLUS MANY MORE....
Jet Ski Hire
It is important to note that using Jet Ski’s in the river is at the discretion of the Harbor Master & Port Authorities.
Tel: Blaire Rieger for hire – 082 874 2306
Horseriding becomes an idyllic outing when enjoyed on the beach. Take your pick from cantering through dune forests to galloping along the water’s edge. Surprise bookings like this are guaranteed to score you many points with your partner.
3 Sisters Horse Trails - situated 5km from the Resort towards East London on the R72. Trails through the Tharfield Nature Reserve. See the Chinese graves. Tel: 046 675 1269 or 082 645 6345 (Bookings only)
Fishriver Horse Safaris – 18km (10min) from the Resort towards East London. Ride through the Fort D’Acre Reserve at the Fish River mouth.
Plenty of wildlife to be seen which include rhino, giraffe, buffalo and loads more. Tel: 046 675 1271 or 082 433 5662.
Make a day of going out to fetch dinner by getting the entire crew involved in fishing for their meal. Port Alfred offers beach, deep-sea and rock fishing, so you could really turn your holiday into a fend-for-yourself family adventure.
Guided Fishing Trips – Surf, Estuaries or Rocks.
He provides bait; you only need to bring a valid Fishing Permit (obtainable at the Post Office) and your own tackle.
Indoor Heated Pool – Situated at the small boat harbor in Port Alfred. Swim or enquire about joining an aqua-aerobics session.
Tel: 046 624 9019
It takes about four hours to play a round of golf, right? Talk about spending quality time with your loved one.
The Royal Port Alfred Golf Club’s rolling greenery is the perfect setting for a bit of action romance.The Gary Player-designed course at Fish River Sun is also nearby.
Fish River Sun – 18 holes, Gary Player designed championship golf course – reservations are essential. Tel: 040 676 1101
Royal Port Alfred Golf Course - 18 hole links course. Tel: 046 624 4796
Grahamstown Golf Club - 50 km drive inland from Port Alfred. 18 hole course. Tel: 046 622 2106.
Green Fountain Driving Range - 046 624 5859
The Kowie Nature Reserve has an eight-kilometre hiking trail along the town’s river, with various exit and entry points for those looking for shorter walks. The five-day Three Sisters Trail is for the big walkers, and takes adventurers through indigenous forests, sand dunes, wetlands and magnificent stretches of coastal shore.
Settler Hiking Trail – Tel: 046 625 0660.
Kap River Reserve – 18km from the resort on the R72 Tel: 046 625 0631
Blaaukrantz Reserve – Access R67 to Bathurst.
Kowie Canoe and Hiking Trail – Maximum Exposure Tel: 046 6244432
Game Reserves and Bird Watching
It’s an often-forgotten fact that the Eastern Cape possesses some of the country’s finest game reserves.
The Kruger National Park north of the country may be the first name that comes to mind when wanting to book an animal-tinged vacation, but our gorgeous reserves near the coast have so much variety on offer that you’re able to try a different one every time you visit us at Green Fountain Farm Resort.
The game reserves in the area are becoming some of South Africa’s most popular due to their malaria-free environment.
Spot some of Africa’s wildest animals on daily game drives. Bird-watchers will be equally taken by the abundance of feathery friends.
You can get a glimpse on our blog of the amazing African Adventures you can experience when you visit the Eastern Cape.
Reserve your place now!
Please contact Ndlambe tourism office for more information:
Tel: 046 624 1235 or visit www.portalfred.co.za.
For bird watching tours, contact Anne Williams:
Tel: 046 675 1976
Halyards Spa – Tel: 046 624 5048.
Fish River Sun – Tel: 046 676 1101
Oceana – Tel: 083 616 0605
St. Francis Spa – 8km on the R72 from the Resort towards East London and 8,5km on gravel.
Tel: 046 625 0927 or 082 424 5488
Museums, Arts and Crafts
Kowie History Museum – situated on the East Bank in Port Alfred, between the Police Station and Magistrate’s Court. Tel: 046 6244713 (Mornings only)
Sculptured Rugs – Rugs are tailor-made according to the customer’s design, colour and size specifications. Tel: 046 624 2109
A visit to Bathurst is worthwhile – The 1820 Settlers:- The Frontier Country of the 1820 Settlers was a harsh land, beautiful in rainy seasons, but heart-breaking in draught and this was where the Settlers had to "take root and grow or die where they stood". The Museum is a tribute to their courage and entrepreneurship. In 1970, a small group of people interested in preserving the heritage of agriculture in the Eastern Cape, formed a committee to establish a home for the many valuable items which would otherwise be lost forever.
Summerhill Inn - Visit the biggest pineapple in the world. Find souvenirs and gifts on the ground floor, learn about the pineapple industry and enjoy the view of the farm and beyond from the observation deck 16.7m up.
Wiles Gallery - This Gallery features oils and water colors by Jane Wile's well known artists family, (her parents).
Richard Pullen Studio - Richard Pullen's Earth Art is an open studio. Visitors are free to watch the work in progress while browsing through the wide range of completed products on display.
The Bathurst Arms Pub - Visit the Bathurst Arms Pub for a great meal and a chat to the locals. Even better, enjoy a cold beer and a home cooked meal at The Pig & Whistle Hotel - The oldest Pub in South Africa.
The Big Pineapple - biggest pineapple in the world. Trailer tours of pine lands, including Xhosa village. Part of an 1820 Settler farm, its 1825 barn houses a rustic pub and charming restaurant, also coffee shop, gifts, refreshments, pineapple products. Mini farm, pony rides, play area. Tel: 046 625 0833
The Toposcope – (2,7km beyond Pig & Whistle); N.M. Marks the spot where the 1820 British Settlers’ locations were surveyed; 57 bronze plaques record detail of settlements. On a clear day you can see from Great Fish River to Kwaaihoek. The stones in the wall are taken from ruins of original Settler homes.
Bathurst Agricultural Museum – Turn right at the Pig & Whistle, the museum is over the hill on your right. A large, unique collection housing 1300 historical agricultural items, also household items in use since early Settler days. Small entry fee. Open 09:00 to 16:00 Tuesday to Sunday. Tel 046 625 0853.
St John’s Anglican Church – Half km from Pig and Whistle on the right. Oldest unaltered Anglican Church in South Africa. A sanctuary in the Frontier Wars of 1834, 1846 and 1851 for safety of Settlers. Look for little “church mouse” on west wall. Opened by arrangement: 046 625 0646
Wesleyan Chapel – Built by Samuel Bradshaw, opened in 1832. Besieged in Frontier Wars. Key at Corner Shop or 046 625 0646
Heart of the Frontier Country, City of Saints, Scholars and Festivals. Grahamstown Hospitality Guild represents most of the regions registered B & B's, guest houses, hotels, lodges & farm stays. For more information visit: www.grahamstown-accommodation.co.za