Wild Flowers in St Francis

Why visit Namaqualand when we have just as good on our doorstep?

wild flowers st francis

Not be as expansive as offered up in Namaqualand but our wild flowers are just as breathtaking.

Driving between Cape St Francis and St Francis Bay one does get a glimpse at some of the magnificent spring flowers presently blooming in the greater St Francis region. One of the benefits of the devastating fires of last January is that it cleared some of the alien bush and has allowed the spring flower to find their freedom and adorn our landscapes.

Cape St Francis Resort with FOSTER promoted a fantastic opportunity on the Wild Flower Chase, a supervised tour into the Air Park to experience the floral phenomena on our doorstep which although on a far smaller scale than the spring flowers of Namaqualand, certainly compete in terms of their beauty.

Dave Bowmer of FOSTER has set up an extremely interesting and educational display of the many types of Fynbos that are present in our region sampling many of the species with a live plant along with a description. This display was set up in one of the resort’s conference venues but as the room is presently being used for its intended purpose, conferences, the display is not available at the moment.  Anita Lennox of Cape St Francis Resort has informed St Francis Today that the resort hopes to be able to set up the display and tour, even if only for a day or two, to allow more people to experience our floral beauty.

So watch this space for as soon as there is more definite news on whether and  when the  Wild Flower Chase to see this floral beauty in situ in Air Park and IBFR may again be available, we will let readers know. We do however encourage you to book your place immediately if the opportunity presents itself.

Possibly in years to come our sping flowers could feature as a futher attraction and reason to visit St Francis over the Calamari Classic festival.

Educational racks displaying various flora

21 = Geranium Icanum | 22 = Gladiolus Huttonii

43 = Pelargonium | 44 = Pelargonium

33 = Indigofera

Leaproach – new specie discovered

Leaproach – New specie discovered in Irma Booysen Nature Reserve, Cape St Francis!

Entomologist Jonathan Colville from the South African National Biodiversity Institute at Kirstenbosch Cape Town, collected a brand new species of jumping cockroach ( Leaproach) in the Irma Booysen Nature Reserve in Cape St Francis. The genus name is Saltoblattella (a cockroach that jumps). This highly unusual insect genus was first described in 2011 and is only found in the Cape Floristic Region. This find represents the eastern most record of a Leaproach and is very significant in that respect.

Leaping Cockroach - leaproach discovered in Cape St Francis


Leaproaches are only found in the Cape Floristic Region in South Africa.  The discovery of the first species of Leaproach in the CFR made it into the International Institute for Species Exploration’s top ten species discoveries in 2011. Several new species have recently been discovered in the CFR, including this specimen from the Cape St Francis coastal fynbos. This specie represents the most eastern discovery of a Leaproach

Leap Roach Facts

Leaproaches can jump 48 times their body length. Their jumping mechanisms and hind leg structures show remarkable similarity to those of grasshoppers with whom they share their habitat. Leaproaches  rival and even outperform grasshoppers  in jumping performance. They are unique species, as all of the approximately 4000 known cockroach species in the world locomote by scuttling. The Leaproach is arguably the most attractive species with beautiful silvery white and black striping. It is approximately 10 mm in length, jumps from stem-to-stem among plants and restios – much like a grasshopper. It can also scuttle short distances like normal cockroaches do. The Leaproach achieves its remarkable jumping feats by using its long and muscular hind legs, it has an elastic protein in its knee-joint that aids in jumping and storing energy. Unlike other cockroaches it has lost the ability to fly and has no functional wings. The natural diet of the Leaproach is largely unknown, but in captivity it feeds on a range of plant-based foods, it has also been observed to feed on grasshopper droppings!

Importance of discovery

Discovering new species, Leapraoch or otherwise, extends humanity’s collective knowledge of global biodiversity, it provides us with greater perspective of our place on earth and corresponding influence on the natural environment. A discovery of this nature, with approximately 80% of earth’s species being unknown to us, highlights the need for the preservation and conservation of your local ecosystem via the FOSTER reserve network. This discovery vindicates our collective conservation efforts thus far. Your support of FOSTER has directly aided the local conservation effort and we thank you wholeheartedly.

The Leaproach is your discovery, and yours to protect.

FOSTER is a non-profit organisation, our goal is to provide the public with organised access to a first class reserve system. If you would like to donate or join our volunteer team, please get in touch via our website foster.org.za or search for us on Facebook.

More Reading:

A cockroach that jumps


Friends of St Francis Nature Areas

FOSTER JOL a lot of fun

FOSTER JOL at Cape St Francis Resort

Cape St Francis Resort really pulled out all the stops on Saturday night when they hosted the FOSTER ‘JOL’ in the Joe Fish Restaurant and Bar. The crowd of over 150 souls rocked the night away to some great music, first by local group Grosvenor Road Band and later, when the night really got ‘a Rockin’, to Port Elizabeth group, The Brothers. With tickets just R100 a head which included a Potjie supper it was a steal for an evening’s entertainment amongst friends and neighbours and for a great cause.

With some of the resort staff away competing in the Meislespoort run / walk it was left to the remaining staff to run three simultaneous functions at different venues in the resort on Saturday evening and as always, they coped without the slightest glitch. Not one for standing in queues for food I was prepared to give the potjie supper a miss but the tantalising smell was for too enticing and thankfully so efficient was the serving that the queue moved along rapidly.

The purpose of the evening was apparently to celebrate FOSTER’s 25th anniversary but one would imagine, also an opportunity to raise funds. Certainly the FOSTER JOL was well supported but chatting with some of the committee during the evening it was a little concerning to hear how poorly FOSTER is supported in terms of membership by the greater St Francis community. Considering the importance of conserving the nature reserves that surround St Francis, and the value of these reserves for their tourism, one would have expected a far greater support.

Membership is apparently only R150 a year but a visit to the FOSTER WEBSITE does not seem indicate this on either the membership form or elsewhere on the website. Possibly by adding this information they could attract a few new members as the website has some rather interesting information and certainly gives one a better understanding of FOSTER and all the great work they do.

One only needs to look back at the huge role FOSTER members played in the January fires and the work they have done subsequent to that disaster in clearing fire breaks to realise how important their contribution to our community their is.

Some of those who enjoyed the FOSTER JOL

FOSTER JOL at Cape ST Francis Resort

Successful FOSTER Golf Day

FOSTER - friends of St Francis nature areas


The FOSTER Golf Day held at St Francis Bay Golf Club last Saturday turned out to be a huge success with a field of over 100 golfers teeing off in near perfect weather. Thanks to those golfers who contributed to the success of the day by entering into the spirit of the event and to the many generous sponsors who supported the event with financial donations and prizes, the money raised will allow FOSTER to continue with the incredible work they do for the nature areas of St Francis.

Whilst Ken Gammie, Jules Gazet, Brett Wilson-Jones and John Wilson won the golf the real winner was being able to generate funds to ensure FOSTER is able to continue clearing our reserves of highly inflammable invasive alien plants (principally Acacia cyclops or rooikrans), In addition it will allow FOSTER to continue establishing a system of peripheral and interior access routes for firefighting, establish a network of footpaths and implement a wide range of outreach programmes.

The day was dedicated to the late DAVE FISH who served selflessly on the FOSTER committee and

initiated the FOSTER Golf Days to raise much needed funding

Below are listed the many sponsors who so generously supported FOSTER

Billabong – Ernest

TAG Yachts – Ryan

Ken Gammie

Penny Pinchers – Frans

Ritchie/Buchanan Family

Custom Construction – Greg

Cape St Francis Resort – Anita

Country Feeling – Sharon

St Francis Brick – John

CBS Construction – Justin

KJC Rockblast – Colin

Humansdorp Hotel – JP

Bard’au Beauty Spa – Anne

Legends Pub – John

Rock Lily – Mike

Bayview Boating

Paul Duval

Village Square TOPS – Richard

Bushbuck Garden Indigenous Tree Nursery – Garth

In House Kitchen Shop – Greta

The Butcher Shop – Emmet

The Pro Shop – Miles & Ross

J-Bay Print – John

Rambling Rose –Craig & Mechelle

Christy’s Catch – Harm

John Bain Services – Roy Bennett

Pam Golding – Richard

SEEFF – Desiree

Blue Bottle Store – Marc

Al & Joan Brady

Seal Point Estates – Jal

Barry & Colleen Jepson

Dave & Lilian Bouwmer

Marc Maingard & Grosvenor Road Band

All printing sponsored by Kouga Print & Design – Debbi

The St Francis Bay Club for hosting us

Thanks to ALL the PLAYERS who have supported our FOSTER GOLF DAY

FOSTER Camera stolen

One of our new camera traps from the reserves has been stolen. This camera is of very little use to regular photographers…if anyone gets offered it for sale, please let Joan (FOSTER) know on 083 398 3948.
The pictures below are some of the recent photos taken with this camera.
08250072 08260096