Port Alfred at a glance
Port Alfred was established in the early 1820s by British settlers who were moved into the area by Lord Charles Somerset as a buffer between the Western Cape and the Ama Xhosa. Originally it was two separate towns (settlers arriving on the west bank in 1820 named their settlement Port Kowie, and those arriving on the east bank named theirs Port Frances). In 1839, William Cock started to block the natural river mouth to the east and canalise the present opening to the sea. This allowed high-masted sailing ships with their heavy cargo to dock at the wharf. Later, in 1860, when Queen Elizabeth's's son, Prince Alfred, visited the name was changed to honour him.
Port Alfred is a small seaside resort on the east coast of South Africa in the Eastern Cape province with a population of just under 20,000. It is situated on the eastern seaboard of the country at the mouth of the Kowie River, almost exactly half-way between the larger cities of Port Elizabeth and East London and 30 km West of Cannon Rocks and just 60 kms from Grahamstown.
The town enjoys a mild climate and award winning beaches. Kelly's beach has Blue Flag Beach status, meaning it is one of the top beaches in South Africa. Port Alfred has many activities for visitors including fishing, scuba diving, canoeing, water skiing and tubing. Other sporting activities include golf (Port Alfred boasts one of the seven "royal" courses in the country), horse trails and surfing, with Port Alfred being regarded by many as one of the best-kept surfing secrets in the country. It is unspoilt by overpopulation and commercialism and has retained its natural beauty and is a relaxing place to be.
Port Alfred property is in high demand as it offers all the amenities one needs for a fantastic lifestyle. It boasts two shopping centres with several national stores and several smaller independent stores. Other amenities include a modern art gallery, museum, gyms, several beauty salons, hairdressers, numerous restaurants, nurseries, major banks, a tote, motor dealerships, tool hire and boating franchises. Port Alfred also offers top-quality schooling and there are also groups for toddlers and pre-schoolers. Aside from these, Port Alfred property is also in high demand due to the fact that the area offers many and varied medical facilities. Netcare was awarded the tender to upgrade and run the local hospital and the new facility is open and doing great work. Pets are not forgotten and there are two veterinary clinics. There is also a well-run, busy SPCA.
South Africa was discovered by the international communities as a holiday destination many years ago, with the initial emphasis on holiday properties being centered around Cape Town, the Western Cape and the Garden Route. As the cost of holiday and retirement properties increased, the locals moved their investments eastwards until they arrived at the Eastern Cape and its long, flat and beautifully pristine beaches. This resulted in the creation of erven for both investment and building purposes and the town started to grow.
Port Alfred has enjoyed steady growth over the last 20 years with a particular surge in Port Alfred properties for sale in the last ten. Much of the growth has come about as a result of retirees moving to Port Alfred and families wishing to buy second homes at the coast. This growth has brought a rise in the number of the permanent working population who provide services to the rest of the town. Port Alfred property for sale range from the ultra luxurious to the average. Obviously there is a big emphasis on sea views, riverside properties and Marina properties, which tend to cater for the wealthy, but there are also properties away from these facilities which are less expensive. The Port Alfred property market has vacant land (fully serviced erven) for those who wish to build and built properties to meet all needs.
One of its most distinctive features is the Royal Alfred Marina. This is undoubtedly the most successful Marina in South Africa and has brought a completely different ambience to Port Alfred. The Marina has been developed on land previously unsuitable for residential properties, but with skilful planning and engineering, it boasts a secure, up-market environment with all of its luxurious houses facing on to the tidal canals. Associated with the Marina is a small boat harbour, providing mooring for a variety of vessels from luxury yachts and other pleasure craft, to sporting and commercial deep-sea fishing vessels.
Port Alfred is home to Southern Africa's largest air school, 43 Air School. In addition, Port Alfred is home to Stenden South Africa, a subsidiary campus of Stenden University in the Netherlands. This campus attracts large numbers of international students to South Africa every year.
The picturesque and outstanding holiday spot, known as the Kowie, will remain in your heart forever as ‘a tiny paradise in the heart of the Sunshine Coast.'
Nestled in the South West corner of the town, Forest Downs is unique in its own right with thick dense primary sand dune bush which is host to a variety of fauna and flora.
Some Forest Downs properties have stunning sea views. Others have views stretching down the valley to the golf course. The area is quite and peaceful, and as it is not fully developed yet, there is a lot of open space. The homes in the area are a mixture of old and new. Forest Downs is now a sought after area as properties are nicely situated, close to the beach as well as the golf course.
Forest Downs in Port Alfred has a variety of plots starting at R220 000.00. Another development called "Misty waves" comprises a complex of 20 stands of which 4 are already built. Houses can be either double or single story. The units are sold off plan and range in price from R1 300 000.00 to R2 000 000.00.
The "Emerald Heights" development is a townhouse complex ranging in price from as little as R650.000.00.
Forest Downs is known as a fairly "new" area in Port Alfred and it is already showing the great potential it promises. If you are looking to purchase property in our beautiful Port Alfred then this would certainly be area to consider.
The area known as Riverside is certainly one of the more popular residential areas within Port Alfred. Riverside properties are located on and near the beautiful Kowie River which is navigable for 27km inland . These Riverside Properties provide a haven for boaters and nature lovers alike. The area is not densely populated so there is a lot of bird life. There is a lot of open bush, so while sitting on your porch watching the sun set, sipping on your sundowners, you can admire the abundance of flora and fauna.
There are two major developments in Riverside, one being the "Country Club Estate", which consists of 62 stands, a cricket pitch and a clubhouse. There are currently only 3 homes on the estate and you have a choice of stands ranging in price from R230 000.00
The other Riverside development is a gated game and equestrian estate set on 320ha of prime river frontage with vacant sites with breathtaking sea and river views. There are approximately 118 stands in the first phase which have all being sold. However there are a couple of resale's available. Seven homes have been built since this development's inception and the developer has spared no expense putting in quality clubhouse facilities such as 4 floodlight tennis courts, a squash court, swimming pool and a conference room with bar facilities.
The Riverside Property market has always flourished as the homes situated here are very special due to there location and style. The average selling price in this area over the last 3 years has been R980.000.00 with 23 sales taking place in the year of 2010. The highest price being R3.5m. There are a variety of styles of home in Riverside. Some are older and others have a very contemporary feel. On the Bay Of Biscay, which is prime river frontage, homes have had families living in them for generations and due to their location, they don't often come up for sale, but when they do they are snapped up very quickly.
Port Alfred is known as "THE HEART OF THE SUNSHINE COAST" situated 150km from Port Elizabeth and 115km from East London, Port Alfred is well positioned for visitors that fly in from all over the world. In and around Port Alfred you can find some of the finest beaches in the world stretching for kilometres, one of most well known is "Kelly's Beach which has International Blue Flag status. The area is steeped in South African history. Bartholomew Diaz, a Portuguese sailor credited with "discovering a route around the tip of Africa" landed near Cannon Rocks just 25 minutes away. Naturally the area is also steeped in settler history as this area was close to the frontier between the Xhosa people and the European settlers.
The Kowie River also leads directly into the Indian ocean and deep sea fishing craft launch from this harbour. Scuba diving, surfing and other lifestyle activities are right on ones doorstep.
Royal Alfred Marina
The Royal Alfred Marina is a unique and remarkable development, consisting of 5 islands within a 45 hectare private estate in the Kowie River Estuary. The islands are linked by arched bridges across the canals affording navigational ease for craft moving around the Marina. Each plot has at least 15 metres of its own water frontage onto canals, giving direct access to the Kowie River and out to sea. The Royal Alfred Marina offers the ultimate in secure, luxury living with water frontage at its best.
Electrified security fences surround the entire area with 24 hour security patrols affording excellent security for peace of mind and relaxed, leisurely living.
The Marina has an exclusive clubhouse with pool and entertainment area to accommodate functions for Marina homeowners. A flood lit, all weather tennis court and squash court are situated in close proximity to the main entrance for the exclusive use of the residents and their invited guests.
The Marina borders the 250 berth small boat harbour with launching ramp for all sizes of craft. Some 36 species of marine life have been identified in the Marina canals. This number exceeds the recorded species in the Kowie River to the Marina development, and many fine fish have been caught, many of them off the owner's jetties or front lawn.
The Kowie River is navigable for approximately 20km and is ideal for water-skiing, canoeing, light tackle angling, board sailing and general boating. On a leisurely cruise up river one can observe, absorb and enjoy the unique Eastern Cape vegetation such as cycads, euphorbias and aloes.
The Royal Alfred Marina properties offer a millionaires playground and one of the best designed marinas in the world. This suburb meets the needs of the most discerning buyers.