Jeffreys Bay is named after the senior partner of the firm Jeffrey & Glendinnings that opened a store in 1849 on the location where the town is today. Jeffrey is believed to be the first person to have settled there.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Jeffreys Bay was known as a hippie hangout, where the now-burgeoning surf community originated. Jeffreys Bay has grown from a sleepy little fishing town over the past few years and is one of the fastest expanding urban areas in the country.
Jeffreys Bay is a popular tourist destination because of its surfing opportunities and the Blue Flag beach.
Jeffreys Bay is famous for abundant seashells, great seafood and calamari. The nearby Kabeljous, Seekoei and Krom River lagoons host numerous water birds, and are also ideal for watersports like canoeing, boardsailing, and fishing. Every year, migrating whales make their way to Hermanus and Witsand to give birth, and whales can be seen breaching almost every day during the season.
Just northeast of the town, on the Kabeljous River, lies the Kabeljous Nature Reserve. It is a walk-about reserve, well known to anglers for a diverse number of fish. The Kabeljous estuary is one of the best preserved estuaries in the Eastern Cape. The lagoon is home to waterfowl, herons, and a variety of waders. Nearby, the Seekoei River Nature Reserve lies between Aston Bay and Paradise Beach. The reserve lies on the estuary formed by the Seekoei and Swart rivers. The reserve is rich in birdlife with over 120 species of birds. The lagoon is also home to numerous red-knobbed coots and small antelope. Fishing from boats is prohibited here. There is also a circular hiking trail that takes about three hours to complete. The trail starts with a trip on a raft across the lagoon and runs through fynbos and subtropical vegetation.
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