About Nahoon Point Nature Reserve

Dubbed one of the most scenic coastal reserves in the country, the Nahoon Point Nature Reserve in East London is a South African gem. But, it is not only for this its extraordinary natural beauty and breath-taking vistas that it is so loved and frequented. It is also for its paleoanthropological significance. In fact, it has long been held as a very important prehistorical landmark and enjoys its status as a protected area as a result.

Did you know? Nahoon Point Nature Reserve has long been held as a very important prehistorical landmark and enjoys its status as a protected area as a result.

The Nahoon Point Nature Reserve was established in 2004. But, it was in 1964 that the real treasure here was discovered. When two municipal workers took their rest in Bat’s Cave, they noticed human footprints and animal tracks on the roof of the cave, above their heads. They reported this to the East London Museum and it was soon confirmed that they were ancient fossils of the prints of a child, two antelopes and a bird, dating back some 124 000 years (although there remains some dispute regarding this aging). This means that these are the oldest human footprints in existence, making the entire Nahoon area very important. The roof of this cave has since collapsed, but the rocky slab in which these prints are perfectly preserved is now on display at the East London Museum.

The East London Museum is renowned for the coelacanth exhibition, after one of these prehistoric fish (long thought to have been extinct) was discovered in East London’s harbour, as well as the last remaining Dodo egg. There are also cultural exhibitions that speak of the wonderfully complex identity of the Rainbow Nation that is today’s South Africa.

The Nahoon Point Nature Reserve is significant for its varied topography and eco-regions. It is made up of coastal sandstone, long stretches of sandy beaches and bays, the coastal forest that occupies the sand dunes, the rocky shores that are fascinating to explore, and the tranquil coves that make for idyllic retreats from the real world.

The Nahoon Point Nature Reserve boasts more than two kilometres of unspoilt coastline, as well as a series of boardwalks that are perched above the fragile dune vegetation to allow visitors to be part of the splendour without damaging the plants or habitat under their feet. The lookout point showcases gorgeous views of Bat’s Cave, while the seascapes are equally impressive.

Nestled amongst the sand dunes of the reserve is the Footprints Café. Here, steaming coffee and ice-cold beers are the order of the day, while hungry visitors are invited to indulge in moreish breakfasts, lunches and snacks at leisure.

The Indian Ocean laps the shores of Nahoon and continues to be popular amongst locals and visitors that love water sports or want to lie back and savour the cool ebb and flow of the sea. Surfing, kite surfing, boating and fishing are all popular pastimes in this part of East London, South Africa.

Need to Know

WhereNahoon Point Nature Reserve, East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours.

OvernightStay in East London Accommodation, Eastern Cape


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