130 km North East of Port Elizabeth on the East Coast of South Africa, welcome to Cannon Rocks.
Its borders are the coastal belt of the Addo Elephant National Park on the West side and Boknes village to the East.
The story of the Cannons
Two cannons from shipwrecks found along the stretch of beach have given the name to this quiet village. It is an accepted theory that at least one of the two cannons comes from the São João Baptista wreck of 1622.
Colin Urquhart in his book “Algoa Bay In the Age of Sail” writes of how the São João Baptista had drifted within a short distance of land after 72 days naval battle with two Dutch East Indianmen, the Mauritius and the Wapen van Rotterdam and finally dropped anchor somewhere along the Cannon Rocks coastline 30 September 1622. After surviving a month ashore, the captain ordered the wreck to be burnt. As a result, the exact location of the wreck is not known.
There are many stories of wrecks around Cannon Rocks as well as many artifacts scattered.
Weather conditions can be extreme along this stretch of coastline. As a result the lashing winds can cover and uncover artifacts with the impossible task of identifying the original wreck it may have come from.
Cannon Rocks beaches
Prevailing winds change from winter Westerlies to summer Easterlies and it is no surprise to find one of the biggest shifting sand dune field in the southern hemisphere just West of Cannon Rocks.
Cannon Rocks has a very unique eco-system with drifting sand dunes and coastal adapted bush. Furthermore the mixture of cold and warm ocean water affected by the prevailing winds creates a unique coastline with very specific sea life. Moving sandbanks and rocky outcrops make up the surf area and the topography of the beach changes continuously.
The whole area from Cape Padrone to Diaz cross is also full of middens.
Middens are remnants left by the original migrating beach tribes now long gone.
The Woody Cape area which is West of Cannon Rocks falls under the Addo National Park. With thick forest, beach bush, cliffs and massive sand dunes, it is a spectacular sight and a perfect place to witness nature in its wild state.
Cannon Rocks is a renowned Kiteboarding and fishing destination. It also offers a nature trail, a camping resort and a swimming beach area. To be noted, there are no Lifesavers on duty at the swimming beach.
Moreover, the locals are friendly and easy going. There is one commodity shop at the Cannon Rocks Holiday Resort and a Restaurant.
The nearby lagoon in Boknes has in the past supplied a safe bathing environment for holiday makers, however the combination of drought and dams along the small Bakanas river has resulted in the lagoon suffering.