South Africa Surf Travel Guide
An amazing destination with the legendary waves of J-Bay, wildlife parks to explore, culture and traditions older than time to experience. The 3000kms of coastline at the bottom of the African continent boast beautiful beaches and bays of consistent waves from Durban to Cape Town. The locals are friendly, the food great and you can surf quality waves over reefs, points and beach breaks almost all year around.
Home to the famous wave of Jeffreys Bay aka J-Bay
Low cost of living and plenty of activities outside of the surf
Surfing is best when the Roaring Forties provide the best swells from March to September
The safari parks, with Kruger perhaps the best, are worth the flight on its own
Where to surf
Jeffrey’s Bay (J-Bay) is worth the trip alone! Easily South Africa’s most famous wave and said to be one of the best righthanders on the planet. It works best in July and August when there are usually back-to-back swells with a good period to help join up the sections at the east-facing spot of J-Bay. Jeffrey’s Bay is world-renowned for its different surf breaks such as, Kitchen Windows, Magna Tubes, Boneyards, Super Tubes, Salad Bowls, Tubes, Points & Albatross, each possessing its own magic.
Best Surf Breaks
Just one of the half dozen big wave breaks that make Cape Town one of the most hardcore surf destinations anywhere.
As folklore has it: A century ago, a guy called Bruce went to search the perfect wave…Here is where he found it. Bruce’s Beauties has the A-class wave, just as Super Tubes. It has a very fast, powerful and hollow wave. This is where you can see the masters at work. Only down-side, it is very inconsistent and breaks only a few days a year.
A bit further, you’ll find a spot for all surfers, called Seals Point. The waves are less hollow as Bruce’s but on a good day, they can offer a long ride.
Situated between Bruce’s Beauties and Anne’s Avenue – another hollow, fast and ledgy wave that’s very consistent. Huletts is appropriate for surfers of all level, so once you master Huletts, you could give Bruce’s a try.
One of the best righthanders on the planet. It works best in July and August when there are usually back-to-back swells with a good period to help combine the seven named sections – providing one of the longest and most flawless righthand points in the world.
Here you’ll find fast powerful and classic waves, as good as anywhere else.
Right next to Super Tubes. You’ll recognize it with ease, as it is the spot where the waves are breaking almost perfectly, but there are only one or two guys sitting out there. Don’t be fooled, this is a locals only break and they take it as a serious offence if you as an outsider decide to surf there. Yeah, it may have the better wave, but that is the bonus of being a local at Jeffrey’s Bay for quite some period of time.
Super Tubes = the best! The waves here can get large (up to about 10-12 feet). This is the ultimate test of your surfing ability. It is very fast, powerful, and very long. As the name suggests, getting tubed is the name of the game. Suitable only for advanced surfers. It’s advised to master Tubes first, another nearby short, perfect hollow wave.
The Point is super enjoyable with cutback sections and everything else you could possibly want from a wave. The waves here tend to be a little smaller than those at Boneyards and Supers. The difference is, that you will have a much longer ride here than at the other two.
When to go
The seasons are the well defined southern hemisphere seasons of summer (December until February), autumn (March until May), winter (June until August) and spring (September - November). Surfing is best done when the Roaring Forties provide the best swells from March to September. Waves usually range 6-15ft, but you will come across much bigger waves in certain spots. In summer the swell tends to be a bit smaller with some fun waves to surf at the many beach breaks. The exception is the Durban area, where the waves generated from the hurricane swells from December until February can turn the sand bottom pointbreaks into grinding tubes. The east coast is in a subtropical climate area and wraps around the Western Cape up the Garden Route towards Port Elizabeth. This area is usually hot and sunny during the summer months and mild and wet during winter.
South Africa is an expansive and diverse country, so be sure to explore inland from the coastline. There are mountains to be climbed via epic switch-backing roads, and gorgeous rivers that cut through rugged landscapes. Indulge in the fantastic cuisine, and don’t miss out on Cape Town, with its colonial architecture and endless opportunities for discovery. The safari parks, with Kruger perhaps the best, are worth the flight on its own.
Officially the Republic of South Africa, this nation lies at the tip of the continent of Africa. Because of its location, South Africa has always held a place of importance in the global community. In the 1400’s sailing around the Cape of Good Hope from Europe to Asia was an incredible feat and a pass to the “New World.” South Africa has a troubled past, most recently under the Apartheid regime, but the nation has made huge leaps and bounds with the help of the former president, Nelson Mandela. The country’s struggle with apartheid has brought everyone in the nation closer together, as a rule, though tensions can still run high.
Most travellers enter the country via Cape Town International Airport (CPT). Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg (JNB) is also a major international hub and the only direct flight option from Sydney, Australia.
230V – Plug type: C, D, M, N