Built way back in 1851, the Cape Recife Lighthouse was originally established to warn passing ships of the dangerous Thunderbolt Reef (named for the HMS Thunderbolt, a British Royal Navy Sail and Paddle Frigate that wrecked at Cape Recife in 1847), a job the venerable (albeit upgraded) lighthouse still admirably performs to this very day.
In 1973, a surrounding 366 hectare large area was proclaimed as the Cape Recife Nature Reserve, thereby transforming Cape Recife into a protected sanctuary for the Summerstrand region’s coastal and marine ecosystems to thrive within.
These days, in addition to the walking routes, countless unspoiled beaches, picnic areas, and accessible to the public lighthouse, the Cape Recife Nature Reserve is also home to the Port Elizabeth branch of SANCCOB (otherwise known as SAMREC), which provides rehabilitation and care facilities for many of the regions coastal bird species.
Seeing how I rather enjoy visiting lighthouses and was after all now in the area (as part of our June 2017 Holiday Adventure), I dragged everyone over to the nature reserve (most who were visiting it for the very first time), where after securing our entry permits, we enjoyed a rather tranquil stroll around the area.
Well not the kids mind you. They were far too busy chasing up and down the sand dunes like energetic little bunnies of course!
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Extra: On exiting the nature reserve our initial route to the Grass Roof Farm Stall for a spot of lunch and play was blocked by a rather angry veld fire. Apparently, thanks to the dry seasons Port Elizabeth is also experiencing, wild fires like this is now pretty much a daily occurrence now…