130 km North East of Port Elizabeth on the East Coast of South Africa, welcome to Cannon Rocks.
It borders the coastal belt of the Addo Elephant National Park on the South and Boknes village to the North.
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.
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.
Weather conditions can be extreme along this stretch of coastline and as a result the lashing winds can cover and uncover artifacts of those wrecks.
Prevailing winds change from winter Westerlies to summer Easterlies and it is no surprise to find the biggest shifting sand dune fields in the southern hemisphere just west of Cannon Rocks. Cannon Rocks is part of a very unique eco system with drifting sand dunes and coastal adapted bush on land, and the mixture of cold and warm water in the ocean.
The whole Cape Padrone to Diaz cross area is also full of middens.
Middens are remnants left by the original migrating beach tribes now long gone.
The woody cape area falls under the Addo National Park and has one of the largest shifting sea sand dune field in the world. A spectacular sight and in other words a great place for people wanting to be more connected to Nature.
Cannon Rocks is a renowned Kiteboarding and fishing destination. It also offers a nature trail, a camping resort and a swimming beach area. Moreover, the locals are friendly and mostly retirees. There is one commodity shop at the Cannon Rocks Holiday Resort and a Restaurant.
Cannon Rocks suffered from bad management of beach access with all beach level parking areas covered by encroaching sand dunes. There has been various attempts to manage this but so far the municipality and SAN Parks cannot come to an agreement.
The nearby lagoon in Boknes has in the past supplied a safe bathing environment for holiday makers, however over usage of dams along the small Bakanas river has resulted in the lagoon suffering.