Cannon Rocks

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Cannon Rocks
South Africa Eastern Cape location map.svg
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Cannon Rocks
South Africa adm location map.svg
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Cannon Rocks
Coordinates: 33°45′S26°33′E / 33.750°S 26.550°E / -33.750; 26.550 Coordinates: 33°45′S26°33′E / 33.750°S 26.550°E / -33.750; 26.550
Country South Africa
Province Eastern Cape
District Sarah Baartman
Municipality Ndlambe
  Total3.12 km2 (1.20 sq mi)
 (2011) [1]
  Density69/km2 (180/sq mi)
Racial makeup (2011)
   Black African 10.7%
   Coloured 0.5%
   Indian/Asian 0.9%
   White 87.9%
First languages (2011)
   English 52.3%
   Afrikaans 44.4%
   Xhosa 1.4%
Time zone UTC+2 (SAST)
PO box

Cannon Rocks is a small seaside town on the Indian Ocean in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, between Boknes and the boundary of the Greater Addo Elephant Park. It is situated 135 km east of Port Elizabeth and 180 km west of East London approximately 15 minutes from the town of Kenton-on-Sea. Port Alfred is approximately 30 km to the East of Cannon Rocks. [2] Cannon Rocks is part of the Ndlambe Local Municipality in the Sarah Baartman District of the Eastern Cape.

Indian Ocean The ocean between Africa, Asia, Australia and Antarctica (or the Southern Ocean)

The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering 70,560,000 km2 (27,240,000 sq mi). It is bounded by Asia on the north, on the west by Africa, on the east by Australia, and on the south by the Southern Ocean or, depending on definition, by Antarctica.

South Africa Republic in the southernmost part of Africa

South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. It is bounded to the south by 2,798 kilometres (1,739 mi) of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans; to the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe; and to the east and northeast by Mozambique and Eswatini (Swaziland); and it surrounds the enclaved country of Lesotho. South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and the 25th-largest country in the world by land area and, with over 57 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Bantu ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different African languages, nine of which have official status. The remaining population consists of Africa's largest communities of European, Asian (Indian), and multiracial (Coloured) ancestry.

Boknesstrand Place in Eastern Cape, South Africa

Boknesstrand is a small seaside town in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It is close to Cannon Rocks, Kenton-on-Sea, Alexandria, Bushman's River Mouth and Port Alfred. It is part of the Ndlambe Local Municipality in the Sarah Baartman District of the Eastern Cape.


The town is named after two cannons of historical importance and is close to the Diaz cross, erected five centuries ago by Bartholomeu Diaz, the first Portuguese ocean explorer to sail along the eastern coast of South Africa. [3]

The Dias Cross Memorial is a provincial heritage site at Kwaaihoek, Alexandria in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

Cannon Rocks is a major marker for weather forecasts for the coastal belt. It divides two coastal sections: Plettenberg Bay to Cannon Rocks; and Cannon Rocks to Kei Mouth. [4]

Plettenberg Bay Place in Western Cape, South Africa

Plettenberg Bay, nicknamed Plet or Plett, is the primary town of the Bitou Local Municipality in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. As of the census of 2001, there were 29,149 population. It was originally named Bahia Formosa by early Portuguese explorers and lies on South Africa's Garden Route 210 km from Port Elizabeth and about 600 km from Cape Town.

Kei Mouth Place in Eastern Cape, South Africa

Kei Mouth is a resort town on the southeast coast of South Africa, situated in the Wild Coast region of the Eastern Cape Province, situated 94 kilometres from the city of East London. The town is situated on the Indian Ocean coast, on the western bank of the Great Kei River, and has one of the country's three remaining car transporting pontoon river ferries.


There are outcrops in the sea close to Cannon Rocks of a coastal marine formation, the Salnova Formation. This formation occurs about 20 metres above sea level and comprises calcrete with quartzitic sandstone boulders and shell material. [5]

Quartzite hard, non-foliated metamorphic rock which was originally pure quartz sandstone

Quartzite is a hard, non-foliated metamorphic rock which was originally pure quartz sandstone. Sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure usually related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts. Pure quartzite is usually white to grey, though quartzites often occur in various shades of pink and red due to varying amounts of iron oxide (Fe2O3). Other colors, such as yellow, green, blue and orange, are due to other minerals.

Sandstone A clastic sedimentary rock composed mostly of sand-sized particles

Sandstone is a clastic sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-sized mineral particles or rock fragments.


Cannon Rocks provides one of the best kitesurfing locations anywhere in the world. The town plays host every year to the Cannon Rocks Kiteboarding Classic competition. And is regularly visited by some top Kiteboarders. The major attraction is the unspoilt and uncrowded nature of the beaches, coupled to a stable and predictable south westerly and easterly wind which are both cross shore. These conditions are also enjoyed by Windsurfers.

Windsurfing Water sport

Windsurfing is a surface water sport that combines elements of surfing and sailing. It consists of a board usually 2 to 2.5 metres long, with displacements typically between 45 and 150 litres, powered by wind on a sail. The rig is connected to the board by a free-rotating universal joint and consists of a mast, boom and sail. On “short” boards The sail area generally ranges from 1.5 to 12 square metres depending on the conditions, the skill of the sailor, the type of windsurfing being undertaken and the weight of the person windsurfing. On long boards, upon which the sport was first popularized -sail areas and board lengths are typically larger and the athleticism required is much less.

The town is a premier rock and surf angling destination with the site of lone anglers making their way down the unspoilt beaches a beautiful sight.

Angling Method of fishing with a hook and line

Angling is a method of fishing by means of an "angle". The hook is usually attached to a fishing line and the line is often attached to a fishing rod. Modern fishing rods are usually fitted with a fishing reel that functions as a mechanism for storing, retrieving and paying out the line. Tenkara fishing and cane pole fishing are two techniques that do not use a reel. The hook itself can be dressed with bait, but sometimes a lure, with hooks attached to it, is used in place of a hook and bait. A bite indicator such as a float, and a weight or sinker are sometimes used.

There is a charter company (Big Blue) in town that takes visitors on deep sea angling, snorkeling or scuba diving excursions.

There is a two-hour drive that takes visitors through the Golden Mile dairy farms on the spectacular cliffs overlooking Bird Island and the world's biggest coastal dune field. The road turns into the state forest where century old trees form a dense canopy over the road. The road ends in Alexandria, where it branches back over the mountain to Cannon Rocks.

Two hiking trails begin in Cannon Rocks. The first (7 km) starts right at the western end of town at the Cannons and winds through the bush to a look-out over the coastal dunefield. It then goes back on the beach. It is advisable to wear a sun-hat and take water.

The second trail is a two-day trail that can be booked through the Addo Elephant Park offices.


Cannon Rocks is close to an area called "The Golden Mile" of dairy farming. It is a strip of land between the sea and the Woody Cape forest that is very well suited to dairy farming. This historically drove the development of the area. Recent price collusion between major milk-buying companies Clover, Parmalat and Woodlands have left the once prosperous farmers facing bleak futures, with herds reduced and many farmers opting for beef cattle. [6]

The economy of Cannon Rocks is primarily retirement housing, holiday houses and weekend visitors. The beaches are immaculately clean and safe due to the very low number of visitors and the fact that there is approximately 100 km of untouched bush and beaches to the west.

Cannon Rocks does not have a retail outlet and residents and visitors buy basic commodities in Boknesstrand or Kenton-on-Sea. Basically the only commercial activity is the Post Office Agency. Kenton-on-Sea also provides several banks and associated commercial activities.

Related Research Articles

Geography of South Africa geography of South Africa

South Africa occupies the southern tip of Africa, its coastline stretching more than 2,850 kilometres from the desert border with Namibia on the Atlantic (western) coast southwards around the tip of Africa and then northeast to the border with Mozambique on the Indian Ocean. The low-lying coastal zone is narrow for much of that distance, soon giving way to a mountainous escarpment that separates the coast from the high inland plateau. In some places, notably the province of KwaZulu-Natal in the east, a greater distance separates the coast from the escarpment. Although most of the country is classified as semi-arid, it has considerable variation in climate as well as topography. The total land area is 1,220,813 km2 (471,359 sq mi). It has the 23rd largest Exclusive Economic Zone of 1,535,538 km2 (592,875 sq mi).

Eastern Cape Province of South Africa

The Eastern Cape is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Bhisho, but its two largest cities are Port Elizabeth and East London. It was formed in 1994 out of the Xhosa homelands or bantustans of Transkei and Ciskei, together with the eastern portion of the Cape Province. The central and eastern part of the province is the traditional home of the indigenous Xhosa people. In 1820 this area began to be settled by Europeans

Paternoster, Western Cape Place in Western Cape, South Africa

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Port Elizabeth Place in Eastern Cape, South Africa

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Addo Elephant National Park A diverse wildlife conservation park near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

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Hopewell Rocks provincial park of New Brunswick, Canada

The Hopewell Rocks, also called the Flowerpots Rocks or simply The Rocks, are rock formations caused by tidal erosion in The Hopewell Rocks Ocean Tidal Exploration Site in New Brunswick. They stand 40–70 feet tall.

Alexandria, Eastern Cape Place in Eastern Cape, South Africa

Alexandria is a small farming town in the Eastern Cape of South Africa and is situated 100 km North East of Port Elizabeth on the way to Bushman's River Mouth, Kenton-on-Sea and Port Alfred. Alexandria is part of the Ndlambe Local Municipality in the Sarah Baartman District Municipality of the Eastern Cape.

Kirkwood, Eastern Cape Place in Eastern Cape, South Africa

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Algoa Bay

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Kenton-on-Sea Place in Eastern Cape, South Africa

Kenton-on-Sea, more commonly known as Kenton, is a small coastal town on the Sunshine Coast, in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. It is situated between the Bushmans and the Kariega Rivers, and lies approximately halfway between the industrial centres of East London and Port Elizabeth. Kenton is part of the Ndlambe Local Municipality in the Sarah Baartman District Municipality of the Eastern Cape.

Cape Fold Belt A late Paleozoic fold and thrust belt in southwestern South Africa

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Cape Meares National Wildlife Refuge

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Sundays River Valley Local Municipality Local municipality in Eastern Cape, South Africa

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Iolaus silas, the southern sapphire, is a butterfly of the family Lycaenidae. It is found in South Africa, from the Name Karoo in the Eastern Cape, then along the eastern littoral from Addo Elephant to Somerset East and Bedford, along the coastal savannah and lowland forest into KwaZulu-Natal.

Addo, Eastern Cape Place in Eastern Cape, South Africa

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Hole-in-the-Wall (Eastern Cape)

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  1. 1 2 3 4 "Main Place Cannon Rocks". Census 2011.
  2. See SA Venues
  3. Footprints On Our Land website
  4. South African Weather bureau
  5. SA National Parks website.